In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System
Objective: Develop a global measurement infrastructure to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere with the help of civil aviation.
Our contribution: The new measuring equipment on board the Lufthansa A340-300 “Viersen” long-haul aircraft has been tested since December 2009. The specially developed new instrument package is light, durable and virtually maintenance-free. In addition to the routine collection of atmospheric trace elements, it will also measure aerosols and cloud particles in the future.
Results: After a successful trial period, since summer 2011 a new measurement infrastructure has been in service for climate research, which can then be used in A340-300 long-haul aircraft of other airlines.
A video about the IAGOS project can be found here.
Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container
Objective: Basic research to help understand the Earth’s atmosphere.
Our contribution: In 2004, a Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 was fitted with a unique 1.6-tonne measurement container. Since then, 50 different trace elements and greenhouse gases, as well as the concentration and spatial distribution of aerosols, have been measured on international routes from Frankfurt. In addition to the onboard measurements, 80 air samples are taken each time for further analysis in European laboratories.
Results: Observation of an annual increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. New insights into transport processes of polluted air masses as well as cloud formation processes.
Further information from our project partners:
Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay
Objective: Collection of meteorological data for daily weather forecasts.
Our contribution: Since late 1999, some 350 Lufthansa aircraft have been taking measurements during flights, available worldwide to all national meteorological services and which are directly incorporated into the preparation of weather forecasts.
Results: Improvement of weather forecasting. Replacement of costly radiosonde measurements by individual national weather services.
Measurement of ozone, water vapour, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides aboard Airbus in-service aircraft
Objective: Long-term observation of the Earth’s atmosphere and validation of climate models.
Our contribution: The measuring instruments required as part of the project were co-developed by Lufthansa and installed for measurement flights on board two Lufthansa longhaul aircraft (Airbus A340-300). Overall, in 17 years, more than 22,000 measurement flights were made and therefore extensive data on the ozone, water vapour, carbon monoxide and nitrogen content of the atmosphere was collected.
Results: Generation of a unique data source on water vapour and ozone. Based on the collected data, scientists can fine-tune climate models and improve weather forecast models.
A video about the MOZAIC project can be found here.