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GLORIA: Unique climate research experiment worldwide
Date:12/6/2011

ORIA measurements will also focus on the so-called "gravity waves" in atmosphere. These are strong air turbulences caused by certain weather conditions on the back of mountain ridges among others. They may propagate up to 100 km height. In aviation, these waves are much dreaded, but they also play an important role for the climate. Gravity waves drive global circulation systems in the middle and upper atmosphere. "Obviously, the dynamics of these waves changes with an increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the Earth's atmosphere," emphasizes Dr. Peter Preusse from Jlich. "For future climate prognoses, it is therefore very important to exactly understand these effects."

Felix Friedl-Vallon, physicist at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, is enthusiastic: "The extremely high spatial resolution of our new spectrometer is unprecedented. Horizontal resolution of GLORIA is 30 km, in vertical direction 200 m. This makes GLORIA better than all instruments used so far by one order of magnitude an enormous progress!" This is mainly due to a novel type of detector chip that can execute more than 10,000 measurements at the same time and a special maneuver called "tomographic flight" by the researchers. During this maneuver, the "Geophysica" flows around an air package or a turbulent zone on a circular track at a height of 15 to 20 km. GLORIA always focuses on exactly the same coordinates this is a top performance of GLORIA in terms of control, electronics, and optomechanics at the low pressure and extreme temperatures down to minus 75C.

GLORIA will climb up above the Arctic in December for four test and measurement flights. After the first successful operation on the "Geophysica", the spectrometer will be installed on board of the new German research aircraft "HALO" in summer 2012. And the scientists hope that from 2020 an instrument version suited for use in space will supply major climate data within the PREMIER mission on board of an ESA satellite.
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Contact: Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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