TNA6: Access to JFJ
WP Leader: Urs Baltensperger


Name of the infrastructure: High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch (JFJ)
Location (town, country): Jungfraujoch, Switzerland
Web site address:
Legal name of organisation operating the infrastructure: International Foundation High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch & Gornergrat HFSJG
Location of organisation (town, country): Bern, Switzerland
Annual operating costs (excl. investment costs) of the infrastructure (€): 872.960

Description of the infrastructure:
The high alpine research station Jungfraujoch is situated at 3500 m asl in the Swiss Alps on a saddle between the two mountains Jungfrau (4158m) and Mönch (4099m). The site—consisting of the so-called ‘Research Station’ and the ‘Sphinx Observatory’ —is located in the center of Europe and is surrounded by highly industrialized regions. This special geographical situation offers the opportunity to monitor background concentrations but also to investigate the transport of anthropogenic pollutants from the boundary layer to the free troposphere.

The Research Station includes four laboratories, a pavilion for cosmic ray research, a mechanical workshop, a library, a kitchen, a living room, ten bedrooms, a bathroom, and the living quarters of the custodians. Major equipment includes a machine to produce liquid nitrogen. Since the founding of the research station, its infrastructure has been continually adapted to the needs of the users (electricity, water, telephone, chemistry and medical laboratories, liquid nitrogen as coolant, fax, high-speed internet). The scientific part of the Sphinx observatory at an elevation of 3580 m a.s.l. includes two large laboratories, a weather observation station, a workshop, two terraces for scientific experiments, and an astronomical as well as a meteorological coupola.

Two custodian couples are present at the research station in alternating shifts all the time. They maintain the infrastructure, operate the guestrooms, and act as the hosts of the researchers. The custodians are also responsible for the daily weather reports to MeteoSwiss (the official Swiss meteorological agency) as well as for the constant supervision of a number of automatic scientific experiments.

The Jungfraujoch is the highest research station in Europe that is accessible all year round by rail, and it is the only accessible observation point in Europe with adequate infrastructure that is within the free troposphere most of the year. The Research Station Jungfraujoch is therefore of utmost importance for ground-based observations of the free troposphere. The research on trace gases (i.e. greenhouse gases, reactive air pollutants) and the aerosol program at the Jungfraujoch are among the most comprehensive ones worldwide.

Description of work

Modality of access under this project:
Proposals will be requested to be first sent to the International Foundation High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat HFSJG in Bern in order to check compliance with the usual administrative aspects.
Scientific feasibility of the project will also be verified by the access provider as well as the project partners from Switzerland (PSI and EMPA) before the applicant is invited to submit the proposal to the ACTRIS User Selection Panel (see below). The TNA report of selected users will be included in the Foundation’s annual activity reports.

Support offered under this project:
Scientific and technical support to users is provided through collaboration with existing research and monitoring activities at the site as well as specifically with PSI and EMPA. The Foundation HFSJG provides administrative support (e.g. on customs), information about work at the Jungfraujoch, and assistance with travel to the site from within Switzerland. Local support includes assistance by the custodians, access to the infrastructure of the Research Stations (sampling systems, accommodation for overnight stays, electricity, water, connection to internet, etc). Users will profit from the extraordinary broad range of expertise and the strong network established through the Foundation HFSJG among researchers active in existing projects/programmes. A broad range of auxiliary data (e.g. meteorological data) will be made available for interpretation of the data. Evenings and nights spent at the Research Station with fellow researchers provide ample opportunity for networking and exchange of ideas.

Outreach of new users:
The Foundation HFSJG has established a web-site ( to provide online information about the facilities. In addition, the Jungfraujoch is included in the online GAW Station Information System (GAWSIS; operated by EMPA, which provides detailed information on the stations that belong to the GAW network. On-line data are available for a suite of aerosol parameters at On-line data for
some trace gases monitored by the Swiss National Air Pollution Network (NABEL) are available at The information displayed on these web-pages will be expanded to advertise the TNA access opportunities and to provide potential new users with timely, comprehensive information on the facilities available and current research activities.

Review procedure under this project:
The selection of users will be performed by a single TNA selection panel and is described under the general ACTRIS procedure in section 2.1.6.

Unit of Access:
One unit of access corresponds to 1 full research person-working day (rwd) by a user accessing the
infrastructure (the minimum acceptable access is half a day). The access includes the use of the general infrastructure, on-site logistic support by the infrastructure staff, as well as technical and scientific support related to the use of the facility and data analysis. A confirmation of visit indicating the total quantity of access per user, countersigned by the access provider, is provided after each access.

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