The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is a major scientific partner in the Mountain Wave Project (MWP) and provided a special version of its Modular Airborne Camera System (MACS) for MWPs Himalaya expedition in 2013/2014.




+++ 12.09.2014: Omega Tau Podcast online +++ 12.07.2014: New expedition video on youtube +++ 09.04.2014: MACS-Himalaya at ILA Berlin Air Show 2014 - Hall 4, Stand 4301 +++ 29.01.2014: Successfull completion of expedition in Nepal +++ 28.01.2014: Scan flights over Mount Everest, Khumbu Glacier and Khumbu Valley +++ 23.01.2014: First flight of scientific aircraft over Kali Ghandaki valley +++ 22.01.2014: Arrival of scientific equipment in Pokhara +++


You'll find current impressions from Nepal in our Aeronautics Blog.




Besides the airborne camera system the DLR will also contribute their expertise of image processing to derive various 3D data products. The results will be used for glacier monitoring and surface modeling of topographically challenging terrain around Annapurna and Mt. Everest.

Figure 1    Scientific Aircraft with MACS-Himalaya Wing Pod (Image: Lothar Schwark)

Following scientific applications are addressed using MACS-Himalaya in the Nepal campaign 2013/2014:

  • Determination of probability indicators for landslides in previously affected areas (i.e. Seti River basin).
  • Derivation of a 3D model of the rescue route between Lukla and Mount Everest based on high quality image data.
  • Support of ICIMOD’s existing Mountain GeoPortal – an Earthquake Emergency Management and Response System for Kathmandu Valley.
  • Ice cover analysis and hydrologic modeling for glaciated areas and adjacent valleys.

Digital Elevation Models and True Ortho Mosaics with exceptional resolution and highest accuracy even in deep valleys will be derived after the flight campaign using DLR developed image processing technologies. These products are required for region-specific disaster management, disaster prevention and disaster risk assessment.

Figure 2    MACS-Himalaya airborne camera system

The fully automated camera system is integrated into an wing pod of a Stemme S10 VTX motor glider. While made for altitudes of 20km (approx. 65.000ft) during the Nepal campaign flight altitudes of up to 10km are expected. Operating several cameras simultaneously, an overall aperture angle of approx. 120deg is gained providing high resolution imagery of slopes.




29.01.2014: Successfull completion of expedition in Nepal



28.01.2014: Scan flights over Mount Everest, Khumbu Glacier and Khumbu Valley


23.01.2014 - First flight of scientific aircraft over Kali Ghandaki valley

 MACS-Himalaya Video DE


05.11.2013 - Shipping of scientific equipment from Berlin to Nepal


29.10.2013 - Launch of scientific aircraft from Strausberg to Nepal


21.08.2013 - Final test flight in the Alps


09.07.2013 - Test fligts in the Greater Aachen area


25.03.2013 - Maiden flight of airborne camera system in Strausberg


In collaboration with



Dipl. Ing. Jörg Brauchle
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
, Sensor Concepts and Applications
Tel: +49 30 67055-274

Fax: +49 30 67055-385

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