Examples of Special Missions

A scientific platform with diverse possibilities

From live coverage of major events, to atmospheric research, the Zeppelin NT is ideally suited.

Since starting operations in 2001, the Zeppelin NT has been successfully used as a mission platform in the following areas:

Multi-media platform
  • TV recording platform with live transmission of images and sound at major events (FIFA Confederations Cup 2005)
Remote reconnaissance
  • Locating Jamming-transmitters
  • Satellite simulation for the Galileo Project
  • Gamma-Cartography of Paris in 2011 (Eurosentinelle)
  • Reflectometry (Reflection of GPS-Signals from water surfaces for modulation of terrain contours as the pre-stage of satellite supported Tsunami-warning system).
  • Microgravimetry and Earth’s magnetic field measurement as part of the mineral prospecting from the air (Botswana 2005–2007)
Aerial surveillance
  • Police surveillance over major events (Fète de la musique in Paris 2005, Papal visit in Köln 2005 and Football World Cup 2006)

Atmospheric study
  • Creation of vertical profiles in the lower planetary boundary layer, atmospheric chemistry and Tropospheric Research, Exploration of free radicals, trace gases, aerosols, and the creation of photochemical and meteorological measurements (Jülich Research Centre in 2007 and 2008). During these missions, the Zeppelin NT was equipped with highly sophisticated active and passive sensors and measuring devices from different manufacturers. It also participated in multinational research projects as part of "SMART", "Eye in the Sky", "Galileo", "Fogl", "TRACKS", "COPS" and "AIRLif". 

Industry, science, police and military, upon evaluation of the results, were more than satisfied with the potential of the Zeppelin NT platform. The series of measurements, such as vertical profiles, would not have been possible with any other aircraft, according to unanimous opinion.

Homeland Security

Under the national Homeland Security-Program, there was a request for tenders from the French government in Autumn 2007, with the goal to validate the Zeppelin NT for specific tasks in the fight against Terrorism. Longterm, the metropolises of the country should be overflown on a regular basis from a suitable platform, equipped with the reconnaissance systems SENTINUC und SENTITOX. There lies the main focus of monitoring detection of synthetic radioactive sources (gamma-radiation of “dirty bombs”) as well as in the visualisation of criminal-released poisons and war-gasses.

The results achieved proved the particular suitability of the Zeppelin NT as a scientific platform and at the same time, recommend it for new tasks in the following scientific and technical areas:

Aerial Archaeology

  • Detection of mineral resources (prospecting) 
  • Cartography and Surveying 
  • Oceanography
  • Inspection flights over pipelines and power lines 
  • Border security and defense against illegal immigration 
  • Fighting against drugs and smuggling
  • Surveillance of waterways and fishing zones
  • Detection and mapping in Minefields
  • Flying control centre in Disaster Zones
  • Flying relay station and TV transmitter platform
  • Early warning system for wildfires
  • Environmental protection (Water and air pollution, Environmental anomalies, etc..)
  • Environmental research (Cause and effect of Climate change)
  • Creating a register of contaminated sites (Heavy metal pollution, Ground contamination, unexploded bombs from previous wars)
  • Geosciences (reflectometry and geodesy) 
  • Police operations (surveillance flights over major events, demonstrations, sporting events and summits, etc.)

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