Stockholm university

Research group Middle and Upper Atmosphere

Middle atmosphere research at MISU focuses on altitudes between about 10 and 130 km. We use satellites, sounding rockets and ground-based instruments to explore this fascinating part of our planet. As a current highlight, we launched Sweden’s new research satellite in November 2022: MATS.

The MATS satellite. Photo: Linda Megner/Stockholm University
The MATS satellite. Photo: Linda Megner/Stockholm University

The Earth's mesosphere and lower thermosphere (altitudes 50-130 km) can be regarded as a transition region between our familiar atmospheric environment and outer space. It is strongly affected both by atmospheric motion below and by energetic solar influences from above. The lowest part of the Middle atmosphere, the Stratosphere, is perhaps mostly known for its ozone layer. However, Statospheric circulation patterns can also impact our weather and for instance give us long-lasting cold-spells in connection to so-called Stratospheric warming.

Our research focuses on these interactions, and scientific questions range from cloud microphysics to global circulation patterns. A starting point is the observation of phenomena like noctilucent clouds (the highest clouds on Earth) or airglow (light emitted by the atmosphere). Central for our research programme are optical techniques in remote sensing and local measurements.

Since its launch in 2001, the Swedish Odin satellite has provided us with a wealth of data on middle atmosphere composition and dynamics. In November 2022, we launched MATS as the next Swedish satellite mission, with the goal of better understanding the role of atmospheric waves in connecting different parts of the climate system. As for local measurements, Esrange Space Center is a focal point for our research using sounding rockets, lidar and spectroscopic techniques.

Group description

Our research in this field has been going on since 1955.


Apart from the current group members (listed below under the next heading), the following scientists participated previously in the ongoing research while working at MISU as:


Georg Witt, Donal Murtagh


Susanne Benze, Bodil Karlsson, Misha Khaplanov, Farahnaz Khosrawi, Tomas Waldemarsson

PhD students

Peggy Achtert, Lina Broman, Koen Hendrickx, Kristoffer Hultgren, Maartje Kuilman, Stefan Lossow, Marin Stanev

Group members

Group managers

Jörg Gumbel

Professor of Atmospheric physics

Department of Meteorology
Jörg Gumbel, MISU

Linda Megner

Researcher, docent

Department of Meteorology


Abdelwaheb Ben Ahmed Hannachi

Associate professor

Department of Meteorology
Abdel Hannachi, MISU

Björn Linder

PhD student

Department of Meteorology

Jacek Stegman


Department of Meteorology
Jacek Stegman, MISU

Joachim Dillner

Research engineer

Department of Meteorology

Jonas Hedin


Department of Meteorology
Jonas Hedin

Jonas Nycander

Professor of Physical oceanography

Department of Meteorology
portrait of Jonas Nycander

Julia Hetmanek


Department of Meteorology

Ole Martin Christensen

Researcher Consultant

Department of Meteorology

Research projects