Welcome to the HALO homepage
The "High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft" (HALO) is the new research aircraft for atmospheric research and earth observation of the German science community. HALO is based on a production G550 business jet from Gulfstream Aerospace Cooperation. It has been modified in many ways to offer the technical infrastructure for very diversified scientific payload requirements. The aircraft is operated by the Flight Experiments (FX) facility of DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; German Aerospace Center) in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich. The Special Airport of Oberpfaffenhofen (ICAO code: EDMO) is HALO's homebase. HALO was initially funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. The operational standby costs are shared by six German research centers and the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), which represents the German universities, together forming the HALO consortium. The HALO consortium partners are the main scientific users of the aircraft, but it is in principle also open to other users.
These pages aim to provide further information about HALO and the science projects making use of HALO. Please find right below announcements of UPCOMING ACTIVTIES as well as LATEST NEWS items a bit further below. To navigate to all other contentent please use the menu on the left.
The HALO homepage is currently undergoing a major overhaul, which takes some time. For the time being you might still find a few broken links or empty pages. We are working on this.
+++ Upcoming activities +++
NEW Announcement: 1st HALO Symposium, March 14 to 16, 2017, in Oberpfaffenhofen
Please save the date. Further information and a call for contributions will follow soon. A press conference with Federal Research Minister Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka and DFG president Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider is planned for the morning of March 14.
(HALO away from Oberpfaffenhofen)
(HALO based mainly in)
|Contact point at FX
HALO project management
|Oct 31 - Nov 18, 2016
||Certification flight tests for EMeRGe exterior configuration and fit check for EMeRGe cabin configuration|
|Nov 21 - Dec 2, 2016
||Airworthiness review checks, internal flights |
|Dec 5 - Dec 16, 2016
|Flight tests for KITsonde certification|
|Dec 5 - Dec 16, 2016
||NEW Certification flight tests for EMeRGe exterior configuration (had to be postponed)|
|Jan 9 - Feb 24, 2017
||Maintenance, check flights|
|Feb 27 - Mar 10, 2017
||Certification flight tests for CAFE exterior configuration|
|Mar 13 - May 19, 2017||COMET mission|
|May 22 - Aug 4, 2017||EMeRGe mission|
|Aug 7 - Oct 27, 2017||WISE mission|
||Further information contact
|Nov 9-10, 2016
(Bad Bergzabern, Germany)
|Björn-Martin Sinnhuber, Hermann Oelhaf
|Nov 14, 2016
|Nov 30 - Dec 2, 2016
||CoMet Science Workshop
(DLR-IPA, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany)
|Dec 7-9, 2016
|Mar 8-10, 2017
(LMU, Munich, Germany)
|Mar 13, 2017
||ML-CIRRUS final meeting
(DLR-IPA, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany)
|Mar 14-16, 2017
||Nationales HALO-Symposium mit Pressekonferenz
|Mar 15, 2017
|Apr 19-21, 2017
||Airborne Geodesy and Geophysics with Focus on Polar Application (Dresden, Germany)
|Apr 23-28, 2017
||EGU General Assembly
Known sessions with relevance to HALO results:
AS1.33 "Linking Clouds to Circulation: Insights from recent measurements"
+++ Latest HALO news +++
Workshop in Oberpfaffenhofen for the upcoming HALO "CoMet" Mission
Scientists from 8 countries came together at the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Oberpfaffenhofen from November 30 until December 2, 2016, to discuss and plan the next major science mission with HALO: CoMet (Carbon dioxide and methane mission for HALO). CoMet is coming up in spring next year with the actual 4 week mission phase starting on April 18. For this to happen, the integration of the scientific instrumentation into HALO will have to start on March 13, 2017. A report (in German) about the CoMeT workshop can be found here in the DLR news.
For more information on CoMet please visit the CoMet mission section here on the HALO homepage. Before CoMet, in January and February 2017, HALO will be in regular yearly maintenance in Geneva, followed by some flight tests from Oberpfaffenhofen.
WISE mission in 2017
Information about the WISE mission with HALO planned for autumn 2017 is now online and can be found here. The mission is currently in preparation. It is planned that HALO will operate for five weeks out of Shannon airport in Ireland in September/October next year. The payload will not be exactly the same, but very similar to the previous POLSTRACC mission.
And the next mission successfully completed: 13 HALO flights for NAWDEX
HALO returned from another very successful science mission from Keflavik in Iceland, the North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment (NAWDEX). Altogether 13 full-blown science flights were performed, including the transfer flights from Oberpfaffenhofen to Keflavik and back, plus one short initial instrument test flight before setting out to Iceland. Nearly 100 flight hours were flown with HALO. Flights were aimed to intensively investigate storm systems over the North Atlantic region. Other research aircraft were involved in NAWDEX as well: the German DLR Falcon, the French SAFIRE Falcon, both operating also from Keflavik. Furthermore, the British FAAM BAe-146 joined in from the UK in some coordinated flights. And some of the weather systems which were measured with HALO over the Atlantic were investigated earlier on closer to their origin ant therefore nearer to the North American continent with the NASA Global Hawk.
Some press statements, reports and links to further information about the NARVAL 2 mission can be found on the reports page and on the NARVAL 2 mission page. See for instance this press release about NAWDEX by DLR and the Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich.
NARVAL 2 mission: Successfully comleted!
Yesterday evening HALO returned from Barbados (image above shows HALO on the apron at Grantley Adams International Airport at Bridgetown on Barbados) and landed safely in Oberpfaffenhofen at 21:52 local time in Germany. This concludes the NARVAL 2 mission with HALO, but the scientific analysis of the wealth of data will keep many scientists busy for a lot of time. Altogether 10 science flights were performed: 8 local flights from Barbados and the two transatlantic transfer flights, which were also used for measurements, of course.
Bjorn Stevens, one of the mission's PIs stated: "We had 10 very successful research flights. Some of the initial analysis suggests that the techniques we were developing worked well beyond our expectations, and may help pioneer efforts to use HALO (or other aircraft for that matter) to better show how clouds and cloud properties link to circulation - these measurements were the first of their kind, and a breakthrough in aircraft based sampling of the atmosphere. We also sampled a wide range of conditions, in around and across the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone), extending well up through the summer trades into regions of more uniformly stratiform (stratocumulus) clouds."
Some first press statements and stories about the NARVAL 2 mission can be found on the reports page and on the NARVAL 2 page.
Next plans for HALO: The NAWDEX mission will follow up using the same scientific payload of NARVAL 2. This mission will be conducted from the airport in Keflavik, Iceland. The transfer flight to Keflavik is planned for September 15. Until then, a few of the instruments have to undergo mainenance and some repairs, so the two weeks until the next mission will be well used.
HGF-Präsident Prof. Wiestler zu Besuch in Oberpfaffenhofen (DLR News in German)
Vor knapp einem Jahr wurde Prof. Otmar Wiestler zum neuen Präsident der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (HGF) ernannt. Um die Mitglieder der Gemeinschaft besser kennen zu lernen, ist er auf Antrittsbesuch beim Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR). Über die Missionen des Forschungsfliegers HALO konnte sich Prof. Wiestler im Hangar des Fliegers informieren. Auf einen Blick in das Flugzeug musste er jedoch verzichten, da HALO zurzeit unterwegs für eine Forschungsmission ist. HALO, eines der modernsten Flugzeuge für die Atmosphärenforschung, ist bereits seit fünf Jahren im Einsatz und ist ein wichtiges Instrument für die Arbeit von DLR-Wissenschaftlern und Forschern der beteiligten Mitglieder des HALO-Konsortiums.
Weiterlesen .. (auf deutsch)
NARVAL 2 mission: First successful HALO flights from Barbados
As of today, HALO has already done 4 successful science flights from Barbados, each typically of 8 hours flight time. One of the methodological approaches of NARVAL 2 is to probe the atmospheric conditions below the aircraft intensively with meteorological dropsondes. Using a data link via the HALO satellite communication system the dropsonde data are directly fed into the weather prediction models of the German Weather Service (DWD). The image on the right shows one of the flight tracks of HALO into the Atlantic east of Barbados along with the positions where dropsondes were released (triangle symbols).
HALO is on its way to Barbados for the NARVAL 2 mission
After many weeks of preparations for the aircraft, the instruments, certifications and flight permissions, HALO is today on its way to Barbados for the NARVAL 2 mission. Take-off from Oberpfaffenhofen was at about 10:14 local time (08:14 UT), a few minutes earlier than planned because of some headwind expected enroute over the Atlantic. Expected flight time is 10 hours 15 minutes.
Update: And HALO did arrive well in Barbados after a flight time of 10 hours 37 minutes.
Preparations for NARVAL 2 HALO mission nearly completed
Only one week to go, then HALO will set out on its mission to Barbados, where the NARVAL 2 mission will be based for a bit more than three weeks. HALO can do the ferry flight from Oberpfaffenhofen to the Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown on Barbados direct, without refueling. Planned flight time is about 10 hours and 15 minutes. Takeoff time on Monday, August 8, 2017, is currently planned in the morning, shortly after 10 o'clock local time. The scientific instruments are all tested to the satisfaction of the scientific groups. Some minor repairs had to be performed for some instruments in the last few weeks. One flight test was performed from Oberpfaffenhofen on July 19. The flight formally served to show that there are no critical elecromagnetic inference problems in the current scientific payload configuration. But the flight was also useful to test the functionality of all instruments. NARVAL 2 has now its own brand new campaign logo (shown above).
Remaining days until the ferry flight will be used for final instrument tests, for preparing the aircraft, some tests of the scientific satellite communication system and - last but not least - for finalizing the paperwork for the airworthiness certification of the present aircraft configuration.
HALO time table and homepage updated
A few updates have been implemented into the HALO time table, mainly concerning the flight tests and some other details towards the end of this year and spring time next year. Please check the HALO calendar page for further information.
Many pages here on the HALO web site are still in the process of being overhauled. We appreciate your patience. We have added in the last weeks a couple of more pages on the HALO scientific missions, both forthcoming and already completed, but we are not yet done with all missions. Furthermore, the next homepage updates to be tackled will concern the information sections ("About HALO").
Instrument integration into HALO for NARVAL 2 and NAWDEX missions just started
The HALO missions NARVAL 2 and NAWDEX are the next two big projects on HALO in summer and autumn this year. Both missions have different scientific focus (see links), but share the same scientific payload. Integration of the scientific payload has just begun this week. The first instruments to be installed are two remote sensing instruments, specMACS (operated by the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) and SMART (University of Leipzig). Integration work includes the installation of the instruments itself, tests and approvals of the installation (both mechanically and electrically), EMI (electromagentical interference) testing (including a test flight), functional testing and finalisation of the relevant certifcations. The integration phase will take altogether 7 weeks time before HALO is to set out for Barbados for the actual scientifc NARVAL 2 mission.
HALO flight test – turbulence, vibration and new techniques
Aircraft should normally avoid turbulence and wake vortices. But test pilots and researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have deliberately flown into turbulence during flight experiments designed to test numerical models and a new real-time evaluation method that enables the instantaneous review of aeroelastic stability. In Project iLOADS (integrated Load analysis at DLR), the load limit of HALO (High Altitude LOng Range Research Aircraft) is being investigated to explore its capacity to carry scientific instrumentation. With these results, future research missions will be able to be carried out to even better effect.
Read more.. | Deutsche Version hier..
EMeRGe Kick-off Meeting in Bremen successful
The kick off meeting of the HALO-Mission EMeRGe (Effect of Megacities on the Transport and Transformation of Pollutants on the Regional to Global Scales) took place last Thursday (April 28, 2016) at the Institute of Environmental Physics of the University of Bremen with the participation of the partner institutes in Germany and DLR-FX. One of the objectives of this get together was the discussion of the technical main features of the instrumental payload as a preparation of the cabin layout for the first installation exercise at DLR-Oberpfaffenhofen in June 2016. Communication and scientific aspects of the project were also briefly taken into consideration during the discussions.
iLOADS mission completed successfully
The iLOADS mission was completed successfully last week. Altogether 5 flights were performed with a total of 12.9 hours flight time (13.7 hours block time). Scientists reported to be very happy with the outcome of the measurements.
1st iLOADS test flight
HALO took off today from Oberpfaffenhofen for the the 1st iLOADS test flight. The measurement systems and the sensors worked very well during the three hours flight.
iLOADS taxi vibration test
Another step to be ready for the first iLOADS flight is the conduction of a Taxi Vibration Test (TVT) that has been invented by DLR Institute of Aeroelasticity. During this test aircraft eigenfrequencies, mode shapes and damping ratios can be determined by just rolling on taxi ways. This time the TVT was used to identify undesired interferences between electrical signals and air traffic control radio.
The analysis of the one hour continuously acquired data showed no interference and a very good quality of the measurement signals. The flight test researchers inside the aircraft already used the possibility to setup the analysis parameters for the online identification during flight.
iLOADS static and ground vibration tests successful
A static test within iLOADS was carried out to calibrate the strain gages placed on the HALO DLR PMS carrier. With the strain gages, loads acting on the DLR PMS carrier during the flight can be observed. In the static test, various simulated loads were applied with the help of sandbags. The calibration using the collected data was conducted successfully.
The following Ground Vibration Test (GVT) using a single electrodynamic shaker connected to the left wing was used to check the correct installation of the flight test equipment. During this test the aircraft was excited with random and swept-sine vibrations. The analysis of the data showed that measurement system, flight test sensors and analysis software give reasonable results.
Call for proposals of new HALO missions (2019-2022).
The HALO-WLA and the DFG-SPP coordinators call for HALO mission proposals for the time period 2019-2022. Decisions will be made after a two-stage selection procedure. Read more ..
HALO iLOADS mission has started
Integration for iLOADS mission has begun today. The DLR Institute of Aeroelasticity and the DLR Flight Experiments facility will install 51 acceleration sensors and 16 strain gauge sensors. The sensors will be distributed all over the aircraft and at the additional wing stores. The aim is to measure global as well as local aircraft vibration. Three distributed measurement systems placed in both wing stores and inside the cabin acquire time synchronized acceleration and strain data from all sensors. The computer connected to the master system inside the cabin distributes the data on several analysis computers for online data analysis.
Höher, Weiter, HALO – Betreiberkonsortium tagt erstmalig unter neuem Vertrag (DLR Press release in German)
Es war einmal am 20. August 2012, als das Forschungsflugzeug HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) feierlich der Wissenschaft übergeben wurde. Bei einem Treffen des Betreiberkonsortiums wurde nun im Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen auf sehr erfolgreiche Einsatzjahre zurückgeblickt. Read more ..
POLSTRACC/GW-LCYCLE/SALSA mission about to finish
About 5 months ago the integration of the scientific payload for the HALO POLSTRACC/GW-LCYCLE/SALSA mission began. After many successful research flights the instruments will be dismounted this week to make way for the next HALO campaign, the iLOADS mission. The freight containers from Kiruna returned today as well, so the HALO hangar was crammed with boxes (and some airplane).
POLSTRACC/GW-LCYCLE/SALSA mission in Kiruna ongoing
HALO take-off from Kiruna airport for the 17th mission flight. All is going well so far. Today's flight will take HALO over Greenland far west from Kiruna to the Arctic Baffin Island, Canada. A refueling stop will be made for the way home in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. We are looking on one or two more scientific flights from Kiruna before HALO will return to Oberpfaffenhofen on March 13 or 14. Possibly two further science flights will be conducted from there.
Messkampagne POLSTRACC: Starker Ozonabbau über der Arktis möglich
(KIT Press release in German)
Die arktische Stratosphäre war in diesem Winter bisher außergewöhnlich kalt, damit sind alle Voraussetzungen für das Auftreten eines starken Ozonabbaus in den nächsten Wochen gegeben. Diesen Schluss legen erste Ergebnisse der vom Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) koordinierten Messkampagne POLSTRACC nahe, die seit Ende 2015 in der Arktis läuft. Read more .. (Photo by Laila Tkotz, KIT)
For older news items, please continue here.