The focus of the department "Radar Soundings and Sounding Rockets" lies on continuous observations of dynamical and thermal parameters of the troposphere and lower stratosphere as well as the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Standard parameters to be determined are winds, wave parameters and turbulence, as well as temperatures at an altitude of ~ 90km. These observations are performed using partly unique MF and VHF radar systems as well as meteor radars which are located at mid and polar latitudes. Such radar systems provide the only existing possibility suitable for the continuous observation of the above mentioned height region.
From January 2008, the department has also been hosting activities utilizing sounding rockets for high resolution measurements of turbulence and aerosol parameters. Measurements with sounding rockets provide the only means by which corresponding high resolution measurements (spatial resolution ~ centimeters) in the middle atmosphere are feasible.
At the current stage, the department consists of 10 scientists, 4 Ph.D. students and graduate students, one engineer and 5 technicians.