Tuesday, 8 May 2012

First test flights in 2012

Today we had our first test flights for 2012!

PEGASOS-Zeppelin's first scientific flight for 2012
Cabin layout number nine, consisting of CPN-, API-, NAS- and NOX-Racks

The instruments for  cabin layout 9 (CL9, nucleation) were already installed (tooled, as the specialists say) on saturday. For sunday, we had a bad weather forecast, so we had the chance for some free time (which most experimentalists still used for working on the instruments)

Sitting on the airfield with perfect weather

For today, the weather forecast was looking good, so we moved the airship out of the hangar at 10:30 a.m. After the pre-flight checks were done by the pilot, it was realized that switching the electricity for the racks from generator ground power to airship power did not work as expected. The troubleshooting turned out to be complex. After a few hours of hard work, the engineers and technicians of Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik managed to find and fix the problem.

Second airship with touristic passengers passing the PEGASOS airship
Spectral radiometer and inlet lines for API-ToF and CPN-Rack

As a consequence of that, we were able to start the first test flight at 3:30 p.m. After 3/4 of an hour, the scientific staff on board was changed and another 15 min flight was performed. All instruments on board seemed to perform well and quick-look data from the flight was later on discussed.

Second airship landing close to the PEGASOS Zeppelin
 After landing for the second time, the airship had to be moved quickly into the hangar because of increasing wind speeds. Under these rushed conditions, the electricity for the racks had to be switched another two times to get to power socket supply. These switchings were giving us trouble in November, but this time every switch went smoothly and we are very happy that we can now expect seamless power supply for the instruments.
PEGASOS Zeppelin landing

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