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Jülich (JOYCE)

The Jülich Observatory for Cloud Evolution (JOYCE) operates ground-based active and passive remote sensing instruments for cloud and precipitation observations. JOYCE is based on a long-term successful collaboration between the University of Cologne, the University of Bonn and the Research Centre Jülich. The aim of JOYCE is performing high quality radar and passive microwave observations of the atmosphere and serve as a reference center for best practices in data acquisition, storage and distribution.

The main focus of the JOYCE instrumentation is the observation of clouds and precipitation processes. To this end, various instruments are currently set up at and around the Research Centre Jülich and the majority of the instruments is positioned on the roof of the Institut für Energie und Klimaforschung (IEK-8) at Forschungszentrum Jülich (50°54'30.77'' N, 6°24'48.73" E, 111 m MSL). Instruments present at JOYCE:

The JOYCE sitecontinuously monitors aerosols, radiation, thermodynamical structure, water vapor, clouds, precipitation, and radiation over many years (since 2009). The high resolution observations are used for increasing our understanding of the physical processes taking place in clouds and the interaction of clouds with the environment and to evaluate the representation of these processes in numerical models of varying complexity and scales. In addition, the JOYCE long term observations are used to detect long term trends in cloudiness and associated parameters.

Due to it’s continuous observations, the JOYCE supersite embedded and involved into national and international measurement networks and research projects. One of the projects is FMR4Radar.  FMR4Radar aims to set up a miniature network of 94-GHz radars over Europe to produce Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM). Such FRMs are “are a suite of independent, fully characterized, and traceable ground measurements that follow the guidelines outlined by the GEO/CEOS Quality Assurance framework for Earth Observation (QA4EO)”. So FRMs will be an independent validation and characterization of satellite measurement uncertainty, over the entire end-to-end duration of a satellite mission.

Other projects the JOYCE site is already involved are

  • DFG Sonderforschungsbereich Transregio32 - The overall goal of Tansregio32 is an improved understanding of the interactions between soil, vegetation, and atmosphere through spatially and temporally highly resolved measurements and through modelling of the crucial processes (nationally). 
  • Nationally, JOYCE is a registered DFG Research Infrastructure and has recently been funded as a DFG Core Facility ("Gerätezentrum") in order to professionally manage user access to JOYCE instruments, observation data and scientific expertise (nationally).
  • JOYCE is a Cloudnet observatory embedded within the European Horizon2020 Research Infrastructure ACTRIS-2. In March 2016 the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) officially adopted ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research Infrastructure) on its updated research infrastructure roadmap (internationally).