Saturday, May 19, 2012

Air Quality Environmental Research via Zeppelin

D-LZFN, Mainz, Germany

Captain Oliver Jaeger sent us this picture of newly re-built ship #2, D-LZFN, during a transit stop in Mainz, Germany. The ship is on a mission conducting atmospheric science for the PEGASOS Project (Pan European Gas AeroSOls climate interaction Study)

If you look closely, you'll see the "top platform" mounted high on the ship. This platform contains some of the instruments being used in the mission. The platform itself weighs about 130kg, and loaded with all the instruments for this mission, just under 500kg. Additional equipment is mounted inside the gondola.

The equipment in the top platform is being used to measure:

  • Hydroxyl radicals (OH radicals): the “detergent of the atmosphere”, which triggers the degradation of most pollutants.
  • Aerosols
  • Substances that play a role in forming and degrading the OH radical and are found in aerosol chemistry (NOx, ozone, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide).

You can learn more at the PEGASOS blog.

This project first started back in 2006-2007, with the development and testing of the top-platform. Further air quality measurement flights were conducted in Germany in 2008-2009. In the current 2011-2013 campaign, the ship will head for the Netherlands (current trip), followed by a Southern trip to Italy (June/July) and then finally a Northern trip to Finland (April/June 2013).

For those that have interest in doing similar research with the Zeppelin NT in North America, please contact our Special Missions group.

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