University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. > Pushing the Envelope – Advancing Atmospheric Observations using Aerial Robotics

Pushing the Envelope – Advancing Atmospheric Observations using Aerial Robotics

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Marcus Koehler.

Known by many names and available in a plethora of sizes and forms, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are revolutionising in-situ measurements in the atmospheric sciences.

Whilst no substitute for fully equipped manned aircraft, UAVs offer a means to collect data in situations deemed risky for aircrew, or where fine-scale atmospheric features may be perturbed by larger craft.

The majority of UAV research flights currently operate within line-of-sight and at low altitude. Operational, legislative and technological hurdles can present significant challenges for parties interested in flying outside of these restrictions. With this in mind, two pioneering measurement campaigns are discussed: one in the Maldives using 28kg UAVs to simultaneously measure cloud and entrainment layer responses to aerosol pollution; and the other on Ascension Island using 8kg Octocopters for targeted atmospheric gas sampling and profiling at up to 2.7km above sea level. Between them, these campaigns safely and legally use advanced flight protocols to fly beyond-visual-line-of sight, in airspace shared with passenger aircraft, and in stacked formation. Applying the protocols to measurements in the UK, including urban areas, are also discussed.

This talk is part of the Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. series.

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