Each year, I am teaching around 60-80 students some meteorological basics. The courses include a wrap-up of first year physics, and builds upon this knowledge to introduce some applied notions of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics (see course description here).
The main aim of the course is to enable students to understand, categorize and maybe even generate own weather forecasts, with a special focus on the most important hazardous weather phenomena both for commerical and general aviation.
Thanks to the very fruitful collaboration with MeteoSwiss, interested students have always been able to join a guided tour through the MeteoSwiss Headquarters at the airport of Zurich.
The tour mostly begins with a short welcome note on the observation deck, before boarding a passenger bus leading to the threashold of runway 16. There, the tour guide shows and explains the different meteorological instruments partly used for the meteorological report (METAR). The group is then lead to the meteorological observation platform. There, the duty of an “aeronautical meteorological observer” (see here for a definition) is introduced to the students.
Finally, the forecasting front office is shown, were one of the two on-duty forecasters answer the – mostly numerous – questions of the students.
Once again, it was a very interesting guided tour, and all our students were extremely happy to have been able to take part.
Many thanks to Peter Meyer, Martin Dätwyler, Thomas Jordi, Andreas Asch and the remaining team of MeteoSwiss to make this yearly tour possible!
We are a team of highly motivated atmospheric and environmental scientists. We are especially curious about aircraft engine emissions and how they impact local air quality. In addition, we look for new ways to improve the awareness of aviation professionals towards meteorological effects on aviation, environmental protection, and global climate change.
mainly three goals:
First, we aim to generate new scientific knowledge, e.g. about the toxicity and the environmental burden of aircraft engine emissions. We are convinced that passenger aircraft will rely on gas turbine engines throughout the next decades. Therefore with our measurement data, we analyze different possible elements impacting emission characteristics, such as environmental factors, fuel composition, engine technology and engine age. Aircraft emissions and their impact on regional air quality within the boundary layer and on the ground are still poorly understood despite many years of work. Thus, through modeling studies, we aim to visualize and quantify aviation effect on the chemical composition of the air.
Second, meteorological factors regularly impact air transport frequently leading to delays, often to incidents, and sometimes to accidents. Our vision is to improve the awareness of aviation staff towards weather-related factors by focusing on easy-to-understand teaching methods, and simulation and visualization of meteorological processes. As well, we support knowledge transfer within the meteorological community as much as possible.
Finally, we act as consultants whenever know-how generation about environmental protection or climate change is required. This includes, among others, modelling studies or redaction support.
We are driven by the urgent need to address global climate change and environmental protection by paradigm shifts within all branches of mobility.
It’s happening – METENVIA, the research unit “Meteorology, Environment and Aviation” of the Centre for Aviation from ZHAW just came alive!
In the forthcoming weeks and months, we will tackle mostly aviation-related ongoing environmental and meteorological challenges. Yet, our competencies don’t stop there; we will contribute to other projects fitting to our mission statement. Stay tuned to get to know more about the latter!