Last change of this page: 12 Jan 2017  

Deployment base.. Time period.. Description.. Principal investigators.. Partners.. Instruments.. Flights.. More information.. Press, media, photo gallery .. FX contact point ..

Mission acronym, title and status


"Next Generation Remote Sensing for Validation Studies"


Mission status:     Campaign successfully completed.  


HALO deployment base

Enlarge map ..


Time period

June 20 - Aug 31, 2016


Different campaign phases:

Mission phase Dates HALO in ..
Payload integration 20.06.2016-15.07.2016 Oberpfaffenhofen
EMI test flight 18.07.2016-22.07.2016 Oberpfaffenhofen
Instrument tests (on ground) 25.07.2016-05.08.2016 Oberpfaffenhofen
Ferry flight Oberpfaffenhofen-Barbados 08.08.2016  
Mission in Barbados 08.08.2016-31.08.2016 Bridgetown, Barbados
Ferry flight Barbados-Oberpfaffenhofen 31.08.2016  
Campaign end.
(Payload remains integrated for following NAWDEX mission.)
31.08.2016 Oberpfaffenhofen


Short description

What role does convective aggregation play in climate – this is one of four key questions formulated by the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) initiative Grand Science Challenge on Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity. Moist convection can be organized in very different ways - from randomly scattered shallow clouds up to mesoscale cloud clusters or even large-scale systems affecting the planetary circulation. There is evidence both from observations and from numerical simulations that the degree of organization affects the overall stratification of the atmosphere: an atmosphere in which convection is more aggregated is drier, clearer and, thus, more efficient at radiating energy to space. Recent numerical studies have established the concept of self-aggregation which occurs even without any external driver. This process might intensify with increasing temperature and may, thus, be sensitive to climate change. These findings are based solely on large-eddy resolving numerical simulations. Comprehensive and highly resolved observational records are needed to constrain and evaluate such numerical simulations.

NARVAL 2 will contribute to this very timely issue by analyzing organized convection in the deep tropics in the vicinity of Barbados. This region is designated by weak external forcing. HALO will be stationed at Barbados for a four weeks period in August 2016 to perform targeted observations of organized connective systems. If possible, we will follow each system by a series of flights at subsequent days to trace the systems life cycle. The focus will be on non-rotating systems, since up to now they have been paid less attention to compared to larger systems evolving into Hurricanes. We intend to describe both the organization of the convection itself as well as the status of the ambient boundary layer. Disentangling the relation between convective aggregation and boundary layer evolution is an important key to assess the climate sensitivity of organized convection.

Stationing HALO on Barbados close to the target area minimizes the time of transfer flights and allows flying at moderate altitude to enhance the sensitivity of all remote sensing instruments. In addition we will benefit from technical and scientific experience of the South part of the first NARVAL campaign. NARVAL 2 will expand the statistics of the first campaign and will again broaden the long-term measurement program of the Barbados cloud observatory by adding a spatial component. The campaign will be led by the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, which envisions investing 100 flight hours. The instrumentation will be identical to the first NARVAL campaign to reuse the certifications and the well-proven setup. However, the campaign is open to other groups and can be expanded by related science topics and contributions.

NARVAL 2 is closely related to NAWDEX, which will take part in autumn 2016 using exactly the same aircraft configuration. The missions feature also a scientific overlap: NAWDEX will study cyclones as mature convective systems over the extratropical Northern Atlantic. Expanding the science questions of NARVAL 2 to other regimes and different regions will support the WCRP Grand Science Challenge on Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity initiative effectively.


Principal investigators

Principal investigator

Scientific campaign coordinator



  • Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre (DLR-IPA)
  • Universität Hamburg, Meteorologisches Institut
  • Universität Köln, Institut für Geophysik und Meteorologie
  • Universität Leipzig, Leipziger Institut für Meteorologie
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Meteorologisches Institut
  • Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH)


Scientific instruments and payload configuration

List of scientific instruments for the mission:

Scientific instrument acronym Description Principal investigator Institution Remarks
HAMP HALO Microwave Package Felix Ament
Björn Stevens
Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg;
Meteorologisches Institut, Universität Hamburg;
DLR Institut für Physik dr Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen
WALES Water vapour and particle Lidar Andreas Fix
Martin Wirth
DLR Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen  
HALO-SMART Spectral Modular Airborne Radiation Measurement System Manfred Wendisch Leipziger Institut für Meteorologie, Univ. Leipzig  
HALO-DS DLR Dropsonde System Stefan Kaufmann DLR Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen  
specMACS Hyperspectral cloud and sky imaging Bernhard Mayer Meteorologiches Institut, Ludwig Maximilian Univ. München  
BAHAMAS incl. SHARC HALO basic data acquisition system incl. humidity measurement Andreas Giez DLR Flugexperimente, Oberpfaffenhofen  


Cabin and exterior configuration of HALO for the mission:

HALO cabin layout for NARVAL 2/NAWDEX (pdf document, 498 kB)

HALO exterior configuration for NARVAL-2/NAWDEX


HALO flights for this mission

List of flights for NARVAL 2 mission (as of August 15, 2016); mission is not yet completed.

Date Takeoff time (UT) Landing time (UT) Total flight time
FromToTypeMission flight #Comment
D-ADLR19.07.201611:12:0013:29:002.283EDMOEDMOFlight test--EMI flight test
D-ADLR08.08.201608:12:0018:51:0010.650EDMOTBPBMission flightRF01Atlantic transect
D-ADLR10.08.201611:52:0020:02:008.167TBPBTBPBMission flightRF02ITCZ gradient flight
D-ADLR12.08.201611:43:0019:37:007.900TBPBTBPBMission flightRF03Suppressed convection, extensive sondes
D-ADLR15.08.201611:47:0019:46:007.983TBPBTBPBMission flightRF04ITCZ gradient flight
D-ADLR17.08.201614:47:0023:08:008.350TBPBTBPBMission flightRF05 
D-ADLR19.08.201612:28:0020:52:008.400TBPBTBPBMission flightRF06 
D-ADLR22.08.201613:16:0020:57:007.683TBPBTBPBMission flightRF07 
D-ADLR24.08.201612:43:0020:55:008.200TBPBTBPBMission flightRF08 
D-ADLR26.08.201613:43:0020:54:007.183TBPBTBPBMission flightRF09 
D-ADLR30.08.201609:42:0019:52:0010.167TBPBEDMOMission flightRF10 


More information

Not yet available.


Press releases, media, photographs etc.

Press releases and stories

Nationnews Barbados, 24-Aug-2016
Research aircraft to study climate change.   For the next few days Barbados will be part of the fight to understand global warming. A 26-member team of scientists, pilots and flight technicians from the High Altitude and LOng Range (HALO) Research Aircraft will be stationed at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
Read more.. (in English)

Barbados Today, 22-Aug-2016
Rainfall prediction made easier.   Predicting weather systems and monitoring cloud formation will be a little easier once six German scientists on a specially equipped research aircraft are finished with the research they are conductiong on the southeast coast of Barbados.
Read more.. (in English)

Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, 15-Aug-2016
Do clouds make the wind blow? Airborne investigations of the interplay between clouds and circulation.   Which climate effects do clouds have? Under what conditions do they warm or cool the atmosphere? And what role do clouds play in shaping the atmospheric circulation, and hence help maintain the environment in which they grow? The field campaign NARVAL II, initiated and lead by scientists from the department The Atmosphere in the Earth System (Prof Bjorn Stevens) at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) and colleagues at the Universität Hamburg, aims to answer these questions. The NARVAL II mission started on 8 August 2016 with a ferry flight of the research aircraft HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) from Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, to Barbados.
Read more.. (in English)   |   Weiterlesen.. (auf deutsch)

Meteorologisches Institut München der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 08.08.2016
NARVAL-II measurement campaign over the southern Atlantic. NARVAL-II stands for the second part of the "Next generation Aircraft Remote-sensing for Validation studies" campaign and is flown from Barbados between 8.8. and 31.8.2016. The formation of tropical convection is the area of research the campaign is aimed at. With a set of instruments (most remopte sensing) the phenomenon of aggregating low level trade cumulus convection to larger deep convection and finally tropical storms is observed.
Read more.. (in English)   |   Weiterlesen.. (auf deutsch)

DLR news, 7-Sep-2016
HALO in the Caribbean – tropical cloud research.   What effects do tropical clouds have on our climate? Do they warm up or cool down the atmosphere? What factors do they influence? Even the latest models do not fully understand the effects of these climate-influencing 'clouds'. Scientists from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), together with partners from other research institutions, went to the Caribbean to investigate these questions.
Read more.. (in English)   |   Weiterlesen.. (auf deutsch)


Photo gallery

HALO sitting on the apron of Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown, Barbados, on August 11, 2016.

Photos from Oberpfaffenhofen of August 8, 2016, the day of the ferry flight of HALO to Barbados (by A. Minikin).


Video report by NationNews Barbados:
"Nation Update: Research plane in Barbados":


Contact point at FX for this mission

HALO Project Management: Katrin Witte

Postal address:
DLR Oberpfaffenhofen
Flugexperimente (FX)
Münchener Str. 20
82234 Weßling

Office phone:
+49 (0)8153 28-1357