Project start: 15.03.2022

Duration: 3 Jahre

Funding: DFG

Project lead: Harald Kunstmann

Involved scientists: Joel Arnault (IMK-IFU), Benjamin Fersch (IMK-IFU)

Project partners:

     University of Potsdam
University of Heidelberg
     Technical University of Berlin – TUB
     Helmholtz Center of Environmental Research – UFZ Leipzig
     Jülich Research Center – FZJ
German Research Centre for Geosciences – GFZ

     University of Innsbruck



Cosmic sense is DFG funded interdisciplinary research unit aims to investigate the exchange of water between atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere and their dynamic feedback mechanism. For this purpose, the research team aims to exploit the benefits of cosmic-ray neutron sensing technique to observe the soil moisture and snow water equivalent states over large integration area. The intensities of high energy particles (resulted from cosmic rays) fluctuate at the land surface due to the presence of hydrogen atoms (water content in soil and vegetation). These variations are used to relate soil moisture and snow water equivalent conditions at the land surface. The research team is motivated towards multiple research domains including detector development, numerical modelling, remote sensing, hydrological modelling and hydrogeodesy.

Modules in Cosmic Sense

From the hydrological modelling perspective, the spatiotemporal distribution of soil moisture at root zone depth is vital information to understand the water and energy exchanges between land surface and atmosphere. The Hydro Modelling group at the University of Augsburg aims to integrate the cosmic-ray neutron sensing based soil moisture and snow water equivalent observations with coupled hydro-atmospheric models using data assimilation.

Neutron measurement during Joint Field campaigns in the summer of 2019 at the TERENO-preAlpine site in Peißenberg - Fendt


Additional informationen:

Cosmic Sense-web page