Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA trains next generation of atmospheric scientists

23.09.2008
In a world in which human activity is beginning to alter atmospheric composition with substantial implications for climate and air quality, it is more pressing than ever that the scientists of tomorrow understand atmospheric processes and how the processes may change in order to anticipate the effects and minimise potential dangers.

ESA’s Advanced Atmospheric Training Course, held 15–20 September at University of Oxford, UK, brought 50 students from 23 different countries together with world-renowned atmospheric scientists so they could educate and train them to use state-of-the-art space-based atmospheric sensors.

"It is absolutely vital that the next generation of research scientists who are going to be looking at these problems and carrying forward the programme for ESA and other agencies have a full and deep knowledge of the satellite observations they are going to be using," Dr Brian Kerridge of the UK’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory explained. "The ESA course is able to provide the in-depth level of training necessary to fulfil those functions."

During the course, six European experts discussed various topics ranging from the current use of satellite instruments for remote sensing of trace gases in the stratosphere and troposphere, clouds, aerosols and UV information and pollution monitoring to data handling, retrieval and radiative transfer, validation, data assimilation and modelling.

The students, selected from over 100 applicants, had hands-on training and direct access to the lecturers and were encouraged to ask questions and discuss their projects during the course, which was hosted by Oxford’s Physics department.

"The lecturers were excellent and are literally some of the forefathers of their particular fields, so it has really helped me to be able to discuss things with them," said Sam Illingworth, a PhD student from the University of Leicester. "I spoke with Dr Clive Rodgers and Dr Bruno Carli about a couple of things that I did not know the answers to, and they completely sorted them out."

Juan Fernandez-Saldivar, a PhD student at the Surrey Space Centre in the UK, has already developed an instrument concept for atmospheric monitoring. He attended the course to get more experience and see if he could refine his instrument.

"The lecturers are living the science right now; they have the experience to back up what they say with real accomplishments," he said. "I have had the opportunity to show them what I am doing and get some feedback, so it has been great.

"ESA should do the course again, and I would definitely encourage other people to attend."

Selime Gürol, a PhD student working at the Space Technologies Research Institute in Turkey, said she wanted to attend the course to learn what kind of atmospheric data are available and how to access them.

"I am working on a calibration project in which aerosol is one of the important parameters," she explained. "Now I know there are many different kinds of data to obtain the aerosol optical thickness and where I can access them so that I can analyse them."

Since PhD students tend to be specialised on a particular instrument or type of problem, they sometimes do not see what is happening around them.

"This course has provided an idea of what is happening in different parts of the atmosphere and with different instruments and given the students contact with the persons active in their field that they do not find in their own universities," said Dr Bruno Carli, Director of Research - Head of the Earth Observation Project of CNR IFAC-CRN. "They also have an opportunity to meet other students and build up the community at the international level which will be very important for them in the future.

The lecturers get a lot from the course too, according to Carli. "We have many fields in which people retire and no one continues the work. From my interaction with these students, I have the assurance that there is still a community of people interested in this problem and they will continue the effort."

"It has been a great privilege to be given the opportunity by ESA to participate in this course and contribute to the training of the next generation," Dr Kerridge said. "I’ve been very impressed by the standard of questions and comments from the students and I hope ESA will repeat this exercise in the future."

Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMR1JQ4KKF_index_0.html

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Cebit 2018: Saarbrücken Start-up combines Tinkering and Programming for Elementary School Kids
05.06.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes

nachricht The classroom of tomorrow – DFKI and TUK open lab for new digital teaching and learning methods
03.05.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>