The mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) ranges between about 50–200 km altitude and constitutes the interface between the terrestrial atmosphere and near-Earth space. The important role that the MLT plays in for the entire atmosphere has recently been recognised. As the transition region, the MLT is influenced by the dynamical processes of the lower, middle and upper atmosphere, as well as by solar radiation and by anthropogenic activities. At IAP, we study the physical and coupling processes which are unique to the MLT.
The main research themes at the IAP are:
- Exploration of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere
- Coupling of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere to atmospheric layers below and above
- Long-term changes in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere and adjacent regions
These themes are investigated in three research departments both by observations and modelling and through cross-departmental research activities. Other topics are ion metal atom layers in the mesopause region, or technological improvements of experimental techniques (lidars, radars). IAP's scientific relevance and goals are detailed in its Strategic Science Plan 2022-2028. IAP summarizes its work in biennial reports.