Impacts of Aerosol layers on atmosphere and climate

Characterized by Aircraft, satellites and Radiative transfer modEls

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The AerCARE Project
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Welcome to the Helmholtz-University Young Investigators Group AerCARE!


Saharan Aerosol Long-range Transport and Aerosol-Cloud-Interaction Experiment (SALTRACE)

After 5 weeks of intensive measurements, a great SALTRACE field experiment ended on 15 July 2013. We were very lucky with the weather and studied mineral dust from several dust outbreaks with the DLR research aircraft Falcon between Senegal and Florida. On the eastern side of the Atlantic, dust plumes extended up to about 6 km altitude, while the dust layers in the Caribbean were mainly below 4.5 km.  Highlights during SALTRACE included the sampling of a dust plume in the Cape Verde area on 17 June which was again measured with the same instrumentation on 21 and 22 June near Barbados. The event was also captured by the ground-based lidar and in-situ instrumentation. Another highlight was the formation of tropical storm Chantal in the dusty environment.


Map showing the SALTRACE Falcon flight tracks.

During SALTRACE, the DLR research aircraft Falcon was based on Sal, Cape Verde, between 11 and 17 June, and on Barbados between 18 June and 11 July 2013. The Falcon was equipped with a suite of in-situ instruments for the measurement of microphysical and optical aerosol properties and with a nadir-looking 2-Ķm wind lidar. Ground-based lidar and in-situ instruments were deployed in Barbados and Puerto Rico.

SAVE the DATE: Second SALTRACE Workshop on 27/28 May 2014

We will have a second 2-day workshop to proceed with the next steps of SALTRACE data analysis and publication of results on 27/28 May 2014 in Leipzig.

More details on SALTRACE-Falcon are given on the SALTRACE project homepage.


Aerosol particles play a key role in shaping conditions on the Earthís surface and in the lower atmosphere. Aerosol particles are frequently lifted into the free troposphere and transported as elevated aerosol layers over long distances, even between continents. However, the impacts of these aerosol layers on atmosphere and climate are not yet known.

The main goal of AerCARE is the systematic investigation and assessment of the climate impacts of elevated aerosol layers arising from anthropogenic, including air traffic, and natural sources.



December 2013: We received the DLR Science Award 2013 for our study "On the visibility of airborne volcanic ash and mineral dust from the pilotís perspective in flight" (see also here, starting from minute 0:33h).

July 2013: Our propsal on "A novel method to derive microphysical aerosol properties from future satellite measurements" is selected for funding by LMUexcellent.

May 2013: Last preparations for SALTRACE-Falcon are ongoing. SALTRACE-Falcon is an aircraft field experiment which will be conducted in June/July 2013. SALTRACE-Falcon is the central field experiment for the AerCARE project. More details are given on the SALTRACE project homepage.

April 2013: An aerosol experiment with the LMU Ultra High Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer (UHSAS) has been developed for the "Instrumentenpraktikum", and is now offered for the first time. The "Instrumentenpraktikum" is a mandatory class for LMU bachelor students of physics + meteorology.

12 August 2012: Students perform measurements with the LMU Ultra High Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer (UHSAS).



Helmholtz-University Young Investigators Groups are intended to improve an existing link between a Helmholtz Center and a University by enhancing collaboration activities and knowledge exchange. AerCARE is a cooperation between DLR Oberpfaffenhofen and the University of Munich.

The AerCARE Group collaborates with national  and international partners (e.g. IfT, KIT, PSI, ESA, KNMI, NILU, NOAA, DMT).


The AerCARE Group is funded by the Helmholtz-Association through the Presidentís Initiative and Networking Fund, and by DLR.

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Last update: 09. Oktober 2013.