Observatory for Climate and Environment

The combination of observational and modelled data provides a valuable input for scientific research projects, private engineering offices and is also indispensable for the monitoring and management of the environment by public stakeholders. A sustainable data management is of particular relevance for domains in which Luxembourg has legal obligations in a number of European directives, namely in the fields of hydrology, climatology, air quality and biodiversity.

The Observatory for Climate and Environment operates therefore operates a dense hydroclimatological measurement network in Luxembourg in close cooperation with public authorities (National Water Management Administration - AGE, and the Agricultural Technical Services Administration - ASTA). With our very high-resolution climate projections, in combination with observational data, we provide and develop a comprehensive data base to perform climate change impact studies in the fields of agriculture, biodiversity and human health. In the field of air quality the observatory conducts applied research and services targeting a better understanding of air pollution and thermal stress for public health. In addition, we provide a basis for town planning and traffic plans to set objectives for air pollution reduction. On behalf of the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure (MDDI), we operate and maintain a biodiversity-monitoring programme in Luxembourg, with an emphasis on species of European interest (Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC, Article 17). This includes preparations for the European reporting on species conservation status and the production of habitat suitability models.



  • Eddy covariance station to determine exchange fluxes of CO2 and water vapour
  • Meteorological stations measuring wind speed, wind direction, global radiation, temperature, precipitation, barometric pressure, soil moisture/temperature (Campbell Scientific Inc., Vaisala Weather Transmitter WXT510, 0.5-15min time resolution)
  • A suite of solar radiation sensors: SOLYS Sun Tracker, PMO6-CC absolute cavity radiometer, Pyrheliometer Type CH1, Kipp & Zonen Pyranometers Type CM1 => global-, diffuse- and direct solar radiation, EKO Spectroradiometer MS-700
  • Gauging stations: river stage (Differential pressure transducer ISCO 4120, 15 min time resolution), river discharge (e.g., acoustic Doppler SonTek RiverSurveyor S5, current meters OTT or ARIAS)
  • Piezometers: groundwater level (e.g., OTT Orpheus Mini Water Level Logger, 60 min time resolution)

Photovoltaic (PV) modules test installation

  • Outdoor test field for 21 PV modules
  • I-V curve tracing, range +- 100 [VDC], +- 12 [ADC], dynamic: 1[ms] to 500 [ms], load curve: arbitrary function (typically sinusoidal)
  • Characterisation according to irradiance (direct, diffuse, global), spectrum (350 [nm] - 1050 [nm]) and PV module temperature
  • Calibration of irradiance measuring devices with the PMO6-CC absolute cavity radiometer, direct traceable to the World radiometric reference

Air quality

  • Environmental measurement vehicle including analysers for nitrogen oxides, ozone (HORIBA, Ltd.) and particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5 and PM1, number of particles in 31 size classes from 0,25nm to 32.0 nm) and mobile automatic weather stations
  • Potable optical particle analyser (OPC) for fine dust measurements (GRIMM Aerosols laser spectrometer in accordance with EN12341, EN14907, US-EPA EQPM-0311-195)
  • High volume cascade impactor and low volume dust samplers (DERENDA) for different fractions from PM10 to PM0.1


  • Camera traps for pictures and video acquisitions, automatic sound recorders, butterfly nets, amphibian and crayfish traps 
  • Equipment for electric fishing, freshwater macroinvertebrate and diatom sampling

Expertise and possible applications

Key expertise Some possible applications

Management of long-term hydro-climatological measurement networks, evaluation and interpretation of surface-atmosphere exchange fluxes, monitoring of river discharge with high time resolution, provision of validated meteorological and hydrological data, statistics and maps, climate modelling, climate change impact studies

Electronic engineeringDevelopment of new sensors and measurement methods
Photovoltaic engineering

Power supply solutions for field stations and equipment at remote sites, testing and monitoring of photovoltaic panels under ambient conditions

Air quality management

Local and regional air quality measurements, modelling and mapping, development of concepts to improve air quality, dispersion modelling of air pollutants, incident analysis and accident prevention

Biodiversity management

Biodiversity monitoring, development of novel protocols for species monitoring, modelling of species distribution, diagnosis and design of conservation strategies



Dr Ivonne TREBS
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