Microwave Physics

Microwave Physics


Microwave physics deals with phenomena of electromagnetic radiation in the frequency range from typically a few GHz to the THz range. It thus bridges the gap of the spectrum between electronics and photonics offering a wealth of interesting applications.

The members of the microwave physics group are dedicated to the development of novel techniques and instruments mainly for applications in atmospheric remote sensing and to use these instruments for the understanding of physical processes thereby contributing to the research areas of ozone depletion and climate change.

Our research goals:

Water vapor and ozone are important molecules in the atmosphere. Ozone protects the biosphere from harmful UV-radiation from the sun. Water vapour is the most important natural green house gas and affects radiative processes. A lot is known about atmospheric processes involving these constituents. However there are many open questions. Just to mention a few: is the depletion of ozone getting weaker, is water vapour increasing due to global warming, how is water vapour entering the stratosphere, how are the links between these trace gases.

In order to address these questions, observations of high quality are needed. Our research group develops unique microwave radiometers that allow to detect the microwave emission of atmospheric molecules. From these measurements we retrieve vertical mixing ratios of these molecules, as well as temperature and wind profiles in the middle atmosphere. Based on the excellent data from our instruments complemented from other platforms such as balloons and satellites we perform atmospheric studies usually in collaboration with international teams.

The other weight of our research is dedicated to the development of new measurement and calibration techniques in the microwave and submillimeter wave region. For this purpose we operate state of the art electromagnetic and optical models, and we dispose of excellent measuring equipment for the characterisation of radiation at frequencies up to the THz-regime. Our group is participating in the development of different satellite instruments for Earth observations and planetary research.