52° North: a tangible timeline
If you travel far enough north, sooner or later, you will reach the polar circle. A sign sometimes announces your arrival, like in the Finnish city of Rovaniemi, but you’re probably not always aware of crossing such an imaginary line. Everyone has heard of other geodetic latitudes like the equator and the tropics, but did you know there is also one running straight across campus: the 52nd degree of latitude?
The Dutch vulcanoes
An active volcano? In the Netherlands? Volcanologist Elske de Zeeuw-van Dalfsen has been asked this question on more than one occasion. ‘Actually we have not one, but two active volcanoes,’ she says. However, they are not situated in the flat and obviously volcano-less little country by the North Sea but in the Caribbean.
Globally mapping air pollution
Satellites are the best available measuring instruments to detect man-made pollution worldwide. Atmospheric scientist Pieternel Levelt initiated OMI and TROPOMI, two of the most prestigious measuring instruments for the detailed mapping of harmful pollutants in the atmosphere. TROPOMI, the latest of the two, is capable of identifying and studying sources of pollution with even greater precision. The recently launched satellite will also be monitoring the main greenhouse gas emissions.
Searching for sugarcane
One of the activities taking place at the faculty of Civil Engineering’s department of Remote Sensing is earth observation, or the study of phenomena on earth using images from space. This can be done on large areas and in great detail at the same time. The technique is not just used for making GPS navigation maps and weather forecasts.
Navigating the motorways with pinpoint accuracy
Navigation systems which will guide cars and trucks along motorways and through busy city centres with the utmost precision are no longer the stuff of science fiction. GPS researchers Christiaan Tiberius and Peter de Bakker are testing innovative ways of improving the accuracy and availability of navigation systems. Their research may also bring the introduction of self-driving vehicles one step closer.
Weather alarm: chance of sudden death
Rain radar, weather apps, satellite images and code yellow (weather warning code in NL): we are all fascinated by the weather. Nevertheless, even the experts know less about it all than we think, particularly when it comes to the weather at night and in cold areas. Dr Bas van de Wiel wants to change that. He intends to use his ERC Consolidator Grant to give the underappreciated nights a bigger role in weather and climate models.