A coil system with 3 meter high coils is located at the Conrad Observatory and used for calibration of highly sensitive magnetic field measuring devices, which will later carry out important analyzes in space. Magnetometers for the JUICE project are currently being tested in this coil system, which was set up jointly by the ÖAW and ZAMG. JUICE (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer) is the first mission of the European Space Agency ESA to the outer solar system. In particular, the three largest moons of Jupiter are examined: Callisto, Europa and Ganymede. The launch is planned for 2023.
Our goal is to measure gravitational force of an object below the weight of a Planck mass. This would be the smallest gravitational force measured so far. By designing and realizing a sensitive, milligram torsion balance (f0 = 2.6mHz) we create a mechanical sensor capable of detecting very small accelerations below 100mHz, allowing us to measure the gravitational force of the smallest object to date. The pendulum is suspended from a silica fibre with a diameter of less than 4µm and weighs about 200 mg (2mm gold spheres with 90mg each). To suppress electrostatic forces we utilize a Faraday shield as well as a gaseous discharge method to reduce the amount of surplus charges on the isolated pendulum. The position of a nearby structures of Planck mass scale are modulated to exert a periodically changing force, exciting the rotational mode of the torsion balance.
The term "space weather" generally refers to the state of the near-Earth space
environment and Earth's upper atmosphere. Space weather is mainly determined by the
activity on the Sun and the relevant phenomena are often called solar storms. The
interaction between charged particle clouds in the solar wind and the geomagnetic field
leads to geomagnetic storms.
Space weather can affect technological systems on the earth's surface during extreme
events, in which large clouds of charged particles leave the Sun as plasma.
Variations of the Earth’s magnetic field in space and time cover a wide range of magnitudes. Strong changes of the geomagnetic field intensity on decadal to centennial timescales originating from the Earth’s outer core are of crucial importance for infrastructures and living organisms because they affect the shielding strength against energetic cosmic particles. Within the FWF project “Filling critival archeomagnetic data gaps” (P 36496), two periods characterized by extraordinarily strong field intensity variations will be investigated with new records from Central Europe.
Investigating the occurence, morphology and consequences of geomagnetic field reversals is the primary goal of this project. Within the framwork of an FWF proposal (P30523-N29) we aimed on identification and sampling transitional geomagnetic field information at three sites: in Styria (Austria), São Nicolau (Cabo Verde) and St. Helena.
Starlink is a satellite network, maintained by the SpaceX company, which should provide global Internet access in the future. A beta test has started in 2020. In 2021 I applied as beta tester for the then available system in mid latitudes. As a geophysical observer I am interested in whether such system can assist us in broadcasting our open earth observation data particularly from remote locations and whether the bandwith is suitable for remote operations and maintenance.