Station Overview: Oberpfaffenhofen

General Information

Site Name: Oberpfaffenhofen
Station Code: OPN
Country: Germany
Altitude: 589 m asl
Latitude: 48.09ºN
Longitude: 11.28ºE

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Measurement Target: OH(3,1)
Measurement Technique: GRIPS 4 (scanning grating spectrometer), GRIPS 6 (grating spectrometer with detector array)
Measurement Scheme: operational
Begin of Measurement: GRIPS 4: 2005 - ongoing, semi-automatic operation; GRIPS 6: January 2009 - ongoing, automatic operation

Measurement Details

In 2005 the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DLR-DFD) developed and put the GRIPS 4 (Ground-based Infrared P-branch spectrometer) into operation. It is the mobile version of the GRIPS 3 instrument (see Schneefernerhaus site) and has since then been operated once on the German Research Vessel “Polarstern” during the expedition ANT XXIII/1 in 2005 and twice at the German Environmental Research Station “Schneefernerhaus” during the SCARAMANGA campaigns in 2006 and 2008. In the meantime it is located at DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen and measures the OH airglow next to GRIPS 6, which has been installed in January 2009 and is in fully automatic operation since February 2009.

GRIPS 4 has a variable field of view (zenith looking in Oberpfaffenhofen) and covers the spectral range from 1520 nm to 1550 nm during standard operation. It is equipped with a liquid nitrogen cooled Germanium detector and has a temporal resolution between two and three minutes. GRIPS 5 is a solely zenith looking spectrometer with a thermoelectrically cooled InGaAs-Array covering the spectral range between 1500 nm and 1600 nm.


  • Bittner, M., D. Offermann and H.-H. Graef, Mesopause temperature variability above a midlatitude station in Europe. Journal of Geophysical Research 105, 2045-2058, 2000.
  • Bittner, M., D. Offermann, H.-H. Graef, M. Donner and K. Hamilton, An 18-year time series of OH rotational temperatures and middle atmosphere decadal variations. Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, 64, 1147-1166, 2002.
  • Höppner, K. and M. Bittner, Evidence for solar signals in the mesopause temperature variability? Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 69, 431-448, 2007.
  • Pilger, C. and M. Bittner, 2009, Infrasound from tropospheric sources: Impact on mesopause temperature?Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 816-822, 2009.
  • Höppner, K. and M. Bittner, Detection of solar activity signatures in OH* temperature fluctuations possibly related to the differential rotation of the Sun. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 1287-1292, 2009.
  • Bittner, M., K. Höppner, C. Pilger and C. Schmidt., Mesopause temperature perturbations caused by infrasonic waves as an early indicator for the detection of tsunamis and other geo-hazards. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 10, 1431-1442, 2010.
Carsten Schmidt
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD-AT)
Phone: +49.8153.28.1335
Fax: +49.8153.28.1363

Related Links

German Remote Sensing Data Center (DLR-DFD)

Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS) on the mountain Zugspitze