Last change of this page: 27 Jun 2016  

Welcome to the HALO homepage

The High Altitude and LOng Range (HALO) Research Aircraft is the new research aircraft for atmospheric research and earth observation of the German science community. HALO was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. HALO is based on a production G550 business jet from Gulfstream Aerospace Cooperation. 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.

These pages aim to provide further information about HALO and the science projects making use of HALO. Please find right below announcements of upcoming activities as well as latest news items. To navigate to all other contentent please use the menu on the left.

These web pages are currently undergoing a major overhaul. For the time being (May 2016) you might find a few broken links or empty pages. We are working on this. Please bear with us for the time being.

+++   Upcoming activities   +++++++++

HALO schedule

Time period
(HALO away from Oberpfaffenhofen)
HALO Activity
(HALO based mainly in)
Contact point at FX
HALO project management
March 29 - April 29, 2016
iLOADS mission
Martina Hierle
May 2 until June 3, 2016
(May 9 until May 25, 2016)
Aircraft Maintenance
(Geneva, Oberpfaffenhofen)
Katrin Witte
June 6 until June 10, 2016
Training/check flights for pilots
Katrin Witte
June 13 until June 17, 2016
EMeRGe fit check (Stellprobe)
Katrin Witte
June 20 until Aug 31, 2016
(Aug 8 until Aug 31, 2016)
NARVAL 2 mission
Katrin Witte
Sep 15 until Oct 25, 2016
(Sep 15 until Oct 18, 2016)
NAWDEX mission
Katrin Witte


Date Event Further information contact
April 28, 2016
EMeRGe kick-off meeting
(Bremen, Germany)
Lola Andres Hernandez
May 4, 2016
Critical Design Review (CDR) for NARVAL 2/NAWDEX mission certifications
(Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany)
Katrin Witte
May 11-12, 2016
User workshop NARVAL 2
(Köln, Germany)
Lutz Hirsch
Sep 19-21, 2016 HALO DFG-SPP colloquium: presentation of new HALO missions 2019-2022
(Leipzig, Germany)
More information..
Manfred Wendisch
Sep 20, 2016 WLA meeting
(Leipzig, Germany)
Helmut Ziereis
Oct 26-28, 2016 EUFAR/ESA Expert Workshop on Atmospheric Correction of Remote Sensing Data
(Berlin, Germany)
More information..
Thomas Ruhtz or
EUFAR office
Nov 9-10, 2016 POLSTRACC workshop
(Bad Bergzabern, Germany)
Björn-Martin Sinnhuber, Hermann Oelhaf


NEW  Invitation to presentation of new HALO missions for the time period 2019-2022

The HALO-WLA and the DFG-SPP invite the HALO scientific user community to participate in the Presentation of new HALO missions for the time period 2019-2022, taking place in Leipzig on September 19 and 20, 2016. Read more ..



+++ Latest HALO news   +++++++++


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)

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