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 was procured from funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), HGF (Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres) and the Max Planck Society (MPG). Operations are managed by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig. DLR also owns and operates HALO.
Penetrating into the stratosphere to research climate, flying over the North and South poles, and travelling to far-flung corners of the world to collect atmospheric data.
The HALO research aircraft heralds a new chapter in the history of German atmospheric research and Earth observation.
In October 2017, the HALO research aircraft measured the transport and mixing of greenhouse gases in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere during measurement flights over the Atlantic starting from Shannon in Ireland. The measurement campaign is providing new knowledge regarding the origin, distribution and lifetime of trace gases at the climate-sensitive interface between these atmospheric layers.
Emissions from major cities can spread beyond the limits of these urban areas under certain weather conditions. When this happens, the wind often carries particles and gaseous pollutants over 1000 kilometres.
Climate change, with all its ecological and economic implications, is one of society's greatest challenges. It is imperative that we develop efficient strategies and derive measures to protect our sensitive climate system on a global scale.
Everyone knows this situation with a weather forecast, when the presenter reveals a new Icelandic low on the map. Very soon, they are then often told, the trough of low pressure will reach the mainland and determine the weather for many days in Europe. Small errors often lead to the forecast in Europe being very uncertain for several days, because the system develops vigorously in the 'weather kitchen' over the Atlantic, and that is difficult to capture in weather models.
Gravity waves affect the climate and weather. For the first time ever, scientists from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), together with colleagues from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie; KIT) and the Jülich Research Centre (Forschungszentrum Jülich), as well as other national and international partners, have succeeded in measuring almost the entire life cycle of atmospheric gravity waves.