Atmospheric Aerosol Research (IMK-AAF)

Welcome to the department "Atmospheric Aerosol Research" of the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Our research focuses on the role of aerosols in the climate system, the hydrological cycle, and the environment.

  • operates the internationally renowned AIDA aerosol and cloud simulation chamber
  • runs laboratories for aerosol and cloud research
  • participates in ground-based and aircraft field campaigns around the world

The head of the division, Thomas Leisner, is professor at the Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg


SvalbardAWI/ Sandro Dahlke
Investigating ice-nucleating particles in the high Arctic on Svalbard

We are joining the long-term project of Naruki Hiranuma (WTAMU) at the italian Gruvebadet Atmospheric Observatory with our PINE chamber to investigate the ice-nucleating particle (INP) population in the high Arctic. The high Arctic is the fastest changing environment on Earth due to Arctic amplification. Sea ice melting and permafrost thawing affect the aerosol population and in turn the climate and the weather.

Diffraction patern of water adsorbed at feldspar surfaceKIT/ Alexei Kiselev
FWF and DFG approve funding of Austrian - German research project ICEFELD

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and DFG has approved funding of a bilateral Austrian - German research project “Ice-nucleation activity of alkali feldspar in aerosol” (ICEFELD). This highly interdisciplinary project combining geo-materials science, atmospheric ice formation research, and computational physics will be carried out in collaboration between the cloud microphysics research group at IMK-AAF and University of Vienna.

news_1757_IMPACTSKIT/ Emma Järvinen
Chasing winter storms

A three-year long science program, IMPACTS, is launching it’s final phase to improve snowfall prediction. Advanced remote sensing and in-situ instruments will fly over the eastern seaboard to identify key processes and improve forecasting. The study aims to increase understanding of snowband formation and the microphysical characteristics of snow particles, thus improving prediction and public safety.

AIDAKIT/ Ottmar Möhler
25 Years of Research with AIDA

The atmospheric simulation chamber AIDA (Aerosol Interaction and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) was constructed at KIT between 1995 and 1997. It is in operation since 25 years for studying a large variety of trace gas, aerosol and cloud processes of importance for the environment, the weather systems and the global climate.

Station FinlandKIT/Alexander Böhmländer
Investigating ice-nucleating particles in a sub-Arctic region

During our third participation of the Pallas Cloud Experiment (PACE), we use our Skywalker UAVs to sample ice-nucleating particles (INPs) up to 2 km, aiming to better understand the difference between ground-based and cloud-level INP measurements. The Portable Ice Nucleation Experiment (PINE) chamber was installed as a reference measure at the Pallas supersite and will continue monitoring INP concentrations over winter.

Urban aerosol characterization over Karlsruhe

On a hill overlooking Karlsruhe air quality and transport of aerosol particles and trace gases are characterized. A scanning aerosol lidar measures aerosol particle distributions and trace gas and particle composition are determined by mass spectrometers. Nearby local emission sources as well as regional pollutant transport into the city will be determined for a summer period with heat waves.