Together with the Laboratory for Energy Conversion of the ETH Zürich we have adapted their air flow probe to Paparazzi and integrated it into our meteo Funjets. It is used to measure wind vectors/turbulences around wind turbines for a more efficient planning of wind parks. The goal is to understand the impact that a turbine causes to the ones downstream.
The scientists from the Geophysical Institute Bergen/Norway flew our Funjets to collect environmental data in the Barents Sea around Spitzbergen, 1300km away from the North Pole.
They took off and landed on the helicopter deck of the icebreaking coast guard vessel KV Svalbard. They got some Paparazzi training before the expedition and operated the UAV on their own, only by the help of a RC safety pilot. They flew in altitudes up to 1500m with ground air temperature of about -20°C and windspeed up to 15m/s.
We gave a talk at the 24C3 congress in Berlin and presented the Paparazzi project. Two autonomous aircraft flying near Toulouse, France and Hildesheim, Germany were controlled from the big screen in the auditorium in Berlin.
The trajectory was modified in flight, telemetry and live on-board video data was shown. There were teams launching and supervising the aircraft locally. There is an SPIEGEL Online article (in German).
We are back from the Icelandic Highlands. It is a harsh environment for both humans and airplanes. The IR sensors performed pretty well and we collected a lot of meteo data for the Flohof campaign in the area around the Hofsjökull glacier.
With the help of the Icelandic ATC we set a new Paparazzi altitude record.
It all started with a visit to the micro air vehicle contest in Braunschweig EMAV 2004. There was a Multiplex Twinstar and Microjet that flew perfectly even though the weather was not nice at all. They had funny looking sensors that I had never seen on an airplane. It was great to find out that all the used hard and software was open source – Paparazzi. I got in contact with Antoine and Pascal, the fathers of the project. See the main page for the story.