20 Jahre Erstflug Zeppelin-NT

Other areas of application

Success story with a future

On the trail of Climate change, environmental anomalies and Energy loss

With the increasing knowledge about climate change and a growing understanding of necessary countermeasures, airborne multispectral analysis is gaining more and more importance.

Paris as the first CCP-Member („Cities for Climate Protection“, an association of the 40 largest Metropolises in the world) decided to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions, therefore it was decided to create an Environmental inventory with the following keypoints:

Thermal Imaging

From an airborne platform the energy losses of residential and commercial buildings are recorded photographically by means of an infrared thermal imaging camera. The intensity of the heat loss is color-mapped and transferred to a patented card. Owners of real estate and city administrations thus obtain precise information on energy losses resulting from faulty roof and wall insulation, leaks in pipes and piping systems, broken and outdated heating systems, etc.

The measurement flights take place at 650 meters above the ground and at temperatures below zero degrees C. On noise and safety grounds, these types of measurement flights would not be approved with a helicopter or airplane. In future, these flights could be an interesting niche application for the Zeppelin NT.

Environmental Anomalies

In 2007 a European law came into force requiring every commune to creat a register of their contaminated sites. These include natural anomalies (e.g. natural Radioactivity), munitions left over from two world wars and heavy metal contamination of different origins. Certificates of contamination-free sites form part of the buyer’s contract in the sale of land. Many of these anomalies can be determined quickly and efficiently from the air with the appropriate sensors. Therefore, such flights would, in the future, be a useful application possibility for the Zeppelin NT.

Public lighting

Street lighting can account for up to 40% of the current electricity costs of a city and is thus responsible for about 6% of CO2 emissions. The optimization of the street lighting can make a valuable contribution to the cost savings and at the same time to improve the CO2 balance. The safety on the streets and in residential areas would benefit from optimized street lighting, as both the number of accidents as well as the city’s crime statistics are proven to be linked to the condition of the street lighting. Additionally the City Council can get an overview of any defective light fixtures.

The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) was impressed with the following range of applications of the Zeppelin NT which could be done with this airship in a much more efficient way, than with any other platform:

  • Water pollution control (Detection of Water Pollution),
  • Implimentation of EU water air quality guidlines (NO², Ozone and contaminated particle measurement)
  • Monitoring the Emmision ceilings (SO², Ammonia, volatile organic compounds and Nitrogen Oxides.
  • Determination of National emission levels (calculation and derivation of reduction possibilities)
  • Control of the Geneva Transboundary Air Pollution Protocol (with pollutant measurements)
  • Creation of local energy and light balance sheets

Following the success of the measurment campaigns “Sceptre 1” and 2 on behalf of the Jülich Research Centre in 2007 and 2008 the applicability of the Zeppelin NT as a work platform was successfully proven. The International Scientific community has shown an increasing interest in the Zeppelin NT since then. ZLT, due to this developement and certification, was able to get more follow-up orders.

As part of the 7th EU Framework Program, a study was started with the acronym I2C in 2010 with 19 other participants, under the lead management of the company DCNS (French Navy shipyard in Toulon). In view of an increasing threat to shipping in the Mediterranean due to piracy, the fight against organized crime in drug and arms trafficking, as well as warding off illegal immigration from Africa, an increasing importance was placed on the early recognition of danger, often visible in suspicious vessel movements.

With a network of intelligent sensors, installed on a wide variety of platforms (war ships, reconnaissance aircraft, Zeppelin NT, Satellite and stationary radars) hazards can be identified early, and with a rapid and efficient processing of information, it is possible to alert the intervention forces and thus ward off the dangers in time.

Equipped with a newly developed Marine Surveillance Radar, a high-performance camera system and a maritime locator system (AIS) the Zeppelin NT, in the summer of 2013, was able to successfully prove its superiority in long-term monitoring. The second validation phase of the I2C study for the early detection of suspicious vessel movements will be completed in summer 2014. After a successful evaluation and acceptance by the EU, the I2C-concept could be introduced for monitoring of the Mediterranean in the medium term.