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Master Students Physics or Meteorology (f/m/x) - Satellite remote sensing of volcanic ash-induced ice cloud formation

Abschlussarbeit - Stellenanzeige | Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Arbeitgeber: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Jobdatum: 03. März 2023

Einstiegsart: Abschlussarbeit

Einsatzort: Oberpfaffenhofen, Weßling; Bayern

Stellenbeschreibung - Master Students Physics or Meteorology (f/m/x) - Satellite remote sensing of volcanic ash-induced ice cloud formation

connecticum Job 1614533

Course paper / final thesis
Passive satellite remote sensing of volcanic ash-induced ice cloud formation and ice crystal icing
Starting date

According to prior agreement

Duration of contract

6 months


According to the German TVöD 5

Type of employment


The passive remote sensing group within the cloud physics department at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics investigates natural and anthropogenic clouds as well as airborne aerosol using measurements of different active and passive satellite instruments, mainly focusing on the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) aboard the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites, for which we developed a range of retrieval algorithms.

Currently, we are looking for 2 applicants, who in the scope of their master theses, will either work on the

  • satellite-based investigation of volcanic ash-induced ice cloud formation, or the
  • development of a satellite-based detection algorithm for potential ice crystal icing / high ice water content.

Applicants may indicate a preferred project in their application. Both studies are part of a project in cooperation with the German weather service (DWD).

Position 1:

Aerosol particles acting as ice nuclei can lead to the formation of cirrus clouds. In the case of volcanic ash, the topic has been extensively studied experimentally in the laboratory, but the large-scale satellite-based observation in nature remains an open task. By combining passive satellite retrievals for either volcanic ash or ice clouds one can find that sometimes detections of volcanic ash are later replaced by detections of ice clouds. In this project, both detections will be linked by a nowcasting method which estimates the future position of a cloud object based on its previous motion (i.e., the optical flow).

The successful applicant will:

  • implement a nowcasting algorithm for volcanic ash and ice clouds in Python/Julia
  • validate the nowcasting tool against satellite observations
  • apply the nowcasting method to match volcanic ash and ice cloud detections and relate their properties

Position 2:

High numbers of small ice particles are a danger for aviation as they might lead to a loss of power and potentially to engine damage when drawn into jet turbines. This phenomenon is called ice crystal icing (ICI). The potential occurrence of ICI is also related to the presence of high ice water contents (HIWC), often due to strong convection. This project focusses on the development of a method for the detection of potential ICI / HIWC based on existing satellite retrieval products.

The successful applicant will:

  • compose a training dataset including collocated retrieval products of active and passive satellite sensors and in situ aircraft measurements
  • develop, implement and validate a detection algorithm for ICI / HIWC based on the training dataset
  • find potential ICI / HIWC events using the new method and perform a statistical analysis of the physical properties of the observed events
  • ongoing Master studies in Physics, Meteorology or similar
  • good programming skills, including Python, Julia
  • experience with Linux
  • experience in statistical data analysis and image processing
  • fluent in English and/or German
  • good communication and presentation skills
  • basic knowledge of atmospheric physics and satellite remote sensing is a plus

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalleled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (f/m/x). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

Informationen zur Bewerbung

Master Students Physics or Meteorology (f/m/x) - Satellite remote sensing of volcanic ash-induced ice cloud formation

Connecticum Job 1614533
Naturwissenschaften: Physik

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