So, the journey begins. Am on my way to the technical recce to the Skyship facility in North Carolina, Elizabeth City to be precise, just an hours drive south from Norfolk. On Tuesday morning we will start to design the installation for the next trip coming which is later this summer. This includes all the pipes to ‘funnel’ ambient air into our flying lab and a power distribution system to provide power to the assorted instruments and analysers that we will be installing. In addition there are a number of external probes that we need to fit.
These must extend beyond the gondola boundary layer, this is analogous to the wake around a boat. Also we have optical sensors to install which will look directly down below the cabin and measure layers of pollution below us, we will also measure sunlight above (we say ‘downwelling’) as well as that reflected up from below (you guessed it, ‘upwelling’).