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BLOG: Samoylov 2015, Balloon

Today we had a weather to test our balloon for the aerial pictures.

P1000754.jpg smallHere it all starts. Picture: Leena-Kaisa Viitanen, AWI
The idea is to attach two different cameras to a helium filled balloon and fly them over the island in order to take a mosaic of aerial pictures. These pictures will later on used to compile an orthorectified aerial image of the island which will demonstrate changes on the surface and help in research planning.
This is not the first time the balloon has been flown at the island and our task is to take up to date images, so that the current orthorectified aerial image can be updated and any changes since 2007 can be mapped out.

Flying the balloon is one of my main two tasks. I work together with Molo in this, which is great, since Molo is quite knowledgeable in pretty much of everything here on the island.

While waiting for still weather for the test flight I prepared the cameras, while Molo took care of the balloon. We have two large balloons, but we decided to test if only one large balloon is enough to fly the camera set.

Molo Samoylov2015 2.unnidThe balloon fills the green saloon. Picture: Günther Stoof (Molo), AWI P1000761.jpg croppedBut when the balloon is at 200m, it seems very small. Picture: Leena-Kaisa Viitanen, AWI

The flight was quite successful. We had mild north-east wind and could go up to 200 meters with the cameras. The optimal height for the images is 500 meters, so in the next test flight we will go higher and see how the balloon behaves. If all will be ok, I can shoot the first set of pictures over the island.
P1000775.jpg smallMolo parking the balloon after the flight. Picture: Leena-Kaisa Viitanen, AWI P1000758.jpg smallI have a special belt to which I can attach the line, thick gloves for handling the line and what should have been rubber boots for the walk on the swamp. Picture: Leena-Kaisa Viitanen, AWI