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Recent Book “Inverse Modeling” … Roland at the RIKEN (Intern. Symposium on Data Assimilation in Kobe, Japan) March 2017

Data Assimilation and Inverse Problems

Our Division for Data Assimilation (FE12) of the German Weather Service (DWD), a part of the German Ministery of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), is working on data assimilation for numerical weather prediction (NWP). Our main task is to provide

  • operational data assimilation for the global ICON NWP-model (13km resolution, 90 layers 75km height), run every 3 hours 24/7,
  • with its mesoscale two-way-nesting area over Europe (6.5km resolution) and the
  • high-resolution convection-permitting COSMO model over central Europe (2.8/2.2km resolution, 24km height) every hour 24/7.

This includes ensemble data assimilation for the ensemble prediction systems ICON-EPS (40/20km resolution) as well as COSMO-DE-EPS (2.8/2.2km resolution) and a mean (best) state estimator for the deterministic runs (13/6.5km and 2.8/2.2km). A core goal is to replace COSMO by the ICON-LAM model with 2/1km resolution over central Europe operationally in about 2020/21. We run a hybrid ensemble-variational data assimilation scheme (EnVar) globally and a Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (4D-LETKF) for our reginal data assimilation.

Data Assimilation includes the use of a broad varity of both direct and remote sensing measurements from

  • Ground Stations and Ships (SYNOP),
  • Radio Sondes (TEMP) and dropsondes,
  • Buoys,
  • Air Planes (AMDAR, AIREP, ACAR, …),
  • Atmospheric Motion Vectors (AMV),
  • Scatterometers (SCAT),
  • Infrared Sounders (IR),
  • Microwave Sounders (MW) and Microwave Radiometers (MWR),
  • LIDAR including Clound Bottom Height (CBH), Cloud Top Height (CTH), Backscatter Profiles, Line-of-Sight Winds (AEOLUS), Ceilometers,
  • RADAR including RADAR Radial Winds, RADAR Reflectivity and RADAR Dual Polarization,
  • GPS/GNSS including Radio Occultations (RO), Zenith Total Delay (ZTD), Slant Total Delay (STD),
  • Cameras,
  • Cars.

Geostationary satellites and polar orbiting satellites are used operationally, while a lot of research is going into the better use of hyperspectral observations (many thousand frequencies per observed atmospheric column) in particular over land and in cloudy situations. The observation and reconstruction of snow, ice, sea surface temperature, land surface temperature, coverage, emissivity and soil moisture is a very active area of research. Also, the observation and data assimilation of clouds and convective processes with high-impact phenomena such as thunderstorms, heavy rain and wind gusts with lead times from minutes to days is a special focus of our research.

The research of our group at the University of Reading, UK, is concerned with inverse problems and data assimilation in three areas:

  • numerical weather prediction (NWP),
  • cognitive neuroscience / neural field theory (NFT),
  • inverse scattering problems / remote sensing.

These are extremely exciting areas scientifically and very important for society, for example for air traffic control, severe weather warnings and national energy supply, in medicine by medical imaging and for many industrial and environmental questions.

Workshop and Seminar News


  • Nov 21-23, 2018, Offenbach, Germany: IAFE Innovation in Applied Research Conference at DWD
  • Oct 8-13, 2018, Berlin: Hans-Ertel Zentrum (HErZ) Conference 2018
  • Sept 10-13, 2018 Reading, UK: ECMWF Data Assimilation Seminar, Talk on Invitation Web
  • Sept 3-7, 2018, St. Petersburg, Russia: COSMO General Meeting
    [Reduced Participation due to No-Government in Germany currently]
  • June 2018: Visit and Seminar Talk of Prof. Matthias Morzfeld, Arizona, at DWD and our group
  • May 14-20, 2018, Visit and Seminar Talk of Prof. Gen Nakamura, Sapporo, Japan, at DWD and our group
  • May 7-9, 2018, London, UK: Workshop on Particle Filter Methods at Imperial College, Invited Talk
  • April 27-28, 2018, Nanjing, China: NUIST Conference on Meteorology and Weather Prediction, Co-Chair
  • April 18-25, 2018, Shanghai, China: Invited Research Visit at Fudan University
  • Feb 26-28, 2018, DWD, Germany: COSMO User Seminar ICCARUS Web
  • Feb 9, 2018, Kobe Japan: RIKEN Data Assimilation Seminar Talk Web
  • Feb 7-8, 2018, Kobe, Japan: 8th AICS International Symposium, Keynote Talk Web


  • Dec 11, 2017: Visit of Dr. Frank Beyrich and Team, Lindenberg Observatory, at out Group
  • Dec 6-8, 2017: University of Reading Intensive Working Days with Otkin, van Leeuwen, Crisan, Lawless etc.
  • Dec 4, 2017: Visit and Seminar Talk of Prof. Colin Cotter, Imperial College, at DWD and our group
  • Nov 29-Dec 5, 2017, Darmstadt, Germany: 21st International TOVS Study Conference ITSC-XXI Web PDF
  • Nov 27, 2017: Visit and Seminar Talk of Dr. Wei Han, CMA China, at DWD and our group
  • Nov 15-16, 2017, Karlsruhe, Ger: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) international review - DWD is associated partner for the ATMO programm on atmospherical sciences.
  • Nov 7-10, 2017, Kobe, Japan: External Reviewer of RIKEN Data Assimilation Unit Web
  • Nov 2-3, 2017: Visit and Seminar Talk of Prof. Dan Crisan, Imperial College, at DWD and our group

Due to the possible eruption of the volcano on Bali, the WMO meeting has been moved to Geneva:

  • Oct 23-24, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland: WMO Commission of Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) Meeting Web CAS Docs
  • Oct 20-22, 2017, Geneva, Switzerland: WMO Science Summit Web PDF Copy
  • Sept 25, 2017: Visit and Seminar Talk of Dr. Lars Nerger, AWI Bremen, at DWD and our group
  • Sept 11-14, 2017, Jerusalem: COSMO (Consortium for Small Scale Modeling) General Meeting Cosmo Calender PDF Copy


  • May 31-Jun 2, 2017, Jeju Island, Korea. “International Workshop on Real Time NWP Forecast System” with a strong Data Assimilation component, Invited Speaker
  • May 30-June 2, 2017, Colorado, USA: International Conference on Mathematical Neuroscience 2017 Web (Programme Committee)
  • May 23, 2017: Seminar Talk at the University of Karlsruhe, Ensemble Data Assimilation and Numerical Weather Prediction
  • April 19, 2017: Seminar Talk at Eumetsat, Darmstadt, about Satellite Data and Numerical Weather Prediction
  • March 28-30, 2017, Offenbach, Germany: HErZ General Meeting (Hans Ertel Center for Weather Research) General Structure PDF Open Talks, Mentor for the data assimilation branch
  • March 27-29, 2017, Berlin, International conference on “Scaling Cascades in Complex Systems” by the Collaborative Research Center 1114, Minisymposium on “balanced data assimilation”

For more news see IP News and IP Events!
Previous News can be found at News RP 2016.


My group consists of about 33 researchers on data assimilation and inverse problems in Frankfurt/Offenbach and Reading (UK) with further PhD studentships in partnerships, see group.

Jan 2017: Meetings DWD Data Assimilation Group with our partners from the HErZ Center on Data Assimilation from LMU Munich.

My Christian Blog

Thinking about faith and life has always been a passion for me. I have become a Christian and have started to explore the world as someone who follows Jesus - that has turned out to be quite an adventure and highly exciting. In my daily blog I explore thoughts and arguments about faith, and monitor how faith works on a daily basis: Jesus Network


springer_book_neuro.jpg potthast_book.jpg

Recent publications can be found on publications. A book Inverse Modeling by Nakamura and Potthast with an introduction into data assimilation and inverse problems has recently appeared at IOP.

Working in an operational center, our focus is to develop state-of-the-art inversion methods which can be run in a reliable way on a supercomputer in near real-time. It includes codes on scattering of waves, propagation of light and radiation, tomography, large-scale optimization and uncertainty quanitfication, ensemble and particle methods.

(Our supercomputers at Deutscher Wetterdienst are no 99 and no 130 on the TOP-500 Supercomputer List Web)

However, the development of insight into the scientific problems we need to solve is an indispensible ingredient of our daily work. Part of this insight is based on mathematical analysis and the testing of computational methods for purpuse-built small-scale demonstration systems.

COST Action 1303 “TOPROF” Website;

Editorial Board


Prof. Dr. Roland Potthast
Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)
Frankfurter Strasse 135
63067 Offenbach, Germany

Professor for Applied Mathematics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics,
Whiteknights, PO Box 220,
Reading RG6 6AX, UK

Web Statistics, for last 30 days on my webpages (8.2.2018)

Visitors Visits Page Views
Sum ~ 20.000 ~ 21.000 ~ 78.000

including, and

start.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/11 13:12 by potthast