Saturday, 7 July 2012

2nd part of SOA flights on the 1st, 3rd and 4th of July:


1st of July:

On Sunday 1st, the Zeppelin equipped with the CL5 – SOA layout, started the flight with a height profile in Ozzano. Afterwards it continued to Monte Cimone, a mountain with a measurement site in the Apennines. Since some of the instruments there are also characterizing aerosols, this flight permitted to get a better insight into aerosol properties at different heights for this mountain site. To reach the mountains, we first crossed Bologna and then followed a valley in the west of the city. In this way we could measure the transition of air masses coming from rural and urban sites. During the morning hours the wind was mostly coming from the Monte Cimone, which is one of the highest peaks in this part of the Apennines but later on the wind basically stopped. While following the valley, the Zeppelin mostly flew at low heights of about 500ft. At the same time, the measurement vehicle MOSQUITA followed the Zeppelin’s path on the ground. 


3rd of July:

On this day a longer flight was chosen towards Bosco Fontana. This is a protected forest region north of Bologna, very close to Mantova. The forest consists of broad-leaved trees, which is the common local tree type for this region. This target was chosen to support measurements that are taking place there within the scope of the √ąclaire project. This is an EU funded project that investigates climate change and pollution impacts for European ecosystems. 


Our objective was to start the flight at 6a.m with CL5-SOA layout, reach Bosco Fontana and circle around this area at different height levels. Although the transfer flight towards the forest turned out to be trickier due to strong head winds, we managed to do three profiles at three different heights just above the forest. On this specific day the overall outside temperature was of only 31°C, compared to the almost 40°C of the previous days, which allowed us to reach each time the maximum height of 2000ft without having to release any helium. On all three occasions we reached above the planetary boundary layer, which was clearly visible in the measured particle concentrations. While doing these circles, the MOSQUITA followed us on the ground.
On the way back to Ozzano airport we basically followed the Po River towards the south, passing several industries. Finally the Zeppelin landed at 11:35 a.m. 


4th of July:

On this day the flight to Monte Cimone with CL5- SOA was repeated since there had been some problems at the ground site on the previous flight. At 6a.m. the Zeppelin was headed to Bologna, crossed the industrial zone and flew into the valley that starts west from the city. Again the MOSQUITA could follow the Zeppelin path very well through the valley. During this 5 hour flight, the Zeppelin went back and forth between industrial zone and mountain site to detect differences in air masses coming from the rural and urban sites.