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Institute for Energy and Climate Research

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Use of the Russian High-Altitude Research Aircraft Geophysica for German Atmospheric and Climate Research

IEK-7 leads an initiative aimed to keep the Russian high-altitude research aircraft Geophysica available for German atmospheric research. Together with the Russian partners (Myasishchev Design Bureau [MDB], Central Aerological Observatory [CAO]), a sustainable plan for its possible use during the next five to eight years was drawn up in 2010.


The Geophysica is currently the only aircraft in Europe capable of carrying instruments to the altitude range of 15–20 km, which plays an important role in the climate system. The topics of planned projects include the climate forcing of the tropics (e.g. Asian monsoon) as well as of aerosols and clouds, interactions between ozone and climate in the stratosphere and the demonstration of future satellite instruments (e.g. PREMIER, ATMOSAT). In atmospheric research with Geophysica, successful long-standing cooperations exist between IEK-7, KIT, DLR, five German universities and a large number of international institutions.