Energy balance measurements in the Namib desert. Started August 1, 2009.
NAmibia FOg Life Cycle Analysis - Researching the dynamics and effects of fog in the Namib
URBANFLUXES stands for "URBan ANthrpogenic heat FLUX from Earth observation Satellites" and is a Horizon 2020 funded space research project, coordinated by the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece).
Exploiting earth observation in sustainable urban planning & management
Contribution of the University of Basel towards the "Meteorological measurements in the Barringer Meteor Crater" project for the examination of downslope windstorm-type flows.
Urban climate study of Bucharest, Romania.
BRIDGE is a joint effort of 14 European Organizations aiming at incorporating sustainability aspects in urban planning processes, accounting for some well recognised relations between urban metabolism and urban structure. The local measurement program consist of an additional street canyon tower and an additional flux site.
The Hyper-Swiss-Net project aims at developing and supporting the scientific expertise and infrastructure in Switzerland for the exploitation of imaging spectrometry technology for different Earth observation applications
Investigation of birch pollen production and emission by combining experimental and modeling work in order to quantify the released pollen in relation to turbulence characteristics and micrometeorological parameters around a pollen source.
Former projects
A list of former projects of the MCR Unibas

Fig. 1: Scheme of the urban energy balance ...


Project description

The Hyper-Swiss-Net project aims at developing and supporting the scientific expertise and infrastructure in Switzerland for the exploitation of imaging spectrometry technology for different Earth observation applications. The development of imaging spectrometers, the availability of Earth observations in high spectral resolution from air- and spaceborne platforms as well as the facility of their processing has remarkably evolved over the last decade. This trend leads to a level of maturity, which makes imaging spectrometry accessible and useful for a larger research and user community. Against this background Hyper-Swiss-Net will develop a range of prototype application products drawing from the diverse expertise present in the project consortium and the respective user community.

The development and implementation of the different products will be based on dedicated flight experiments with the airborne ESA imaging spectrometer APEX and will directly build on and link into the operational capabilities of the APEX processing and archiving facility (PAF). The scientific expertise gathered during the project will be further disseminated within the Swiss research community by integrating the developed capabilities into specific teaching modules.

Project Modules

  • Vegetation Dynamics
  • Atmospheric Trace Gases
  • Snow and Climate
  • Geo-Biophysical Parameters
  • Land Use Dynamics
  • Urban Climatology

MCR contribution: The Urban Module

The architecture of urban areas reflects an extremely specific man-made structure introducing complex phenomena and influencing ecological, climatic and energetic conditions of the urban climate. Energy and radiation fluxes are the main drivers of urban climate, which significantly deviates from the climate of the rural surroundings.

Together with standard techniques using helicopter-borne high-resolution thermal infrared camera, micrometeorological in situ measurements and numerical modelling, hyperspectral remote sensing data from the imaging spectrometer APEX open new opportunities for the assessment of the complete radiation and energy balance of a city (fig. 1.). The Urban Climatology Module in the frame of the HyperSwissNet project will further develop and refine existing urban specific methods in imaging spectrometry towards the assessment of specific fluxes in the radiation and energy balance of urban surfaces.

Time table

Activity 2008 2009 2010 2011
Planning phase (research plan, hiring scientist, education, literature screening) X - - -
permanent in situ measurements X X X X
non-permanent in situ measurements - X - -
APEX overflights, image acquisition, image processing - X X X
design of processing chains, algorithm and model development and refinement, product validation - X X X
implementation of teaching module - - - X
final products - - - X

Consortium and modules

Remote Sensing Laboratories, University of Zürich (Project coordination), Vegetation Dynamics

Space Center EPFL, EPFL Lausanne, Geo-Biophysical Parameters

Laboratory for Air Pollution and Environmental Technology, Empa, Atmospheric Trace Gases

Remote Sensing Group, University of Bern, Snow and Climate

Institute for Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing, University of Basel, Urban Climatology

Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Land Use Dynamics

Project Website


Involved persons at MCR:

Christian Feigenwinter