Director: Prof. Dr. Markus Rapp
The Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre is located in the DLR Campus Oberpfaffenhofen.
It focusses on the research of the physical and chemical processes of the troposphere and lower stratosphere.
About 140 people work in the institute. It is structured in five departments.
The institute investigates the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere in the troposphere and stratosphere. The knowledge of dynamical, cloud physical, and chemical processes constitute the basis for many aerospace applications. On both, regional and global scales the relevant processes and changes of the state of the atmosphere are quantified and systematically investigated using remote sensing, research aircraft, and computational models.
The research program of the institute is centred around weather and climate processes which are of strategic importance for the development of air traffic: wake vortices, weather information for on-time air traffic management as well as the climatic impact of aircraft emissions, contrails, and their effect on cirrus clouds.
Novel lidar technologies are developed, tested and applied in order to obtain profiles of wind, ozone, and water vapour. These are fed into current projects of the European Space Agency (ESA). New sensors for the trace gases methane and carbon-dioxide are being developed. Innovative methods for the three-dimensional radiative transport and the processing of satellite data are used to determine the radiative properties of clouds. Research aircraft (Falcon, HALO) and model simulations provide important in-sights for research concerning troposphere and stratosphere from the polar regions right into the tropics.
In the transport research area the emphasis lies on an evaluation of the environmental and climate impacts exerted by ships, trains, and automobiles.