First of all, apologies for not updating this blog sooner. The last weeks have been filled with almost non-stop flying. When the instruments did not need flight preparations, calibrations or other maintenance, the scientists used every available minute to prepare quick-look-data, so the next flights could be planned based on the days observations.
To give an overview of what has been done so far, the past days are summarized individually below.
14.06.2012On Thursday the 14th of June, the weather finally allowed for a start of the transfer flights. On this day, the airship was moved to Wels (AT) from Friedrichshafen (DE). The cabin layout used for the 14th and all other transfer flight days is the photochemistry centered CL8.
15.06.2012On Friday, the Zeppelin flew from Wels (AT) to Gorizia (IT/SI). To be able to make this big distance around the Alps, it was agreed upon that no scientific operator would be on board for this flight.
Of course, this situation worried the scientists a bit, but all instruments ran without problems throughout the flight.
On Saturday, there was a technical problem with the Airship. It was thought that this would prevent any flight for that day, but the Zeppelin employees worked on the problem swiftly and had the broken part replaced by noon. The Zeppelin was then flying across the adriatic sea and arrived at the local airport in Ozzano (IT) at 6 pm. This airport is serving as the base of operations for all flights during the 2012 Po-Valley phase of the PEGASOS field campaign. The scientists were welcomed by the bolognese institute ISAC-CNR for a kick-off-meeting. In this meeting, the available ground-based measurement sites and the instrumentation available on the Zeppelin were presented to an interested scientific audience. Also, procedures and lines of communications for the coordination of the measurements were established.
17.06.2012Sunday was reserved for maintenance on the instruments and on the airship.
18.06.2012On Monday, still having the photochemistry package on board, we decided to do height profiles at St. Pietro Capofiume (SPC), where a supersite (english description here) of ISAC-CNR is located. To characterize the chemical composition of the atmosphere during breaking up of the nocturnal boundary layer, the flight started at 4:50 am and ended at 11:30 am. By ending the flight at this time, we also preserved the instruments from damage by the extreme temperatures of 36°C in the shade (reached in the early afternoon) and much higher in the light.
In the evening, the slightly cooler temperatures were used to change the cabin layout to the nucleation-centered CL9.
|CNR supersite in St. Pietro Capofiume|
19.06.2012In the days before Tuesday, the researchers at the SPC supersite observed new particle formation events almost every day. So for the 19th, the Zeppelin flew to SPC with the freshly installed CL9 package to explore the vertical extent of nucleation. The results of this day are still under discussion, also at the ground site there was no very clear nucleation observed.
On this day, the Zeppelin was accompanied by the mobile laboratory MOSQUITA of the swiss PSI institute. The evening was again used for a cabin layout change to the secondary organic aerosol package CL5.
|MOSQUITA mobile laboratory|
20.06.2012On Wednesday, the CL5 package flew to SPC for height profiling. Interestingly, a clearly different evolution of aerosol composition in time has been observed for the different altitudes, until the differences disappeared at around 1 pm.
|Nitrate concentration evolving over time, datapoints coloured by altitude.|