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Ozone layer tested at KTH with new telescope

Published Oct 29, 2007

A new telescope, utilising laser technology, will be installed at KTH for studying the thickness of the ozone layer. This technology may also come in handy when the contents of various air impurities and pollutants are determined. On Wednesday 31 October the telescope will be installed inside the cupola at AlbaNova University Center.

The new telescope will facilitate measurements of the particle content in local air masses, as well as the thickness of the ozone layer above Stockholm. This is made possible thanks to the telescope collecting the return rays spread out from laser pulses, which is referred to as LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging).

– In Madrid this technology is employed to study the local ozone and carbon dioxide levels, explains Lars-Erik Berg, Professor at the KTH Div. of Chemical Technology. That gave me the idea to do the same thing here in Stockholm. Now we´ll be able to check the condition of ozone and CO2 above Hagaparken and Roslagsvägen near AlbaNova, including many other kinds of molecules, too.

The same principle is used to determine the thickness of the ozone layer. The scientists study the reflected light from laser pulses that are emitted straight up into the atmosphere, to 20 – 30 km height, which is where the ozone is. After this light has been collected by the telescope it is analysed in a spectrometer, which separates it into its different wavelengths. This could then reveal what kind of material composition a star has, or another substance, and the properties of it.
The apparatus is 2.5 m high, with a lens of 1.1 m diameter. This may be turned vertically or horizontally; it will also be employed for astronomical purposes and demonstrations. Including the necessary detecting equipment, this installation has cost SEK 5 million. Funding fro this project has been appropriated by the Wallenberg Foundation.

Magnus Myrén

Belongs to: About KTH
Last changed: Oct 29, 2007