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Hermann Lühr

Hermann Lühr
Hermann Lühr

The 2011 Julius Bartels Medal is awarded to Hermann Lühr for his leadership roles in ground and space magnetometry in Europe, in particular as Principal Investigator of the magnetic field investigation of the CHAMP mission that has yielded much new information on a wide range of terrestrial magnetic phenomena.

Hermann Lühr has played a major leadership role over a career spanning ~30 years to date in terrestrial ground and space magnetometry in Europe, culminating in his role since 1996 as Principal Investigator of the magnetic field investigation of the German ‘Challenging Mini-satellite Payload’ (CHAMP) space mission, of which he has also been Project Director since 2008. The CHAMP mission, launched successfully in July 2000 and still in progress today, has produced the definitive description of the Earth’s magnetic field and its variations over the past decade using highly capable scalar and vector field instrumentation on the spacecraft, for which Hermann Lühr was responsible. Particular project achievements have been the first truly global observations relating to geomagnetic impulses resulting from outer core dynamo dynamics, and the global determination of crustal magnetisation variations to degree and order 120, corresponding to ~300 km wavelengths, such that the resolution gap between space and (localised) ground-based measurements has now started to close. In addition, Hermann Lühr’s research with CHAMP data has also produced a wealth of new results on magnetic phenomena associated with upper atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere processes, including ionospheric irregularities, the equatorial electrojet and the Appleton anomaly, together with field-aligned currents associated with magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling at higher latitudes. His leadership role in CHAMP followed earlier major involvements as Principal Investigator of the magnetic field investigation of the AMPTE-IRM space mission and the IMAGE ground-based magnetometer array in northern Europe, as well as Co-Investigator roles in Freja, Equator-S, Cluster, and Ørsted. These projects also produced a huge range of experimental results of fundamental significance to magnetosphere-ionosphere dynamics concerning, for example, the magnetic signatures of artificial plasma releases in the solar wind, flux transfer events at the magnetopause, bursty bulk flows in the geomagnetic tail, substorm current systems and travelling convection vortices. The range and volume of Lühr’s achievements to date may also be judged from his total of ~250 publications in the international refereed literature and his still-steadily rising citation rate, which reached 500 citations per year in 2009. The award of the EGU Julius Bartels Medal to Hermann Lühr is particularly appropriate given that his contributions have been in a field so closely allied to the scientific interests of Julius Bartels himself.