How is HALO organized?

The research infrastructure HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) is a research aircraft for scientific research on the Earth’s atmosphere as well as for Earth observation and geophysical research. HALO goes back to an initiative of German scientists working on Atmospheric Science and Earth Observation. The purchase of HALO and its initial development into a scientitic platform was funded jointly by the German Ministry of Science and Education, the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.

The scientific use of HALO, both strategically and operationally, is governed by the HALO consortium, currently consisting of six German research centers and the DFG representing the German universities. The stand-by costs of HALO are completely funded by the consortium members, in different shares. Costs for flying scientific missions with HALO are usually covered by the actual partners participating in the missions. Partnership will vary from mission to mission.

DLR is the owner of HALO and responsible for the operation of HALO.

Regulations for the collaboration between the consortium members and the scientific use of HALO are stated in a contract signed by all members, the „Konsortialrahmenvertrag über die wissenschaftliche Zusammenarbeit in Projekten mit dem Forschungsflugzeug HALO“. The current contract was signed in December 2015 and is valid from January 1, 2016.

The following sections intend to give a brief overview on the main entities taking part in the governance of HALO and their present members.

The HALO consortium

The HALO consortium funds the standby costs of HALO. The HALO consortium partners (including DLR) are the scientific users of the aircraft. The consortium partners have a privileged claim to the use of the aircraft.

Present members of the HALO consortium are:

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (DFG

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (MPG)

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (FZJ)

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

Leibniz Institut für Troposphärenforschung e.V. Leipzig (TROPOS)

Governing structure

A scheme of the HALO governing structure is shown below (in German). The Kuratorium (supervisory board) is the highest body with members from every partner in the HALO consortium. The Kuratorium appoints the members of the Finanzausschuss (finance committee). The WLA (Wissenschaftlicher Lenkungsausschuss, scientific steering committee) coordinates the joint research activities of the consortium partners and decides about the scheduling of HALO. DLR is the operator (Betreiber) of HALO. Coordination between the operator, the WLA and the scientific user groups is supported by two coordinators: the operator coordinator (Betreiberkoordinator) and the user coordinator (Nutzerkoordinator). The actual scientific missions using HALO will consist of varying partners inside or outside of the consortium. For each mission a mission principal investigator (mission-PI) is the responsible person representing the mission and its partners, in particular against the HALO operator and the WLA. This mission-PI will be fixed in the mission contract for each mission which all mission partners have to sign.

Schematic governing structure for HALO

More details on the roles of the individual bodies within the HALO world and the names of the current members of theses bodies can be found on the site sections below: