Aarhus Universitets segl

Planetology research and industrial testing in Mars environment

Planetary Environmental facilities

Low pressure wind tunnel facilities in Aarhus

These facilities are accessible to the scientific community for collaborative research and also to Industry, including space agencies (e.g. ESANASA). A broad range of research topics are supported including Planetology, Volcanology, Meteorology and the study of Aerosols. These activities are financially supported by several European networks (EU)

For more information regarding access to this facility, including funded access, please contact Jonathan Merrison or Jens Jacob Iversen.

European ESA (SciSpace) Ground Based Facilities

The AU Planetary Environment Facility is now one of only 21 European ESA (SciSpace) Ground Based Facilities, here is a link: Ground-Based Facilities (GBF) - SciSpacE (esa.int)

It is in now possible to apply for funding from ESA to access our facility for Space related projects (up to 50keuros) through the “Continuously Open Research Announcement Opportunity for GBF (ESA-CORA- GBF)”

Open Space Innovation Platform - OSIP - Channel: ‪SciSpacE CORA - Ground-Based Facility (GBF) (esa.int)

Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure

We are a member of EUROPLANET 2024 RI, an EU funded European planetology network. Here we are a Europlanet TA laboratory facility (trans-national access facility TA2) as well as offering field site access to Greenland (TA1). Europlanet 2024 RI has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149.


We are also a member of the European ROADMAP project: ROle and impAct of Dust and clouds in the Martian AtmosPhere: from lab to space. This is a multi-national, cross-disciplinary program focused on expanding our understanding the Martian environment through a combination of laboratory experiments, observations from space and modelling of dust and water transport through the planet’s atmosphere. The ROADMAP project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004052.

Europlanet society

Finally, we are also members of the EUROPLANET SOCIETY and coordinate the Northern Hub of Society which includes Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

We were previously members of EUROPLANET 2020 RI  and an EU funded volcanology network VERTIGO

New capabilities

Recently new capabilities in the AWTSII facility have been funded by Europlanet 2024 RI Joint Research Activities, these allow simulation of airless solar system bodies such as icy moons and associated cryo-volcanism or the lunar environment. Major components include additional pumping systems (Roots and Turbo pumps) for enhanced vacuum capabilities (see below left) and a new test section giving the possibility for increased access and possible extension of the wind tunnel to over 8m (see below right).