Zeppelin findings

Atmospheric researchers and policymakers from both Finland and the EU will meet at the Kumpula Campus on Friday to discuss the findings from the airship flights.

The zeppelin used for atmospheric research arrived in Finland on 1 May 2013 and has since made around ten successful research flights to collect aerosol samples. The researchers involved have put in long days during this time because the research equipment on board the zeppelin must be changed and inspected before each flight.

According to Hanna Manninen, a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Physics, the measurement results provide new information.

“They describe more clearly the areas of influence of anthropogenic and natural particle sources as well as the differences between them,” explains Manninen, who works at the Division of Atmospheric Sciences. “Such information is extremely useful when further defining atmospheric models, which, in turn, help us understand climate change better.”

The zeppelin flights are part of an extensive European atmospheric research initiative. The University of Helsinki, together with the European Community, has been equipping the airship. The airship will return to the Continent in mid-June, but work on the measurement results will continue for years.

The findings to date will be presented on Friday, 31 May 2013 at a seminar arranged on the Kumpula Campus. Speakers will include natural scientists as well as leaders from the EU and Finland, such as the newly appointed Minister of Education, Krista Kiuru. Video footage and descriptions of the nearly one-hundred-meter-long zeppelin, buoyed by helium, will be available at the event, but the airship itself will not make an appearance.

The audience will have the opportunity to discuss scientific topics, as well as the commercial application and social significance of atmospheric research, with experts in the field.

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Text: Mai Allo
Photo: Hanna Manninen
Translation: Language Centre/Language Services, University of Helsinki
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