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Central Institute for Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA)

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GLORIA Instrument Holder Mounted to HALO Fuselage for the First Time

The GLORIA instrument (Gimballed Limb Observer for Radiance Imaging of the Atmosphere) is a joint project of Forschungszentrum Jülich and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The aim is to provide a detailed global image of the tropopause region, which plays an important role in the climate system of the Earth.

GLORIA will be used on the research aircraft Geophysica and HALO.

The instrument holder designed and fabricated by ZAT will bear the interferometer (Michelson Fourier spectrometer). The gimballed structure of the instrument holder keeps the instrument level when the aircraft moves, so that a steady point can be observed at a distance of 250 km, with an error of  ±50 m.


After a design and fabrication phase of more than five years, the GLORIA instrument holder was mounted to HALO's fuselage for the first time in July 2011.

The greatest uncertainty was whether the four hard points for mounting the instrument on the aircraft and the connector flanges would fit together. Since the engineers had had no direct access to the aircraft during the construction phase, the interface solution was based solely on four measurement points determined in 2007.

However, it turned out that not only had the location of the hard points been determined correctly, the fabrication and positioning of the base plate and the connector flanges worked perfectly. All four connecting bolts/screws could be tightened smoothly at the first attempt, and the instrument holder was successfully mounted at the bottom of the HALO fuselage.

The first test flights with GLORIA are already planned for spring 2012.

Contact: Project engineer Herbert Schneider

GLORIA instrument at the bottom of HALOGLORIA instrument at the bottom of HALO