If you increase your cameras exposure time in the deep dark blue at noon you even get some mountains into the picture. Otherwise it is just dark. There will only be the moon in a few days. Ultimately there is no big difference to a Central European working day in winter. You go to work in the dark and leave in the dark. The only thing missing is the enlightened way to the canteen. There might be long-term effects, though.

Data from OpenStreetMap

The tethered balloon is located a few hundred meters west from our SUMO station. It is continously going up to 1000m and pulled down. The balloon ground station is now built up in our rented space in the airport. That’s where we have to go after the first SUMO flight, hack some software.


There are three computers in the aircraft: the autopilot, a data logger and a (commercial) data converter for the 5-hole probe (diameter: 3mm). It suddenly does no longer supply data, unfortunately. We never saw that in any of the campaigns. The laptop shows a “SD card not found” error from the converter. It works ok when the card is removed (huh?), then fails again. We add a status bit so that we can detect a malfunction and possibly reboot the converter before take-off.


Everything works smoothly for the rest of the evening. The SUMO is commanded to fly profiles (circles at different altitudes) over land and sea, then ovals in between that two points. In the end we fly ovals over the sea only. We are gaining more confidence in the batteries and reach flight times of about 45 minutes. That is a pity as it ruins the number-of-flight statistics.