At that time, the airship will undertake a number of flight missions, each lasting several weeks, coordinated by Jülich researchers. These missions aim to study the atmosphere over the Netherlands, Italy, the Mediterranean Sea, and finally Finland in 2013. The campaign is part of the EU’s PEGASOS project, in which 26 partners from 15 European nations are studying the relationships between atmospheric chemistry and climate change.
The researchers in Friedrichshafen will fit three different sets of measuring instruments into the interior of the airship and test their function during flights. Beginning in May, these instruments are then intended to gather data on the atmosphere’s ability to clean itself, among other aspects of interest. In this regard, special attention will be paid to the atmosphere’s “detergent”, known chemically as the hydroxyl (OH) radical. This radical initiates the breakdown of most pollutants and thus serves as a measure of the atmosphere’s cleaning capacity. In its turn, it is also recycled in a natural loop. However, regarding this recycling theory, Jülich researchers have discovered several anomalies in the last few years. The airship flights are intended to explain these anomalies, since they are at precisely the altitudes where such processes take place. Other questions relate to the phenomenon of suspended particles: What are their origins? How to they agglomerate to form larger particles? What chemical and physical effects do they have on climate and air quality? And what part do they play in recycling the natural detergent?
The Zeppelin NT will be accompanied on its mission by an international team of 15 scientists and technicians. Its first flight in 2012 will take it to Cabauw in the Netherlands for two weeks, followed in June by at least five weeks in Italy, where measurements will be taken over the Po Valley and the Adriatic Sea in cooperation with Italian scientists. Then in April 2013, the atmosphere researchers will set off on a two-month expedition to northern Europe; their final destination being Hyytiälä in Finland. Both the flight paths and the measuring locations are coordinated with existing ground measuring stations. This will enable the researchers to compare data from the flight directly with measurements from fixed locations.
The unique flight characteristics of the Zeppelin NT mean that is ideally suited to complement aircraft and fixed ground stations. It can float slowly, hover, climb and descend vertically, fly for up to 24 hours, all while carrying measuring instrumentation weighing more than a tonne. This will enable the Jülich team to conduct a precise examination of the distribution of trace gases in a region up to an altitude of 1000 metres, known as the planetary boundary layer. Until now, little research has been carried out in this region, which is chemically highly reactive and where the fate of most pollutants emitted from the Earth’s surface is decided. It is therefore essential to collect information in order to gain a detailed understanding of atmospheric processes and to test conceptual models.
The EU’s PEGASOS project (Pan-European-Gas-AeroSOl-Climate Interaction Study) is funded by the European Commission under the auspices of the Seventh Framework Programme. The purpose of the campaign is to measure the effect of atmospheric chemistry on climate change and to identify the critical processes. The results would then provide the scientific bases for determining EU-wide climate protection measures, thus improving air quality taking into account effects on climate change. The research will also be available for global climate policy, since most of the project partners are also involved in the work of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Annette Stettien | Forschungszentrum Jülich
Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past
28.04.2017 | National Science Foundation
Citizen science campaign to aid disaster response
28.04.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences