Postdoc in Blue corona discharges at the top of thunderclouds

Updated: 24 days ago

ASIM is a suite of instruments on the International Space Station that measures optical, UV and gamma-radiation from thunderstorms with unprecedented precision. ASIM discovered profuse activity of blue corona discharges at the cloud tops. They occur independently of other activity and in conjunction with lightning. The project will explore the relationship of the activity observed by ASIM with known manifestations of lightning, measured by ground-based lightning detection systems, and with the meteorological context derived from other data sources. Perturbations to greenhouse gas concentrations by the discharges will be assessed in collaboration with a PhD student and with senior collaborators in the project.

ASIM is anchored at DTU Space, which host the main hub of the ASIM Science Data Center. Collaborators in the project are at research institutions and universities in Denmark, Europe, Australia, China and the USA. The project is related to a new experiment for the Space Station under consideration called TOTEM (Top of Thunderstorms Experimental Module) and with an experiment THOR-2 proposed as an activity of Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen, should he be selected for another flight to the ISS.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will conduct analysis of data from ASIM and various other sources and use models to interpret the data. For instance, optical and UV photons scatter in clouds. You will use existing codes to estimate the depth of the sources in the clouds and their blue/red ratios (337 nm / 777.4 nm). You will identify the likely lightning processes associated with the different types of blue emissions and relate these to the cloud properties (updraft, altitude), and generalize conclusions for test of machine learning algorithms developed by a PhD student. With collaborators you will estimate the effects of corona discharges on the atmosphere. You should be prepared to visit collaborators in the USA and to participate in international meetings.

We are searching for a candidate that is familiar with thunderstorm research and has experience with data from meteorological satellites and ground-based lightning detection systems. The candidate must have demonstrated proficiency in data analysis and of handling diverse datasets. A background in electric discharge physics and meteorology is preferred.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent).

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
May be obtained from Dr. Torsten Neubert, DTU Space;

You can read more about the department at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark .

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 31 August 2021 (Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications
  • Reference letters

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department has a broad portfolio in space research, earth observation, technology and numerical methods. The project is in the section of Astronomy and Atmospheric Research. The group of Earth’s upper Atmosphere has conducted experiments from ground and space on Red Sprites, Blue Jets and Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes for 20 years, and has developed numerical codes to model these phenomena.

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DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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