Thursday, 17 May 2012

First transfer flight, Friedrichshafen to Mainz Finthen

After a delay of 3 days due to rainy weather conditions the Zeppelin equipped with the photochemistry package (CL-8) left the Friedrichshafen airport at 9:30. We had beautiful flying conditions, all the instruments worked without any trouble so far.. The weather was very sunny and cloudless. The outside temperature was about 5 °C so that the Zeppelin could reach heights of about 1500 ft above ground. The cold temperatures led also to good conditions in the gondola so that the scientist and the crew did not sweat a drop. 

On the ground meanwhile the equipment was packed by  the Ground crew and they made their way to Malmsheim the airport for the tank stop and than further to Mainz-Finthen.

The Zeppelin travelled past the svabian alp passing smaller cities as Sigmaringen, Tübingen and the castle Hohenzollern… flying mostly over rural regions covered with forest and some smaller villages heading towards Stuttgart. The measured concentrations of  the Nitrogen oxide, a pollutand mainly from traffic , showed the expected variations and to our surprise even showed the plume from Stuttgart at the forecasted location  but a bit more extended.

 At 11:15 the Zeppelin reached Malmsheim, which is close to Stuttgart, to make a quick refueling stop. Having spent 30 min on the ground we continued our way to Mainz-Finthen, flying over the highway A8 towards Karlsruhe passing Pforzheim.

Karlsruhe was reached at 12:30. The Rhine harbor, a region with a lot of industries especially refineries, was an excellent opportunity to observe the effects of these emissions on air quality. The Zeppelin cycled therefore at two heights over this region. The model forecast predicted low ozone in this aerea, the observation based on the quick look data confirmed. To see this kind of agreement of forecast and reality in realtime is really great.

Having spent 20 min cycling over Karlsruhe the Zeppelin continued its way towards Mannheim passing an agricultural region and the Rhine valley, different chemical conditions to be analzed.

Due to perfect weather conditions the Zeppelin reached Mainz-Finthen at 14:00, way before schedule. So additional measurements were possible above Mainz and the downstream Rhine valley.
At 16:45 the ground crew had prepared the mast, though they had  some delay by traffic, so that the Zeppelin could land.  We were welcomed very warmly in Mainz Finthen by a lot of people waiting to see the Zeppelin NT and our experiments.

As we could see in our quick look data, all instruments had worked well. So we secured our data, performed calibrations in the field, which is very different to the Zeppelin hangar and switched off our instruments for the night.

No comments:

Post a Comment