• Lighter-than-air ships  
  • How man copes with the cold  
  • Organisation of the measurement flights  
  • Flying conditions and risks during the expedition  
  • The measurement campaign  
  • Communications - Safety - Emergency assistance  
  • Earth observation satellites  
  • Our airship  
  • The earth's atmosphere  
  • Weather forecasting and modeling  
  • The climate and the north pole  
  • The solar energy balance  
  • The greenhouse effect  
  • The ice pack: frozen saltwater  
  • Icebergs : frozen seawater  
  • The arctic ice: climate archives  
  • Ice ages and landscapes  
  • The Arctic Ocean and the ocean currents  
  • Genesis of the arctic ocean  
  • Arctic plankton  
  • Oceanic biodiversity and the food chain  
  • Whales and other cetaceans  
  • Seals and walruses  
  • Arctic flora  
  • Arctic fauna  
  • Polar bears  
  • Birds of the arctic  
  • Evolution of species and climate  
  • Geography of the Arctic regions  
  • Geographic North Pole and magnetic North Pole  
  • Who owns the arctic?  
  • Exploring the deep north  
  • The Inuit people  
  • The other peoples of the deep North  
  • The Arctic today  
  • Man and arctic biodiversity  
  • Pollution in the arctic  
  • Climate warming: the natural cycles  
  • The increase in the greenhouse effect  
  • The impact of global warming  

An airship at the North Pole
Our airship

Semi-rigid airships and blimps
There are two kinds of airship in use today, semi-rigid airships and blimps. Semi-rigid airships, like the Zeppelin NT, have a backbone structure to which are attached the nacelle/gondola and the envelope. A blimp is simply a gas envelope with a nacelle slung underneath; its shape is maintained by the outward pressure of the gas inside.

Built in Russia
Our airship is a blimp, built in Moscow by the Russian company RosAeroSystem. It is the third in a new series of Au 30 airships. The first two in the series are used for surveillance of high-tension lines in Russia and the fourth will be used to monitor traffic conditions in Moscow.

Our airship is 55 m long, 17.5 m high and 14 m wide. Its envelope is filled with 5,000 m3 of helium. The airship has a payload of 1,500 kg, including fuel (800 litres), the crew (pilot, co-pilot and two scientists) and measuring devices (150 kg). The airship is driven by two 170-hp propeller engines.

Assembly and training flights
The airship's nacelle and envelope will be assembled in the Boussirons hangar at Marseille-Marignane airport. Acceptance flights, pilot training courses and training flights will be organised between September 2007 and March 2008.