Germany has put a specialized aircraft and a network of laser measuring stations on stand-by in case Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano erupts.

The transport ministry says the measures are designed to swiftly determine the threat to airline traffic from ash spewed into the atmosphere by an eruption.

Germany's transportation minister, Alexander Dobrindt, said Thursday that the laser measuring stations can detect ash concentration up to an altitude of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles).

The 2010 eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajokul in Iceland caused some 100,000 flights across Europe to be cancelled because officials worried the ash could damage jet engines.