To this day, my fascination about the unique scientific and technological opportunities of submillimetre/
far-infrared astronomy remains unbroken. Consequently, my astronomical
research interests focus on the warm dense interstellar medium as
accessible via its submm/FIR emission (lines), with the objectives to
understand how the nuclei of galaxies (including the center of the
Milky Way) evolve, form stars, governed by which physical processes.
Currently, central research projects are:
In 2005 the 12-m APEX telescope,
a masterpiece of antenna engineering, opened new horizons. I consider myself
lucky to have had the opportunity to manage this outstanding project through the commissioning
phase into successful science verification. Operated with a suite of state-of-the-art instruments, most of them build
the APEX evolved to a world-leading submm facility that enables
research in basically all the atmospheric windows that are accessible
for a ground-based facility on an exceptional, high site like Llano de
Chajnantor. The unique sensitivities of these detectors do now allow
studies of the warm interstellar medium in nearby extragalactic nuclei
and the Galactic center that have not been possible before.
Pushing curiositiy even further, to supra-Terahertz frequencies, we are collaborating in today's most ambitious
far-infrared missions: Herschel and
SOFIA. For HIFI, the heterodyne instrument onboard of Herschel, my Division
has been responsible for the development of the Local Oscillator unit.
Utilizing the mission, I'm Principal Investigator of the HexGal GT key program that will investigate the
Physical and Chemical Conditions of the ISM in Galactic Nuclei. I lead the studies of SNR shocks as part of the
key program on The Dense and Warm Interstellar Medium.
For the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, operating a 2.5 m telescope in a
modified Boeing 747SP aircraft, we develop (as PI of a German consortium) GREAT
- a modular dual-channel heterodyne instrument for high-resolution
spectroscopy up to 4.7 THz. With GREAT uniquely important FIR spectral
lines, from atomic fine-structure transitions to fundamental rotational
transitions of hydride molecules (most importantly, the ground-state
transition of HD) will be studied velocity resolved - complementary to
the direct detection instruments flying on Herschel.
To learn more about any these exciting projects and the enabling technologies behind, simply follow the links
above, or check out the webpages of the Division for Submm Technologies.
Publications (re-directed to libraries maintained by ADS)