Discover the Sensors the German Weather Service Relies On

When imagining 70 years of work, perhaps the first thought that comes to mind is retirement. However, for the German Weather Service (DWD), their current work is more important than ever.

Discover the Sensors the German Weather Service Relies On

Image Credit: OTT HydroMet

With extreme weather events like heavy rain, floods, droughts, forest fires, air pollution and crop failures becoming an everyday occurrence as a result of climate change, these phenomena are part of the reason that the DWD is so in demand.

A strong and reliable national meteorological service, in cooperation with international partners from science and industry, is essential - even vital - to better understand these phenomena and, crucially, to be able to predict them.

Specialized Observatories

The annual mean temperature in Germany when the DWD was founded in 1952 was 7.9 °C. Since then, it has risen by approximately two degrees – and since 2014, the annual mean temperature has hit double digits a total of four times.

Unfortunately, it is generally universally agreed by climate scientists that human influences, in the form of global warming, have contributed to this altered atmospheric status.

Highly specialized facilities like the Lindenberg Meteorological Observatory (MOL-RAO) provide the data needed for this important research.

The DWD uses more than 120 Lufft CHM15k ceilometers to determine the cloud base height.

The DWD uses more than 120 Lufft CHM15k ceilometers to determine the cloud base height. Image Credit: DWD

Spectrophotometers, pyranometers, pyrgeometers, and sun trackers from Kipp & Zonen make up a significant part of the "Lindenberg Column" at the Lindenberg Meteorological Observatory MOL-RAO.

Spectrophotometers, pyranometers, pyrgeometers, and sun trackers from Kipp & Zonen make up a significant part of the "Lindenberg Column" at the Lindenberg Meteorological Observatory MOL-RAO. Image Credit: DWD

For its nationwide airport weather network, the DWD ordered around 100 Lufft CHM8k ceilometers, that are specifically adjusted to aviation meteorology.

For its nationwide airport weather network, the DWD ordered around 100 Lufft CHM8k ceilometers, that are specifically adjusted to aviation meteorology. Image Credit: OTT HydroMet

The MOL-RAO has existed at its location southeast of Berlin since 1905, and thus for a much longer period of time than the DWD itself.

There is a virtual treasure trove of data that has been collected continuously over 117 years and includes the vertical profiles of atmospheric parameters (such as wind, humidity, and temperature), which is of outstanding value to scientists.

The core task of the observatory remains the vertical sounding of the atmosphere, despite the fact that over time, new measurement techniques and technologies have emerged.

The high scientific standards of the German Weather Service are exemplified by the MOL-RAO. The DWD carefully supplements, maintains and renews its measurement network on an ongoing basis.

Partner and Companion

OTT HydroMet, as a manufacturer and market-leading developer of environmental monitoring technology, has been a close partner and companion of the DWD for decades.

The OTT HydroMet portfolio range includes sensors from its brands Luff, Kipp & Zonen, Lufft, and OTT – each of which are often considered the gold standard in their respective fields of application.

For instance, the Kipp & Zonen CMP22 pyranometer is world-class and the standard for measuring global solar radiation in ground measurement networks. The Lufft Ventus ultrasonic wind meter rises above the difficulties posed by saltwater, among other challenges, on the open ocean.

Approximately 100 ceilometers for each of the Lufft CHM15k and CHM8k types are in use in DWD networks.

Instruments from OTT HydroMet comprise a significant portion of the “Lindenberg Column” at the MOL-RAO as it is known to the DWD – otherwise known as its sophisticated mix of aerological measurements, ground observations, and passive remote sensing methods.

In addition to pyranometers, pyrgeometers and sun trackers of the Kipp & Zonen brand, the Lindenberg researchers also utilize various versions of the Brewer Spectrophotometer, the reference sensor for measurements of nitrogen dioxide, UV spectra in the atmosphere and ozone.

OTT HydroMet wishes to congratulate DWD on 70 successful and groundbreaking years and is looking forward to furthering continued collaboration so that together they can observe, understand and overcome the climatic challenges of the coming years.

To learn more about the close partnership between DWD and OTT HydroMet, as well as many other National Weather Services and research institutes around the world, contact the organization today.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by OTT HydroMet.

For more information on this source, please visit OTT HydroMet. Lufft and Kipp & Zonen are two of OTT HydroMet's strong brands for professional environmental monitoring.

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