Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Zeppelin start postponed

The transfer flight is shifted to Wednesday due to bad weather conditions. Tomorrow, the start will be around 9:00.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Flights with Nucleation package and the Secondary organic aerosol package on the weekend

On the weekend, the Zeppelin flew above the measurement site at Asprveten. On Saturday, after the flight with the nucleation package, we exchanged the instrument setup from the nucleation package to the SOA package.

On Sunday, we had rather bad weather conditions with wind and rain. Still the pilots managed to fly from 7:30 to 9:30. However, ice rain forced the Zeppelin to return to Skavsta airport. Again, instruments were taken out to lighten the airship.

Some of the scientists have arrived on Monday morning in Finland. The Zeppelin is scheduled to cross the Baltic Sea on Tuesday. The Zeppelin will start tomorrow at noon and reach Jämijärvi after app. 8 hours if everything works fine.

The Zeppelin returning to the mast truck at Skavsta airport on Saturday.

At night, the NOx-Rack had to be protected from the cold with a blanket.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Zeppelin took off at 6:30 this morning at Skavsta

The Zeppelin is heading to the measurement site at Asprveten to fly spirals at different altitudes. The airship is equipped with the instruments of the nucleation package to characterize particle formation over the boreal forest.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Flight plans for the next days

Gusty winds kept the Zeppelin from flying the last days. On the weekend the sky will clear up and the wind will calm down. According to the forecast of our Swedish colleagues Saturday will be a good day to catch a nucleation event.

The plan is to start at 6:30, fly to the measurement site at Asprveten and do vertical profiles with the nucleation package. After 6 hours the Zeppelin will return to Skavsta airport and SOA cabin layout will be built in. On Sunday the Zeppelin will lift off at 7:30 again with the destination Asprveten.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Transfer flight to Skavsta (Sweden)

Everything went as planned: After reinstalling the two instruments into the gondola in the early morning the Zeppelin took off in Lübeck at 9:00 on Saturday. The airship flew over Fehmarn, the Danish islands Lolland, Falster and Sjælland and reached Copenhagen at noon. In Sweden, the Zeppelin circled several times around the Swedish ACRTIS station in Vavihill before it landed in Ljungbyhed.

The transfer continued on Sunday from the Western to the Eastern part of Sweden. The Zeppelin started in Ljungbyhed in the morning and arrived in Skavsta, close to Stockholm at 14:00. Here we met the scientists whose instrument racks were not on board during the transfer flights. The instruments of the nucleation package or the SOA package will be installed to do flights around Skavsta, before the transfer to Finland is prepared.

Bridge between Falster and Sjælland

The Zeppelin above Copenhagen.

Friday, 19 April 2013

PEGASOS Zeppelin trip to Sweden

Tonight at 19:00h we will build in the FFL rack and the PhD student working with this instrument will have sufficient time to test and to calibrate it. This will give us more available time tomorrow for the two other instruments:

The build in will start at 06:00h, estimated take off is 09:00h. Note by the way, that if you are following the Zeppelin with the life-tracking mode, that the time information provided is given in UTC, i.e. at the moment 2 hours earlier than German time. The take-off window for the Zeppelin will be short, because of forecasted increasing winds. 

With the short time between instrument built in and take off, the critical part for high quality data is the warming up of the HGC rack. But our GC expert will be the operator onboard the Zeppelin for tomorrows flight, so he eventually can fix things after start, if necessary.

We decided to take all cars via Jütland (Denmark) to the Öresund Bridge as this will give us more flexibility (e.g., we need to pack the stuff that will be used for layout change before we can leave Lübeck). 

We coordinated actions with our colleagues operating the Vavihill Actris site at the ground. They will follow the Zeppelin on the tracking page, but we will also sent them text messages about Zeppelin positions. They want to take gas-phase samples starting about one hour before the Zeppelin reaches Vavihill. The plan is to make one or two loops around Vavihill. Exact flight patterns will depend on the gasoline reserve.

Noteworthy: our cooperation with the pilotes and Zeppelin ground team is excellent, as it was last year!

We have new a development in terms of flight schedule

The Zeppelin will leave from Lübeck to Ljungbyhed on Saturday at 09:00h. On Sunday we will fly from Ljungbyhed to Skavsta. Summary: we are perfectly on track with our planning and optimistic to reach Finland for the “nucleation season”.

Nevertheless, Saturday will be a hard day for the transfer team, who is following the Zeppelin at the ground. We will have to build in the Layout CL8 on Saturday morning before the flight. Thereafter a more than 6h car trip to Ljungbyhed. We may decide to have at least some of the transfer team go to Denmark via the ferry. It will take the same time, but one could relax on the ferry for a few hours.

We will keep you posted...

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Transfer flight from Mainz to Lübeck

We started in Mainz at 9:40 equipped with the photochemistry layout. After a short tank stop in Hildesheim we reached Lübeck at 18:00. All instrument worked fine during the flight.

Unfortunately the wind got stronger and instruments had to be built out in Lübeck airport to lighten the airship. The transfer flight will continue on Saturday or Sunday when the wind has weakened and instruments are built in again.

The Zeppelin in the air connected to the mast truck in Lübeck airport

Monday, 15 April 2013

The Zeppelin started its Journey to Finland

Today at 9:00 the Zeppelin started its journey to Finland. We expect the Zeppelin to arrive in Mainz at about 3 pm. The instruments work fine, and the weather conditions are also fine.


Friday, 12 April 2013

The first test flight before the northbound PEGASOS campaign has taken place yesterday.

Preliminary data from this flight helps to get the scientists acquainted with the optimal way to run the instruments during the upcoming field campaign.

Scientists and ZLT coworkers worked hard to make this flight happen.

Everyone was excited to see the Zeppelin take off with the
scientific equipment for the first time in 2013.

The most current weather forecast makes a second test flight on Sunday highly likely. Afterwards, the photochemistry cabin layout is going to be installed, so that the trip north can start on Monday without any delays.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Zeppelin Transfer to Finland

In the next week the Zeppelin will start its transfer to Finland. The aim is to reach Skavsta in Sweden as fast as possible. Stops are planned in Mainz – Finthen, Hildesheim, Lübeck-Blankensee and Ljungbyhed in Sweden, where the airship stays overnight fixed to a mast truck .

The exact time schedule and flight route will of course depend on the weather. The Zeppelin will be equipped with the photochemistry layout.

The scientists who run the instrument on the Zeppelin will follow the Zeppelin by car to calibrate their instruments when the airship is on the airfield.
Zeppelin transfer to Finland. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Topplatform installed

Today the topplatform has been mounted on top of the Zeppelin.

The top platform was lifted by a crane under the roof of the hangar.

The Pegasos Zeppelin was placed under the crane.

 The topplatform was carefully lowered onto the top of the Zeppelin.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The PEGASOS Zeppelin Campaign in 2013 has started

From mid-April, the Zeppelin NT will once again be on a mission for climate research – this time travelling as far as Finland. Scientists are starting the second part of their measurement campaign within the pan-EU project PEGASOS, which aims to investigate relationships between atmospheric chemistry and climate change. 
In the last 5 days the scientists arrived in Friedrichshafen to install their instruments in the Zeppelin. The cabin layout with the SOA package is prepared for the first test flights around Friedrichshafen. At present, the PEGASOS Zeppelin is in the Hangar together with a second airship. All racks for the SOA package are installed in the Zeppelin. Only the top platform needs to be put onto the Zeppelin.

The Top platform is set up in the hangar.