The research team uses the millimetre- and sub-millimetre range of the electromagnetic spectrum to observe various phenomena in the universe. The cosmic background radiation is also being investigated, as well as molecular clouds in the Milky Way and other galaxies. Further research is being conducted on stellar evolution, radio emission of stars and the radiation of circumstellar molecular envelopes (radiation of stellar accretion disks), the late stages of stellar evolution, as well as the galactic centre. The research team has led the construction of the sub-millimetre telescope APEX in Chile. APEX was officially inaugurated on September 26th 2005 and has entered the phase of regular science operation. Together with international partners, it is also involved in the planning and construction of ALMA, a giant instrument consisting of an array of 64 separate telescopes, which is also to be constructed in Chile.