Lufthansa conducts ash measuring flight across Europe
In cooperation with the Max Planck Institute in Mainz, Lufthansa is today carrying out a measuring flight in order to obtain clear evidence about the concentration of volcanic ash in the airspace over Europe.
The flight is to go ahead following the issuance yesterday of an exceptional permit for controlled visual flights. It will be conducted by a specially equipped Airbus A340-600 with the CARIBIC climate research container on board, which will take off from Frankfurt Airport this afternoon and spend several hours in-flight collecting measuring data across Europe.
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute expect the flight to yield the first clear evidence with exact data on the concentration and distribution of volcanic ash over Europe. The flight is the first wide-scale measuring flight to be carried out in European airspace.
At the end of 2004, a European consortium headed by the Max Planck Institute in Mainz launched the long-term atmospheric research project labeled CARIBIC (Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the Atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container). The project employs a specially equipped Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 carrying a scientific measuring container to obtain precise data on the make-up of the atmosphere. A dedicated air inlet system on the fuselage feeds ambient air into the container, which is then evaluated by the CARIBIC flying observatory’s diverse measuring systems.