GRS Lab Equipment and Computational Facilities

The main laboratory infrastructure of GRS can be divided in several facilities:
•    Observatories
•    Measurement equipment
•    Computer equipment with data storage facilities


GRS manages several observatories that include specialized equipment.

  • The Ruisdael observatory for atmospheric sciences includes a horizontally scanning X-band weather radar, a S-band radar profiler with 3 beams capability for wind measurements, two W-band and one dual-frequency (Ka- and W-band) scanning cloud radars, microwave radiometers, a cloud profiling mobile station, seven vertically pointing FMCW radars (24 GHz), also known as “micro rain radar” and ten Parsivel optical disdrometers. See also
  • The Fundamental station Westerbork with a bunker specifically designed for gravity measurements. Westerbork is also one of the longest serving stations in the International GNSS Network (IGS) and is maintained by TU Delft.
  • The Dutch Permanent GNSS Array (DPGA) is a network of continuously operating receivers from different organizations, including TU Delft and a data centre for the retrieval, dissemination and archiving of the data. It acts as a local data centre for the International GNSS Service, EUREF Permanent GNSS Network (EPN) and European Plate Observatory (EPOS). The DPGA also archives data from commercial RTK network for science and education. See also
  • The TU Delft Geodetic Observatory currently contains 34 integrated geodetic reference stations (IGRS), enabling datum connection between GNSS, InSAR, leveling, photogrammetry, airborne laser scanning, tachymetry and gravity. It acts as a reference network to estimate surface motion due to gas production as well as organic soils. Moreover, active radar transponders are deployed in a fixed and floating setup.
  • Our share in the Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (CESAR). The world-class CESAR Observatory in Cabauw (PI: Prof. Russchenberg) is widely recognized as one of the most advanced sites for atmospheric studies. TU Delft owns and operates the high-resolution atmospheric radar systems IDRA and TARA. CESAR consists of a large set of instruments to study the atmosphere and its interaction with the land surface. It serves as a permanent bridge between the participating universities (TU Delft, WUR, TU/e) and research institutes (KNMI, RIVM, TNO, ESA, ECN). Many of the available atmospheric remote sensing instruments located at Cabauw offer unique possibilities for sensor synergy. We also operate, together with NGSI, an Integrated Geodetic Reference Station (IGRS) at Cabauw.
  • The OMI satellite instrument (PI: Prof. Levelt) and the TROPOMI instrument (PI: Veefkind) give detailed information on global trends in regional and global air quality and climate related issues.
  • The Rotterdam testbed, including a network of weather stations, high-resolution rainfall radar and in situ sensors, and remote sensing sensors for air quality is under development.
  • The KNMI Parameterization Test Bed. Results of a variety of numerical models, ranging from GPU-accelerated large-eddy simulations, limited area models and single-column model versions are compared continuously with in-situ data as obtained from the CESAR Observatory.


Additional measurement equipment

Measurement equipment is either permanently located at an observatory site for continuous monitoring or used for long-lasting campaigns (several months or years), or shorter campaigns (days to weeks). The equipment includes 7 Davis vantage pro weather stations, LaCoste Romberg and Scintrex CG-5 and CG-6 relative gravimeters, an FG-5 absolute gravimeter, L-, C- and X-band radars, a Flow32 Sap Flow system, 2 T4 Tensiometers, 15 soil moisture sensors, 1 Rohde & Schwarz Handheld VNA (1-8GHz), 10 radar reflectors, 8 radar transponders, 4 so-called IGRS receivers/reflectors, state-of-the-art GPS equipment including 14 geodetic grade GNSS receivers and 2 GPS RTK receivers, theodolites, total stations, 3 precise levelling instrument, and laser distance measurement devices. Terrestrial acquisition is also carried out using digital cameras and a Leica P40 3D Laser Scanner.

In 2021 it was decided to further extend the monitoring capacity by updating existing equipment, or by acquiring new equipment, like an UAV-LIDAR system. Full details on the equipment to be acquired for this extension were not yet available at the time of this writing.

Computer equipment with data storage facilities

The GRS laboratory possesses some powerful high-performance clusters (HPC), and additional specialised computer equipment with data storage facilities:

  1. HPC03: cluster consisting of 17 nodes, with in total 266 CPUs and 1383 Gb memory.
  2. HPC/INSY: cluster consisting of 52 nodes, with in total 3264 CPUs, 96 GPUs, and 20308 Gb memory.
  3. VRLab: low-latency grid-network for special GPU and visualization applications consisting of 8 nodes, 408 CPUs in total, 15940G Memory in total and 8 GPUs in total.

In 2022, the TU Delft wide DHPC will become available. It will be fast and flexible, with a peak performance of 2 petaflop/s, 20.000 CPU cores, over 400 compute nodes, 10 GPU nodes based on Nvidia Tesla V100 and 2 special nodes for interactive work, a high-speed Interconnect based on Mellanox InfiniBand and a 700TB high-speed parallel storage subsystem.

Dept. GRS staff is also using the Dutch national Sara super-computing facilities and Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF).

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