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Planetary Systems – from Genesis to Habitability

News from Dec 05, 2018

a Research Network for Planetary Systems and Remote Sensing at the Department of Earth Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin

The Research Network for Planetary Systems and Remote Sensing was established to strengthen the concentration of planetary and remote sensing expertise in Berlin, already exceptional in Europe, by bringing its research groups together. Its primary research goal is to broaden our knowledge of the origin and development of planetary systems and their associated habitats, both on Earth and elsewhere. Within the network, the focus in Planetary Sciences is on understanding planetary bodies both within and beyond the solar system (exoplanets), in Geoinformatics it is on the remote sensing observation of habitats on the Earth’s surface, and in Meteorological Remote Sensing on the atmosphere and ocean. Comparison of the conditions on planetary systems with those on Earth may provide new insights into the origination and development of habitable environments, the evolution of the atmosphere, dynamic processes and material cycles in the interior, as well as the generation of physical fields: magnetic, gravitational, or radiative. The application and further development of remote sensing methods will focus systematically on the exploration of the Earth and other planetary bodies by means of satellites, spacecraft and telescopes, supplemented by modelling of the formation and evolution of their inner structure, surfaces and atmospheres.

Established professors – in part linked to DLR and the Natural History Museum – with their working groups from three institutes (Geology, Geography and Meteorology) will work together, each bringing their expertise to the research network. The network will receive additional support through the provision of three new professorships in the Department of Earth Sciences. Prof. Frank Postberg was the first appointee from 1st October 2018. Two further professorships in the fields of Radiative transfer as well as Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics will be announced shortly.

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