AMSOS - Airborne Microwave Stratospheric Observing System

Airborne Microwave Stratospheric Observing System (AMSOS)

Water vapor and ozone in the atmosphere are two main areas of the Microwave divison of the Institute of Applied (IAP) Physics of University of Bern, Switzerland. Water vapor H2O is a key parameter in the earth atmosphere. It is ...

  • ... the strongest natural greenhouse gas,
  • ... involved in ozone depletion by forming Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSC) and as the source of the radical molecule OH,
  • ... a tracer that helps studying atmospheric motion.

The Institute of Applied Physics has built an airborne microwave radiometer (AMSOS) that can measure the vertical distribution of water vapor and ozone from the upper troposphere up to the mesosphere with main focus on water vapor. This reults in a two dimensional cut through the atmosphere along the flight track. Beside this airborne instrument our institute operates also the ground-based instruments GROMOS for ozone at Bern and MIAWARA for water vapor at Bern-Zimmerwald within NDACC.

We have flown this instrument onboard the Swiss Air Force Learjet 35A T-781 about once per year from 1994 to 2007. This aircraft is usually used to transport politicians and diplomats. A typical flight campaign takes about one week covering as many latitudes between equator and North pole.

H2O distribution mission 5 (2002)
Fig. Water vapor distribution mission 5 2002