A CALL has gone out from a Waterford scientist to landowners in the Omagh and Strabane District areas to help locate a glider which crashed to the ground on Monday afternoon.
With a wingspan of 1.6 metres the white polystyrene glider, which was attached to a weather balloon, contains invaluable research that has been collated over the last three years.
Daniel Vagg, who works for Parameter Space explained, “The glider was lifted to an altitude of about 25 kilometres.
It descended and was programmed to guide itself toward Drumlegagh.
The wind at the time was blowing it north from there, and because we lost contact we are unsure where exactly it went, as we don’t know how it flies through different wind speeds.
“It deployed a small luminous green parachute followed by a much larger (48″ diameter) luminous orange parachute.
“Once the parachutes were deployed it would have drifted toward Ardstraw.”
The glider is all personally funded and according to Mr Vagg potentially “very valuable” for earth observation, for example, measuring soil quality over large stretches of farm land, or even analysing flooding during emergencies.
He is desperate to locate the glider, and added, “Besides the importance for potential research, the glider is personally very important to me as I have spent so much of my time and money trying to develop it.
“The data that I can recover from the glider includes pictures, video, and raw data about location and speed, and will allow me to analyse and improve how it behaves in future.
“It is registered with the PSNI as lost property, and I am offering a cash reward for its return.”
Last year Mr Vagg lost a glider on Lough Neagh that was launched as part of research for University College Dublin.
He added, “After months of dedication, hard work and a lot of expensive tech, to have lost another glider is absolutely devastating.
“The only thing we know is that the glider is somewhere in Omagh or Strabane districts, likely in a farmer’s field that is out of our line of sight.
“This glider is an important piece of technology and research.”
Any information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr Vagg’s mobile phone: 00353 83 345 7414.
Posted: 8:00 am September 30, 2017