Pale clouds and persistent rain usually do not bode well as omen, and only a fool or a dreamer would dare to keep high hopes and excitement on such a rather sad summer day, but looks can be deceiving, and the first scientific flight ‘Bitburg’ today in Oberpfaffenhofen was a resounding success, only one of many more we dare to dream of today.

Following the planned track down south over Israel and Jordan – a historic first for HALO – and returning home through the mediterranian sea crossing Cyprus, it took HALO a total of 8 hours and 43 minutes, and a fully functioning instrumental setup promises great measurements and (hopefully) deeper insights into the chemical composition of the southern asian monsoon and its influence on weather and our climate. While a throughout analysis of all the data is still in the making, onboard analysis suggests the relevant and deeply sought after regions of still ‘fresh’ monsoon air have been measured!

But this is but a taste of things to come. In the coming days here in Oberpfaffenhofen there will be more flights to speak of, making sure that HALO and the instruments on board are working as best as we can manage and taking more looks into our winds and air. Soon there will be a new call to follow, one that beckons us deep from the north, to the last frontier in Amerika. Follow us on the upcoming next stage of the PHILEAS campaign in Anchorage, Alaska, where the journey of HALO will continue, on the hunt for new insights, new discoveries and new adventures in Probing HIgh Latitude air Export of the Asian Summer monsoon ( – that’s why they call it that!)

Research Aircraft HALO shortly after returning from its first scientific mission.

About Jan Kaumanns

Jan Kaumanns is a PhD student at the Institute for Energy and Climate (IEK-7, Stratosphere) and a HITEC fellow. During his PhD he is researching isentropic mixing processes in filaments in the middle atmosphere. He is responsible for forecasting, flight planning and data processing during the PHILEAS campaign.

2 Responses to “The PHILEAS Campaign – Home sweet Home”

  1. Jan Kaumanns

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