Helmholtz Association launches MOSES Earth observation system



Over the next five years, the Helmholtz Association – Germany’s largest scientific organisation – is to implement a flexible new Earth observation system known as MOSES (Modular Observation Solutions for Earth Systems).

MOSES is designed to measure short-term events such as heatwaves and heavy rainfall and track their long-term and large-scale impacts on Earth and environmental systems. The project uses an integrated approach, gathering data across different Earth compartments – atmosphere, land, coast, ocean and cryosphere.

Initially, MOSES will allow researchers to study four types of event: heatwaves, hydrologic extremes, ocean eddies and permafrost thaw, using ‘modules’ made up of different sensor and observing systems. The observation campaigns require highly mobile observing systems to spot and track these short-term dynamic events. The modules rely on a wide range of platforms, from terrestrial and ocean observatories to autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and drones.

Researchers hope that the data provided by MOSES will allow them to predict the environmental and socioeconomic consequences of these events with greater certainty.

Following test campaigns, MOSES is scheduled to go into regular operation in 2022. It will be coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig.

For detailed information about MOSES, visit the GEOMAR website.

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