Research Flights on ‚Arctic Haze‘ – aboard the Iljushin Il-18 „Cyclone“ aircraft, 1993-1995

In the year 1993 the joint Russian-German Research Project ‚Arctic Haze‘ started with the first of a series of four airborne experiments. Besides CAO (Central Aerological Observatory, Moskow, Russia), four German research groups were involved in this project.

The measurements were conducted aboard the Russian research aircraft Il-18 „Cyclone“ which was used by CAO in numerous scientific projects, mainly in the former USSR. This 4 engined turboprop aircraft is well equipped with sensitive thermodynamical, optical and radiometric instrumentation. In consideration of the estimated aspects of ‚Arctic Haze‘ additional microphysical, optical, and chemical instrumentation was adapted to the research aircraft.

With the exception of some components of the optical instrumentation of DWD (German Weather Service) which has already been installed aboard Il-18 in a former project, all parts of the German equipment had to be adapted to the measuring platform.

It was necessary

  • to construct the instrument racks,
  • to design sampling devices and inlet systems for the aerosol and gas phase measurements,
  • to provide 220 VAC and 28 VDC mission power,
  • to provide a suitable data acquisition system.

These tasks have been accomplished by enviscope within two months between the start of the project and the take off for the first campaign in June 1993.

A total of 251 flight hours in altitudes up to 8700 metres in the Western and Eastern part of the Arctic led to a comprehensive set of data from the Northern Arctic hemisphere. During the campaigns enviscope took responsibility for the logistics, i.e. flight plans, landing permits, hotel reservations, customs matters etc. and for the operation of the basic instrumentation including quick-look analysis after each flight.

To render co-ordinated measurements, a detailed flight regime was designed taking into account the special requirements of the groups involved in the project. Main parts of the measurements were performed in box flights designed to get representative information of the investigated area. This allows the comparison of results gained in individual boxes at different locations or at different seasons.

For more details please refer to:

Franke, H., R. Maser, N. Vinnichenko, V. Dreiling, R. Jaenicke, W. Jaeschke, U. Leiterer, 1997, Adaptation of Microphysical and Chemical Instrumentation to the Airborne Measuring Platform Iljushin Il-18 „Cyclone“ and Flight Regime Planning During the Arctic Haze Investigation 1993-95, Atmos. Res. 44, 3-16.

and to the other articles on the scientific results of the project published in this special issue of Atmospheric Research, Volume 44, Nos. 1-2, 1997 on Arctic Haze.