Juliane Brink

Institute for Geoinformatics
University of Muenster
Heisenbergstraße 2
D-48149 Muenster, Germany
Fax: +49251833976
Tel: +492518331961
Email: juliane.brink at uni-muenster.de

IRTG Research Initiative: Semantics in Analysis and Reasoning
Research Title: Adaptive mobile sensing strategies for monitoring dynamic environmental phenomena
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Edzer Pebesma
Semester at University at Buffalo: August 2011 – December 2011, with Prof. Dr. Chris Renschler
Time frame: April 2010 – March 2014

Research topic
The volcanic ash plumes over Europe created by the eruptions of the Eyjafjallajkull in Iceland 2010 and the underwater oil plumes caused by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico are two recent examples of dynamic environmental phenomena that are challenging to measure and delineate. Three-dimensional ash and oil concentrations are highly dynamic, invisible phenomena, and there is little sensing infrastructure available in place. The same applies to the dispersion of gas or particles in the air after some emission in an accident. In particularly in those cases where the affected area is not accessible by humans, the obvious solution is to send one or more unmanned mobile vehicles equipped with sensors to autonomously perform a surveillance task. Such a mobile sensor can follow a preprogrammed route to take measurements in a regular sampling grid. However, highly dynamic phenomena and time critical monitoring scenarios as for example in emergency response show the need for more effcient, adaptive movement strategies of sensors. This PhD research elaborates on mobile in-situ sensor movement strategies for use in environmental exploration and monitoring. The vision is an intelligent mobile sensor that autonomously plans and performs environmental observations by real-time processing of the measured data. The focus of this research is on the observation of atmospheric dispersion processes, as they occur for example in pollution incidents.

Research interests

  • Environmental modeling
  • Spatio-temporal modeling
  • Mobile sensors and sensor networks
  • Qualitative reasoning


Juliane Brink. Boundary tracking and estimation of pollutant plumes with a mobile sensor in a low-density static sensor network. Urban Climate. 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.uclim.2014.07.002

Juliane Brink and Edzer Pebesma. Plume Tracking with a Mobile Sensor Based on Incomplete and Imprecise Information. Transactions in GIS. 2013. doi: 10.1111/tgis.12063

Degbelo, A., Brink, J., Stasch, C., Chipofya, M., Gerkensmeyer, T., Humayun, M.I., Wang, J., Broelemann, K., Wang, D., Eppe, M. & Lee, J.H. eds. (2012). GI Zeitgeist 2012 – Proceedings of the young researchers forum on Geographic Information Science, AKA, Heidelberg, Germany.

Juliane Brink and Ragnar Warrlich. Sensor movement planning based on qualitative spatio-temporal reasoning. In Poster Session at Conference on Spatial Information Theory: COSIT’11. Belfast, Maine, USA, 2011.

Juliane Brink. Qualitative reasoning about moving objects from mobile sensor data. In proceedings of Workshop on Identifying Objects, Processes and Events in Spatio-Temporally Distributed Data (IOPE 2011), Conference on Spatial Information Theory: COSIT’11, Belfast, Maine, USA, 2011.

Juliane Brink and Timo Jansen. Mobile in-situ sensor platforms in environmental research and monitoring. In Angela Schwering, Edzer Pebesma, Kai Behnke. (Eds.) Geoinformatik 2011 – Geochange. ifgiprints, vol. 41, pp. 127–133. AKA Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, June 2011.

Juliane Brink. Qualitative spatio-temporal reasoning from mobile sensor data using qualitative trigonometry. In Stan Geertmann, Wolfgang Reinhardt, Fred Toppen (Eds.) Advancing Geoinformation for a Changing World. Pp. 211-225, Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, Springer, 2011.

Juliane Exeler. Mobile sensor trajectory planning in environmental observations. GIScience 2010 Doctoral Colloquium, 14-17 September 2010, Zurich, Switzerland.

Diploma thesis

Juliane Exeler. A topological approach for well log interpretation in the exploration of the Athabasca Oil Sands. Unpublished Diploma thesis. University of Münster, August 2009.