As part of a project financed by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection, EOC has installed an infrared camera (FAIM - Fast Airglow Imager) at Otlica Observatory in Slovenia. Together with its counterpart in Oberpfaffenhofen its purpose is to record in three dimensions processes taking place in the atmospheric boundary layer located at an altitude of 80 to 90 kilometres.
We know from everyday life that our spatial vision is lost and we cannot judge distances well if we look at anything with just one eye. Only sensory impressions from both eyes make it possible for the brain to perceive all three dimensions. Stereoscopy is a technique using physically separated cameras to simultaneously record an object. Films produced in this way give an illusion of depth when seen on home television sets or at cinemas equipped for 3D viewing.
In the VoCaS Alp project scientists are using this technique to record small-scale flows like atmospheric turbulence or gravity waves. But the structures to be investigated are very far away, in the mesopause at altitudes of 80 to 90 kilometres. At this distance, two cameras in close proximity would record almost identical images, making stereoscopy impossible. Therefore, the second “stereo” camera has been positioned over 200 kilometres away at Otlica Observatory in Slovenia. The two temporally synchronised infrared FAIM (Fast Airglow Imager) imagers record from Oberpfaffenhofen as well as from Otlica the same volume of air above the Alpine arc. The cameras are designed as a stereo pair to record the three-dimensional structure of processes occurring in the mesopause.
The VoCaS Alp project is financed by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection. The measurements are undertaken in cooperation with the Institutes of Physics at Nova Gorica University, Slovenia, and at Augsburg University. VoCaS Alp is integrated in the programme of the Virtual Alpine Observatory, VAO.