Main scientific research topics are:

a) To diagnose physical and chemical links between upper troposphere and lowermost stratosphere. Most air traffic takes place in this important region of the atmosphere. However, there are few measurements for this complex boundary layer area.

b) To quantify the frequency and influence of vertical transport (e.g. convection) from the ground to the upper troposphere. In particular in the tropics can polluted surface air be transported rapidly to high altitudes (vacuum cleaner effect ! Note that this concept was introduced by Chatfield and Crutzen already in 1984, Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR), vol. 89, pp 7111 - 7132).

c) To accumulate a comprehensive data set of trace gas variations. Because we take air samples that are analyzed in the laboratory, very precise measurements for the greenhouse gases can be made. Up to date, such data were only available for ground based stations, where pollution is a problem and the data are often not representative for large parts of the atmosphere.