A zeppelin doesn’t seem much like an innovative tool for modern research. It's a vehicle typically relegated to football game coverage and bad Hindenburg jokes. But the Pegasos is proving to be a vital information gatherer in the age of pollution and climate change.
Currently tethered to a truck mast in Jamijarvi, Finland, three hours outside Helsinki, the zeppelin has been collecting samples from the area for a month. The data is analyzed at the Center for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations at the University of Helsinki.
This project was started in 2011 and will continue for four years. The European Union research budget devotes €10 million ($13.3 million) across 15 countries and 26 research institutes in order to study the interactions of climate and atmospheric chemistry. The ultimate goal is to help regulate pollution and create policy initiatives.