Atmospheric and Earth System Research with HALO

(High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft)

Open Positions

HALO SPP 1294 related vacancies can be announced here, please contact[at]

 Airborne measurements of solar radiation enhancement by clouds

The Leipzig Institute for Meteorology (LIM), Leipzig University, Germany, invites applications for one

PhD Position on
Solar radiation enhancement by clouds: Effects on the cloud radiative energy budget and new particle formation using airborne and satellite observations

The position is related to the international research project HALO-South ( and is part of the Scientific Priority Program SPP 1294 ( funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Within the HALO-South project, a one-month research campaign including the German High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO) is planned for October 2025. During this mission, a suite of remote sensing, cloud and aerosol instruments will be operated aboard of HALO to investigate the radiative, macrophysical, and microphysical properties of convective clouds in the southern hemisphere.

The position (65% TV-L E13) is awarded for three years, starting as soon as possible. We offer a productive and interdisciplinary working group ( including comprehensive supervision and integration into the Leipzig Graduate School on Clouds, Aerosol and Radiation (

Detailed project descriptions
The core objective of the project is to identify and quantify events of solar radiation enhancement in terms of actinic flux densities, photolysis frequencies, irradiances, and the cloud radiative effect.

Cloud induced enhancement of solar radiation may contribute to uncertainties in global climate models cloud properties and related radiative effects, especially for clouds in the Southern Ocean which significantly contribute to the global top-of-atmosphere radiative energy budget. Airborne observations embedded in the HALO-South mission will be used in order to obtain data at altitudes, where radiation enhancement is expected to be significant: above and within cloud top, between broken clouds, and below cirrus. The airborne measurements will be evaluated by both, specific events and from a statistical point of view to investigate, if solar radiation enhancement is correlated with new particle formation and exerts a significant influence on the cloud radiative energy budget in the Southern Ocean. In combination with satellite observations, the in-situ airborne measurements will be used to test and quantify how strongly the frequency and magnitude of radiation enhancement by clouds depends on macrophysical and microphysical cloud properties.

For this purpose, events of enhanced solar radiation will be extracted by comparison of the measurement to values in cloud-free conditions simulated using radiative transfer modeling. The impact of these events on the cloud radiative effect and on photolysis frequencies will be quantified. In collaboration with the HALO-South consortium, in particular measurements of aerosol particle properties and trace gas concentrations, this analysis will serve as a basis to investigate the importance of enhanced radiation on new particle formation events. To identify which cloud regimes and cloud properties favor radiation enhancement, the airborne observations will be merged with satellite products of cloud properties. The comparison aims to identify correlations between cloud quantities observed from satellites with the occurrence of cloud induced radiation enhancements as observed from HALO. The cloud properties of interest include cloud fraction, cloud top altitude, liquid water path, effective cloud particle radius, cloud particle phase, as well as the two-dimensional spatial organization and the heterogeneity of the cloud field.

For more information contact: m.wendisch[at]

We expect enthusiasm and interest in atmospheric science, in particular in cloud observations, remote sensing, and radiative transfer modelling. Applicants should have a Master-of-Science-equivalent university degree in meteorology, geophysics, physics or mathematics. Knowledge of high-level scientific programming for data analysis is desirable. Experience regarding experimental field work and the operation of scientific instruments would be advantageous. The successful applicant will strongly interact with other research groups (experimental, modelling, and satellite groups). Communication, collaboration and team play is essential. Candidates must possess excellent communication skills both in written and spoken English.

Interested candidates should send a CV, a cover letter describing background, training and research interests; certificates; and the contact information of at least two academic referees as a single PDF to[at]

Submissions will be accepted until 31 July 2024.

Interviews with the selected candidates may not start before mid of August.

The selection for the candidates will be based solely on merit without regard to gender, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital or family status or other differences. Among equally qualified candidates, handicapped candidates will be given preference.

Insitute for Meteorology, University Leipzig
Leipzig, Germany Full Time
Salary: €30,000 to €40,000 Annually
salary 65% TV-L E13