PETRAS Vulcano 2024

Summer school on Planetology, Exploration, Terrestrial analogs, Robotics, Astrobiology, Spectroscopy

Vulcano, Aeolian islands, June 12th – June 20th

The PETRAS Vulcano School 2024 is a Summer School aimed at PhD students, but also open to master’s students and post-doctoral researchers. This is a result of a collaboration between DLR, Stockholm University, University of Perugia and Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg.
PETRAS Vulcano School 2024 is part of the Vulcano International Summer School initiative which has been ongoing since 2015 and has been funded over the years by Helmholtz Alliance Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments (ROBEX), Europlanet, ARCHES and iFOODis.

PETRAS Vulcano School is recognized by the PhD Board of the Earth System and Global Changes doctoral course of the University of Perugia which recognizes one ECTS credit for each day of attendance (full attendance: 9 ECTS credits).

PETRAS Vulcano School promotes a multidisciplinary approach, involving volcanologists, geophysicists, astrobiologists, electronic/mechanical engineers and computer scientists to provide a 360-degree vision of the different skills needed by the planetary sciences community. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to join a research group and collect useful data for your academic career.

For years, the school’s organizational team has presented the results of field research at various conferences, including school participants who actively contribute to data collection and analysis. The research and working groups will be approximately the following:


The course will take place over nine days (12-20 June). All activities will be carried out in English.

The first half (days 1-5) are compulsory to obtain a certificate of attendance. In days 1-5 morning field experiences will alternate with afternoon thematic seminars in various areas of planetary sciences.
The second half (days 4-9) is optional, participants will be able to seek collaborations with various research groups and possibly collect data for their research project/doctoral thesis. Excursions to Lipari and/or Stromboli will be organized in this second half.

Confirmed speakers and activities are reported below. The list will update continuously and a definitive list of speakers will be available soon.

List of practical activities:

Hiking outfits are necessary to join practical activities.

Volcanological excursion and deposit identification on the field.
A. Pisello, M. Porreca, M. Occhipinti (UniPG), Klaus Gwinner (DLR-PF).

Field measurement campaign for terrestrial and airborne photogrammetry.
P.Irmisch (DLR-OS), C.Riedel (Uni Potsdam), D.Dahlke (DLR-OS).

Others TBA…

List of speakers and seminars:

All seminars will be in person. The list is constantly updating.


M. Porreca (UniPg): Geological history of Vulcano island.

A. Pisello (UniPg): Compared planetology: volcanism in the solar system.


J. Maia (DLR-PF): Venus gravity-topography relations and their geophysical implications (title TBC).

F. W. Wagner (FZ Jülich): Planetary disks, rocky planet formation & evolution, super-Earths & mini-Neptunes (Title TBC).

M. Baquè (DLR – PF): Life in lava caves.

A. Cassaro (UniTuscia): Survival of microbes and fungi under extreme condition.

C. Riedel (Uni Potsdam): Geospatial Data Products from UAV Image Sequences & Their Application on Vulcano.

J. Dodiya (IU): Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality’s potential applications for Geospatial Data Analysis.

P. Irmisch (DLR-OS): Integrated localization and 3D reconstruction with IPS at Vulcano.

M. Occhipinti (UniPg): DInSAR mapping of ground displacement on volcanic areas.


J. Börner (TUBAF): Physical characterisation of rocks / Geophysical methods for geological exploration.

S. Zhang,  A. Dammann  (DLR-KN): Localization, timing and sensing with a robotic swarm.

T. Wiedemann, P. Hinsen (DLR-KN): Gas field modeling and source sensing.

P. Ludivig (ispace, Luxembourg): Planetary robotics, virtual reality, UAVs.


M. Baqué (DLR-PF): Raman spectroscopy for biosignature detection.


T. Bohnhardt (DLR_School_Lab): Education as an important part of public outreach in science.

Participation and costs

The cost will be around 400 euros, including course registration, accommodation at a Vulcano Blu residence (apartments for 4-8 people with kitchen and bathroom, in a structure with swimming pool and bar) and the possibility of data collection.
Admission is subject to limited availability (ca. 10 students) and will be assigned on a on a first come-first served basis.

To be enrolled, send an email to Dr. Alessandro Pisello ( with object:
We are currently collecting indications of interest, which will need to be confirmed in the month of March through a deposit. Details will be given by email to the ones expressing interest.

How to reach Vulcano island

The dates of Petras 2024 have been chosen to make it as accessible as possible. The two ways to reach Vulcano from the nearest international airports (Napoli Capodimonte and Catania Fontanarossa) are:
– From Naples: there is a ferry leaving from central harbor on the 11th at 20:00 arriving on Vulcano the next morning.
– From Catania: there are daily buses leaving from Catania airport to reach Milazzo harbor. From there, several fast boats are available to reach Vulcano.

Organizing Comittee

  • Dr. Frank Sohl DLR (
  • Prof. Wolf Geppert SU (wgeppert AT
  • Dr. Mickael Baque DLR (Mickael dot Baque AT
  • Dr. Jana Boerner TU- Freiberg (Jana dot Boerner AT
  • Dr. Alessandro Pisello UniPG (alessandro dot pisello AT
  • Prof. Janki Dodiya IU (janki DOT dodiya AT