Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Sunday flight, engine trouble and tests

On Sunday, we started flying at 7:00 am. We wanted to do vertical profiles until at least 11:00 am, because the evolution of the mixing layer into our lowest flight altitude was expected at around 10:00 am. Unfortunately, we had problems with the control of the aft engine, so the Zeppelin had to come back after three hours.

The engine was fixed within two hours, but then the winds were becoming to gusty. We could have flown for additional two hours, but it did not make so much sense scientifically and technically it would have been risky flight.

Actually, in the quick look data we discovered a potential contamination from inside the cabin affecting the HONO and NOX measurements.

Therefore, we decided to repeat this flight on Monday, in the same way as planned for Sunday.

We also did some tests to understand / get rid of the contamination. The result: the windows in the cabin doors should be opened after start to vent the air ship and prevent cabin air to reach the sampling points of LOP, COD and NOX. (In Italy these windows were always open / the cabin was cooled by actively sucking air through ventilators mounted in the rear door window.)

The flight started at 07:00 am and the airship returned at 13:00h.
Results: nice height profiles of the evolving PBL and resolving the contamination issue.

After landing we built out the FFL and LOP rack to be ready for a CL5-SOA flight.
At 17:00h we decided to cancel the flight for Tuesday, strong gusts and strong winds in flight height are expected.

It looks like 5 - 6 days of good weather are coming in a row. The current preliminary plan is to fly CL5-SOA on Wednesday.

Details will be decided on tomorrows (chemical) weather forecast.
It looks that Thursday might be a good day for a nucleation event.

Collecting data - and nice impressions.

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