The Leibniz-Institute for Solar Physics (formally known as the Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, KIS) is a German foundation of public law specialised in basic research in astronomy and astrophysics with particular emphasis on solar physics and related science. The institute was founded in 1943. The institute receives joint funding from the German state of Baden-Württemberg and the federal government. KIS is a member of the Leibniz Association and its base funding is complemented substantially by third party funding, exclusively from public sources. KIS is established as a legally independent foundation of public law since 2002. The responsible state and federal departments are the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts (MWK) of the State of Baden-Württemberg and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). KIS has about 90 staff members of which 50 are scientists including graduate students and undergraduate research assistant students. KIS offers lectures on astronomy and astrophysics at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg and trains young scientists.
The institute's core competence is experimental and theoretical high-resolution solar physics and helioseismology. It operates two major high resolution solar observing facilities and one synoptic telescope at the Observatorio del Teide in Tenerife: the 1.5 m telescope GREGOR (largest solar telescope in Europe), the 70cm VTT, and the full-disc automated telescope CHROTEL. GREGOR and VTT are equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and adaptive optics. KIS has leading expertise in multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) which is needed to correct extended field-of-views of the Sun from atmospheric turbulence effects. KIS builds image stabilization systems for the balloon-borne SUNRISE mission and the PHI telescope on-board the Solar Orbiter space mission. KIS currently builds the Visible Tunable Filter (VTF), a large-aperture (35cm) Fabry-PérotInterferometer-based imaging spectro-polarimeter for the 4m DKI Solar Telescope (Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii, start of operations in 2020). KIS, together with the IAC (Spain), is leading the coordinated effort of 17 European institutions for the realisation of the European Solar Telescope (EST), and leads the development of the Solar Physics Research Integrated Network Group (SPRING). Furthermore, state-of-the-art models and data analysis tools are developed for studying the physics of the solar interior.
Prof. Dr. Markus Roth
Leibniz-Institut für Sonnenphysik