Saturday, 12 May 2012

Successful test flights with all cabin layouts and Top Platform

The last few days have been very busy, but also very successful. On thursday, the SOA (secondary organic aerosol) package went out on a hot and sunny day.

After the airship had done circles in three different heights over a close by forest, it returned quickly into the hangar, where the Top Platform was mounted.

After the mounting, there was still enough time to do the first 2012 flight with Top Platform.


We were all happy to hear from the scientists operating the Top Platform, that the laser was stable over all achieved altitudes and meaningful OH, HO2 and OH lifetime data were recorded.

On friday, the cabin layout was changed to the photochemisty package, which is also going to be used for the upcoming transfer flights to the Netherlands. While in the process ofexchanging racks, the pilots informed us, that weather with high windspeeds was about to pass through the region. Within one and a half hour, we would have to move out of the hangar to at least get a one hour flight. This was of course increasing pressure on the mechanics from Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik and the scientists responsible for the to be exchanged racks. With a combined effort, setup processes on the moving airship and last-minute hotfixes, we were ready just in time to have the last cabin layout take off on this day.

The flight was only relatively short, but all instruments worked properly. Quick-look data of the flights was discussed later in a relaxed atmosphere.

As the weather does not permit flights today and tomorrow, we are looking forward to seeing the airship flying to Rotterdam on monday morning.

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