DLR research aircraft HALO

Centre stage
Centre stage
Image 1/20, Image: DLR/A. Minikin

Centre stage

The new HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) research aircraft heralds a new chapter in the history of German atmospheric research and Earth observation. HALO is based on a Gulfstream G 550 ultra-long range business jet. The combination of range, cruising altitude, payload and comprehensive instrumentation make the aircraft a globally unique research platform.

Research aircraft HALO
Research aircraft HALO
Image 2/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

Research aircraft HALO

The HALO high-altitude research aircraft (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) is based at the DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen. HALO can be seen here during a flight over the the Alps.

HALO research aircraft
HALO research aircraft
Image 3/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

HALO research aircraft

The HALO (High Altitude and LOng Range) research aircraft is based on the ultra-long-range G 550 business jet produced by Gulfstream Aerospace. With a range of more than 8000 kilometres, measurements on the scale of continents are possible; the research aircraft can reach all regions, from the poles to the tropics, and remote areas of the Pacific Ocean.

The HALO research aircraft
The HALO research aircraft
Image 4/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

The HALO research aircraft

The new High Altitude and LOng Range Research Aircraft (HALO) research aircraft heralds a new chapter in the history of German atmospheric research and Earth observation. HALO is based on a Gulfstream G 550 ultra long range business jet. The combination of range, cruising altitude, payload and comprehensive instrumentation make the aircraft a globally unique research platform.

HALO 'belly pod'
HALO 'belly pod'
Image 5/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

HALO 'belly pod'

The 'belly pod' under the fuselage can accommodate scientific instruments.

Flight with a belly pod
Flight with a belly pod
Image 6/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Flight with a belly pod

Additional containers for scientific instruments can be attached under the fuselage and under HALO’s wings.

HALO during its landing approach
HALO during its landing approach
Image 7/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

HALO during its landing approach

HALO has a range of over 8000 kilometres and can reach altitudes of more than 15 kilometres.

HALO in flight
HALO in flight in 2009
Image 8/20, Image: Aero-Art Frank Herzog.

HALO in flight in 2009

HALO is 31 metres long - 1.6 metres account for the nose probe. It has a height of 7.9 metres and a wingspan of 28.5 metres.

View from the cockpit of HALO over the Amazon region
View from the cockpit of HALO over the Amazon region
Image 9/20, Image: DLR/Andreas Marsing (CC-BY 3.0)

View from the cockpit of HALO over the Amazon region

The ACRIDICON measurement flights lasted about seven hours. Among other things, the analyses included how clouds in clean rainforest air differ from those found over polluted and deforested regions. The image shows the nose boom of the HALO (High Altitude and LOng Range) research aircraft as it approaches a disintegrating storm.

View from the HALO cockpit
View from the HALO cockpit
Image 10/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

View from the HALO cockpit

The HALO (High Altitude and LOng Range) research aircraft is based on the ultra-long-range G 550 business jet produced by Gulfstream Aerospace. With a range of more than 8000 kilometres, measurements on the scale of continents are possible; the research aircraft can reach all regions, from the poles to the tropics and remote areas of the Pacific Ocean. Its maximum flight altitude of about 15 kilometres also allows for measurements in the lower stratosphere, outside the tropics.

Side view of HALO
Side view of HALO
Image 11/20, Image: Aero-Art Frank Herzog

Side view of HALO

The HALO project was made possible by the Max Planck Society, members of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres and various other scientific institutes in the atmospheric research sector. In total, 31 research institutes are involved in the project.

HALO's engine
HALO's engine
Image 12/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

HALO's engine

The new High Altitude and LOng Range Research Aircraft (HALO) research aircraft heralds a new chapter in the history of German atmospheric research and Earth observation. HALO is based on a Gulfstream G 550 ultra long range business jet. The combination of range, cruising altitude, payload and comprehensive instrumentation make the aircraft a globally unique research platform.

HALO in a hangar
HALO in the hangar at the airport in Tainan, southern Taiwan
Image 13/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

HALO in the hangar at the airport in Tainan, southern Taiwan

HALO in the hangar at the airport in Tainan, southern Taiwan

HALO research aircraft in flight
HALO research aircraft
Image 14/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

HALO research aircraft

The HALO research aircraft flies all over the world for atmospheric and climate research.

DLR HALO research aircraft in flight
DLR HALO research aircraft
Image 15/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

DLR HALO research aircraft

The HALO high-altitude research aircraft (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft): starting in late 2008, this modified business jet, a Gulfstream G 550, will join the DLR aircraft fleet in data-gathering flights around the globe.

HALO research aircraft in a snow-covered landscape
HALO research aircraft at Kiruna in northern Sweden
Image 16/20, Image: DLR/Andreas Minikin.

HALO research aircraft at Kiruna in northern Sweden

At the end of January 2016, atmospheric researchers used the High Altitude Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO) and the Falcon 20E research aircraft to conduct coordinated climate research measurement flights. For the first time, they succeeded in measuring gravity waves and airglow almost in their entirety.

The HALO research aircraft studied condensation trails and cirrus clouds
The HALO research aircraft studied condensation trails and cirrus clouds
Image 17/20, Image: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

The HALO research aircraft studied condensation trails and cirrus clouds

In March and April 2014, the HALO research aircraft studied the climate effects of condensation trails and cirrus clouds.

A view of ice clouds during the flight
A view of ice clouds during the flight
Image 18/20, Image: DLR/Andreas Marsing (CC-BY 3.0)

A view of ice clouds during the flight

Ice clouds may possibly affect the exchange processes between the troposphere and the stratosphere.

The HALO research aircraft
The HALO research aircraft
Image 19/20, Image: DLR/Andreas Minikin (CC-BY 3.0)

The HALO research aircraft

The HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Aircraft) research aircraft is characterised by its unusual range and flying altitude.

HALO in flight
HALO in flight
Image 20/20, Image: Aero-Art Frank Herzog

HALO in flight

31 research institutes are involved in the HALO project.

The High Altitude and LOng Range Research Aircraft (HALO) research aircraft heralds a new chapter in the history of German atmospheric research and Earth observation. The combination of range, cruising altitude, payload and comprehensive instrumentation make the aircraft a globally unique research platform.

Media items
  • Centre stage

    Centre stage

    Image: DLR/A. Minikin  |  Download
    The new HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) research aircraft heralds a new chapter in the history of German atmospheric research and Earth observation. HALO is based on a Gulfstream G 550 ultra-long range business jet. The combination of range, cruising altitude, payload and comprehensive instrumentation make the aircraft a globally unique research platform.
  • Research aircraft HALO

    Research aircraft HALO

    The HALO high-altitude research aircraft (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) is based at the DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen. HALO can be seen here during a flight over the the Alps.
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