Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 63 | 15. Juli 2021

Priority Programme “Atmospheric and Earth System Research with the High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO)” (SPP 1294)

In 2007, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Atmospheric and Earth System Research with the High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO)” (SPP 1294). Within the programme proposals are called for projects (up to three years’ duration) starting from 2023 (HALO 2023). An earlier start of funding is not possible.

HALO plays a key role in atmospheric research in Germany. It is a state-of-the-art airborne platform specifically equipped with modern in situ and remote sensing instruments. HALO enables forefront Earth System science and allows for innovative atmospheric and geophysical measurements with an impressive high-ceiling altitude of up to 15 km, and a spatial endurance of about 10,000 km. It may carry an instrumental payload of up to 3 tons and can be used to study processes within the troposphere and lower stratosphere. HALO-based research is supposed to help understand the interaction of processes within the Earth-system and human activities, which are highly relevant for society. For satellite missions, HALO provides unique possibilities to combine and validate space-borne data with measurements of the atmosphere that were performed in situ and near the ground.

HALO enables Earth System research on a high international level. Main foci of the scientific investigations are:

  • sources, properties and processing of aerosol particles
  • formation, evolution and radiative effects of clouds and precipitation
  • transport and dynamics in the troposphere and lower stratosphere
  • transport and transformation of chemical composition
  • atmospheric coupling processes

Proposals must be submitted to the DFG by 22 October 2021 and should primarily refer to an upcoming mission, while it is also possible to submit proposals that utilise data from previous missions. Funds can be provided for the development of high-tech sensors and instruments that will be used specifically for the mission. Instruments to be permanently installed aboard HALO cannot be funded.

Please indicate in the abstract of your proposal the related HALO mission(s) if applicable. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system. To enter a new project within the existing Priority Programme, go to “Proposal Submission – New Project/Draft Proposal – Priority Programmes – SPP 1294/8”. Applicants are already receiving funding and will be applying for a renewal proposal have to submit their application via “Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal”. Your current funded project(s) will be displayed.

All proposals have to be written in English and prepared according to the programme guidelines (DFG form 50.05, section B) and the proposal preparation instructions (DFG form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal.

Applicants without an existing elan account must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 8 October 2021 to submit a proposal under this call; registration requests received after this time cannot be considered. You will normally receive confirmation of your registration by the next working day. Note that you will be asked to select the appropriate Priority Programme call during both the registration and the proposal process.

Further Information

Detailed information about the infrastructure Priority Programme is available at:

Website for information about the research aircraft HALO:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

Content issues related to the Priority Programme can be addressed to its coordinators:

  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Wendisch
    Universität Leipzig
    Fakultät für Physik und Geowissenschaften
    Leipziger Institut für Meteorologie
    Stephanstr. 3
    04103 Leipzig
    phone +49 341 9732851
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Curtius
    Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
    Fachbereich Geowissenschaften/Geographie
    Institut für Atmosphäre und Umwelt
    Altenhöferallee 1
    60438 Frankfurt/Main
    phone +49 69 79840258

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact:

Administrative contact: