News

2017-10-23

THE SCI-ART BALLOON MISSION HAS BECOME A FACT!

Dear Friends,

Our flight for the BALLOON-SCI-ART-GALLERY project has finally taken place. It has been the first-ever hot-air balloon flight over the centre of Warsaw. Together, we create the history of the city!

It’s also the first educational and scientific project from which the pictures were directly transmitted to Earth and live-viewed at schools and many other educational and cultural institutions in Poland and abroad. The mission was also broadcasted for the students of Varsavianistics and watched in real time during their lectures. We also had many viewers not affiliated with any institution, who were simply curious about the project.

As a consequence, a new form of education has come into being: live-broadcast, interdisciplinary and unconventional. The broadcast was conducted by the crew of the first balloon, who focused on observing the surface of the Earth. The crew from the second balloon dealt with analyzing the atmosphere, and the samples they collected will be presented during the upcoming conference at the Faculty of Biology at the University of Warsaw.

The number of people watching us directly and via online broadcast exceeded our expectations; moreover, numerous people decided to take part actively and prepare their own exhibitions.

During the last few days after the flight we saw exactly how many people joined to create our world gallery in its innovative form. We have seen not only the pictures from Warsaw, but also from many places around the world where you exhibited the photos. The gallery presenting them all will be open on the project website soon!

Just as some of you requested, we decided to share the photos for a longer a period of time than originally planned, so you can still create your galleries wherever in the world you want. Please bear in mind that both the idea for the place and the form of the exhibition are important. The most interesting exhibitions and the descriptions you provide for them will be commemorated in our project photobook. This is also a completely new idea and the first such initiative in history, so it’s worth to do your best and prepare an intriguing exhibition with an appealing commentary. Of course, we don’t forget about the galleries that were created simultaneously with the transmission – they will be especially honored.

We would like to thank all those people and institutions who continuously supported us and made this project happen.

The flight gave us a lot of experience: we tested the quality of transmission, options for research, and possibilities for social interaction and perception. Using this experience, we are planning to launch another flight over Warsaw in the spring 2018 to collect more data for scientific and educational purposes.

Thanks to your interest in the project, we decided to rebuild our website and for the past few days we have been adding new features to it. Please continue to visit us and take part in the follow-up of the project.

2017-10-16

17.10.2017 THE BALLOON FLIGHT

Dear Friends

According to the forecasts, tomorrow on the 17th of October, 2017 at about 3 p.m. (1 p.m. GMT, Barnaul +5h, New York -6h, Los Angeles -9h), we are expecting good conditions for the balloon flight over the city. The direction and speed of the wind are not yet stable, but we hope for the best.

Stay tuned!

2017-09-11

WE ARE READY AND STEADY FOR THE FLIGHT! NEW STARTING PLACES.

 

Just as we informed before, the balloon journey:

- will be directly transmitted online, with frequent updates of aerial photos taken at the most interesting points of the journey. The ground-based viewers are encouraged to arrange the photos into a gallery and exhibit it in the place of their choice. All those diverse personal galleries will be created simultaneously around the globe

- will present modern ways of Earth observation and atmosphere research

- will be the first interdisciplinary school lesson in history (subjects covered: Geography, History, Environment Education, Maths, physics, Chemistry Arts, Economy, etc.), conducted live from the sky. It is yet another methodological and organizational challenge for the project. Numerous schools from around the world have already decided to register and take part in the lesson.

Because of this, the flight has to take place on a school day, weekends excluded. It is yet another obstacle for us, but in order to get ourselves more chances to finally set off and fly over the city centre, we chose a few alternative starting points. In this way we can make use of more available wind paths.

Right now, the starting points are:

  1. Pole Mokotowskie Park N 52o12’32’’ E 20o59’38’’ to the south from the pond. This beautiful park is popular among the people of Warsaw throughout the year. It was also the place where the first planes in Poland took off and where the first balloon races were organized.
  2. Syrenka Stadium N 52o12’45’’ E 21o00’43’’. Now turned into the first golf club in the city. The club eagerly agreed to share their field with us. More about the place at http://wawagolf.pl/
  3. RKS Skra Stadium N 52o12’50’’ E 20o59’38’’. Historic athletics stadium.
  4. KS Delta Stadium N 52o11’10’’ E 21o04’27’’. Local club, welcoming to all newcomers. Picturesque location by the Czerniakowskie Lake. The people who decide to take part in the take off here, are invited to drop by a special coffee shop opened in an old school bus.
  5. Olimpia Stadium, next to the Na Moczydle Park N 52o14’27’’ E 20o57’12’’. Another club that is ready to share their pitch for the balloon take off.

We are grateful to all of them, and will never forget their kindness. Please take note of all those places if you want to come and see the take off on the spot. When the starting point is decided, the Polish Post will put up a stall for the balloon mail, where you will have a chance to obtain a special card and a commemorative stamp.

2017-06-30

Long-runner’s calm: flight after August 25

Wind forecast for 2017-06-25

Sometimes it happens that we can launch a flight right away, but more often we are forced to wait for good weather conditions. Even more so, when our parameters are very strict: set place for the take-off, precise flight direction of 20-30 deg. angular diameter that would enable us to fly over the city on the scheduled route for over ten kilometers with good speed, at set temperature, altitude and time – two hours before the sunset. Unfortunately, those conditions were not met neither in May nor in June. In those two months we had a lot of violent storms instead. Storms are beautiful, especially when graphically depicted, but they would make the flight over a heavily urbanized and turbulent area quite risky.

Time has been yet another obstacle: we intend this flight to be the first ever live airborne lesson, hence it should take place during the school year, not later than on June 25, when summer holidays began.

Moreover, the upcoming visit of the President of the US means that the airspace over Warsaw will be temporarily closed.

Due to all those factors, we have to reschedule the flight for after holidays. The readiness alert is planned for August 25 , just before the start of the new semester in Polish schools.

If it happens that the we still don't have optimum weather conditions at that time, we will cover the northbound route by helicopter, and the balloon will fly on a different route, e.g. east- or wet bound.

For the time being, instead of pictures of the city, we are sharing a beautifully rendered image of barometric situation in Warsaw from the last few days. The winds you see there are best to be enjoyed at home, in front of a monitor, not experienced in a balloon basket.

2017-06-11

We are constantly monitoring the weather

The early forecasts for two days lately (the 9th and upcoming 12th of June) made our hearts beat faster. Those days initially seemed to be perfect for our mission. But as those days were getting close the forecasts revealed that the ideal weather would disappear towards the evening, as seen on the wind forecast for tomorrow.

The start can only take place about two hours before the sunset - lower thermal dynamics of the atmosphere. Unfortunately, in the next days we are going to have western winds.

2017-06-06

POSTCARD and BALLOON POST

The Polish Post, Poczta Polska, has issued a special postcard to commemorate the flight, which you can send by our special balloon postal service. The postcards will be available shortly before the flight. On the front of the card you can see the panorama of Warsaw, with two balloons hovering above. The two balloons are in the project logo, however it is possible that one more balloon will take part in the mission.

On the other side of the card you will find a series of mysterious symbols of the city. Those who guess the meaning of all of them and send their list at samper@samper.pl with a note “encoded symbols of Warsaw”, will take part in a lottery. The winners will receive The Warsaw Triptych albums.

2017-06-03

Waiting for the right weather conditions

Prognoza meteo.pl 2017-06-05

We have been ready for the start for two weeks, our equipment and online transmission software have been tested a number of times, and the crews are waiting to be called to Pole Mokotowskie for the take off.

The plans for launching the BALLOON-SCI-ART-GALLERY mission are difficult to realize because flights over Warsaw are under heavy restrictions, which means that we have got a permission for only one narrow route for our flight.

For those two weeks, we have been waiting for the right meteorological conditions: stable wind from the southern direction at 180-200 degree angle, 5-6 hours with no changes in the weather, the right wind direction present at the altitude of 610 meters, wind speed of 4-5 m/s (in order not to stay hovering over the city), temperature up to 25 C, no strong currents of hot air masses over the city.

Unfortunately, those conditions have not been met yet, but we are determined to do it – even if it becomes a greater challenge than a flight over Tatra Mountains.

The image show the weather forecasts for June 5. Required conditions are indicated, with the crucial one - the wind direction. The direction also has to remain stable on all altitudes, otherwise the changing wind would not only steer us towards air corridors of Okęcie airport, but it could push the balloons backwards, right to the airfield.

2017-05-21

TV transmission on-line by POLSAT NEWS and POLSAT NEWS 2 channels

We are delighted to announce that POLSAT television company decided to support our transmission from the flight over WarsawI This means that apart from the transmission on our project website BALLOON-SCI-ART-GALLERY.pl, where you will be able to download unique aerial photographs, POLSAT will broadcast the footage from their own cameras installed on the balloon.

In this way, you will be able to watch not only the city panorama below, but also what our crew is doing up there.

There is also a chance that POLSAT will organize a short transmission from a helicopter and we are going to see all of the balloons flying together.

The direct transmission from th entire flight will be broadcast at POLSAT NEWS and POLSAT NEWS 2 channels.

2017-04-24

Special bonuses

If you are fully registered and you confirm that you accessed and exhibited the photos after the transmission, you are going to get special bonuses:

    You will be entitled to choose your favourite transmitted photo and get it in high resolution (real-life format up to 1-meter wide at the basis) for your exclusive private use, e.g. to hang it on your wall. The picture will be sent to the e-mail address you use to confirm the transmission and from which you send us the photo documenting your exhibition. After the flight, you will get a special password with which you can access previously unpublished, unique photos from the flight, the ones that will be taken from other cameras and places. Those snapshots are going to be as extraordinary as those taken from the balloon and only registered viewers will get a chance to see them. You, the photo you selected and the description of your exhibition will be included in the commemorative publication about the flight. Good way to promote yourself or your community!

As you can see, it is worth to fully register and actively participate in the project. Getting the transmission, exhibiting balloon photos of Warsaw and snapping a picture of your exhibition – do it and your photo will be published in our project book!

For now, until the take-off of the balloons, please feel welcome to check the project website frequently – updates about the flight really often from now on!

2017-04-24

Readiness alert from May 15, 2017

The readiness alert is planned for the 15th of May and from that day onwards we are going to monitor the weather. All fully registered participants (i.e. those who uploaded the photo of their exhibition spot and described their idea for it) will receive a notification about the flight via e-mail 24 hrs before the take-off. Another notification will be sent 5 hrs beforehand, to confirm the start.

The participants who have not fully registered (e.g. they filled in the registration form but did not mark their geolocation on the map or did not upload their gallery idea or photo) will not be individually informed about the take-off via e-mail. If you do not plan to fully register, you can still check our website balloon-sci-art-gallery.pl, where we will post all the info about the flight start, within the same time slots as for e-mail notifications.

2017-04-24

After the winter break

After the winter break, Warsaw is starting to show off its urbanistic and natural beauty.

The postponed balloon flight is scheduled for May or June, when the weather conditions should be good.

It is the most challenging factor, as the route of the flight is carefully planned: from a selected spot in Pole Mokotowskie to the north, with no more than 5 degree deflection and wind speed of 5-8 m/s. We hope that such conditions will appear in Warsaw at the scheduled time.

2016-11-13

The flight postponed until spring! In the meantime…

Our plan was to show the beauty of Warsaw at its best, however since the rainy days of gloomy autumn have already come together with first signs of winter, we decided to postpone the flight until May of next year, when the city will be in full bloom – literally. This change has many other benefits. We are going to spend the winter actively developing the project.

In September and October, the balloons were set up for the flight a dozen times. We were waiting for good weather conditions, nevertheless the favourable forecasts had never proved accurate. In order to fully understand the difficulties we have faced, you need to realize that a flight from Pole Mokotowskie Park through the very heart of Warsaw to the densely populated suburbs and forests in the north means that there would be no chance of crash landing for the balloons. Good landing spots are located about 25-35 km from the starting place. Simultaneously, this distance has to be covered in 2 – 2,5 hours before the fuel runs out. Due to that, the wind should not only be in the proper direction, it also needs to have certain speed. Moreover, the vision should be clear, with no rainfall.

If you are interested, please check the weather forecasts for the upcoming days here:

http://www.meteo.pl/um/php/meteorogram_list.php?ntype=0u&fdate=2016111012&row=406&col=250&lang=pl&cname=Warszawa

and archived meteorograms with specific meteorological values for our starting place can be found here:

https://polish.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=IMAZOWIE76#history/s20161008/e20161107/mmonth

The diagrams show quite clearly that in the last few weeks meteorological conditions were far from acceptable for take off. The wind never had stable direction nor proper speed.

Postponing the flight until spring gives us better chances to fly and show Warsaw exactly as we dreamed of. Apart from that, we can enlarge the scope of the project. With each day, new people are registering their gallery ideas at our website.

We are also cooperating with Poczta Polska (Polish Post) to promote the project: currently, we are working on comments to the project postcard  and a series of special personalized stamps. We plan to present them in a few weeks time, so please stay tuned for our next bulletin!

2016-10-22

The weather is still not suitable for flight

Unfortunately the weather all the time is not suitable for flight.

 Good meteorological conditions are not the only factor required for the flight, but they are the crucial one. We need stable wind from the eastern direction in the afternoon, with just a slight change of angle to the north-east. The wind speed should be around 3-6 m/s. Moreover, there has to be no rainfall, which unfortunately appears in weather forecasts quite frequently now.

Still, when we finally manage to take off, it will be the most unusual of journeys and landscapes!

You can keep track of the weather conditions in Warsaw here http://www.meteo.pl

2016-10-17

We are waiting

We wanted to show how beautiful Warsaw is, green in the summer or, as it is now, golden and red in the autumn. The balloons and the crew are ready, however this year's climate and weather conditions, especially the lack of proper wind, have not been in our favour for quite a time.

Moreover, we are determined to start from Pole Mokotowskie and keep our route above the city center as planned, what makes our mission even more challenging due to factors unrelated to the weather: close proximity of two airports and official buildings. We do not want to change our plans, nevertheless, because the route we chose will show the most extraordinary spots and spaces in the city.

We are still waiting for the right wind and weather, with no additional obstacles, then. As soon as the chance for the flight arises, we will notify all those who registered their gallery ideas – an e-mail will be sent you one day prior to the start. To not miss the flight, please do not wait any longer to fully register: send a photo of your gallery space and add a short description of your idea.

2016-10-09

The Countdown Begins

The balloons will be ready for the take off on October 13th, however the flight might be postponed due to weather conditions and southern wind, which we patiently await. Patience is essential for this project's success.

When the chance to launch the balloons arises, we will inform you about it on our website one day before the start. The registered users will additionally receive individual notifications.

As the recipients of the transmission are located in different time zones, the time will be given as UTC, with reference to a few selected cities around the world.

The take off will be confirmed for the second time five hours before the flight, and for the third time – about one hour before it. At that time, the balloons will be already undergoing preparations for the start. This last confirmation will mean that the launching is almost certain, however even then we must take into account suddenly changing weather conditions. If everything goes well, a new window will open on our website, created especially for the transmission. This will be the final signal that the balloons are ready to fly.

The live transmission will comprise of the photos taken over Warsaw and it will be supplemented by comments in Polish and English, if possible. The bonus material will include a few sets of 2-3 aerial or ground-level pictures prepared beforehand.

This is the last notice published in seven languages. From now on, the information on the website will be published only in Polish and English.

2016-09-10

Get Involved!

Registration allows you to participate in the project not only by accessing the mission photos, it also enables you to post the pictures of your own gallery, and to present your works in the World Gallery.

Your registration on the world map is connected with the geographic space, not the date you do it. Every post is equally valuable and everyone has equal access to all posts and comments, there is no established hierarchy. Although the main page of the project is available in seven languages, during the registration on the world map you can comment in any language you use in your daily life. If you want your message to be more widespread, however, it is best to include a short translation in English, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, etc. Still, our primary means of communication are images.

See on the map of the world what others have ideas on exposure photo gallery. It constantly growing.

The date and any additional information about the balloon launch will be revealed in an email, sent to the address you indicated during the registration.

2016-06-21

Dream and Vision

This year, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the civic-scientific Project Warsaw, the 10th anniversary of the City Knowledge Academy, the 10th anniversary of Varsavianistic Studies, and we are in the midst of the 200-Year Jubilee of the University of Warsaw and the 110th birthday of the Warsaw School of Economics and 110thbirthday of the Academy of Fine Arts.

In honor of all those events, we plan to organise in October a joint flight of three balloons over the city of Warsaw