Business

October 24, 2012

Aerosonde small UAS log 168 flight hours in the Antarctic

AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, announced Oct. 22 that its Aerosonde(R) Small Unmanned Aircraft System logged 168 flight hours in the frigid, harsh climate of Antarctica, supporting meteorological research by the University of Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

Each Aerosonde aircraft was outfitted with meteorological instruments to measure pressure, temperature, relative humidity, winds, net radiation, surface temperature and ice thickness.

The University of Colorado team, led by Dr. John Cassano, is studying Antarctic polynyas, or areas of open water surrounded by sea ice. To learn more about this phenomenon, the crew directed the Aerosonde aircraft through low-level flights around 300 feet above the water’s surface to measure wind speed, temperature and moisture in an area called Terra Nova Bay. Flights also included spiral ascents and descents to capture the atmosphere at various heights over the polynyas. Launching from an ice runway, the Aerosonde aircraft conducted beyond-line-of-site operations of up to 18 hours in temperatures as low as minus 37 degrees Celsius and winds up to 81 miles per hour.

“The crew and aircraft have really proven themselves in one of the harshest, least-forgiving environments possible for unmanned aircraft system operations,” said Cassano.

This was the second successful deployment AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems has conducted with the University of Colorado team. In 2009, a six-week exploration of the katabatic winds present on the coast of Antarctica allowed researchers to generate highly detailed, three-dimensional maps to help study their relationship to sea ice formation.

“Once again, Antarctica has proven to be an extremely challenging environment; however, this small group of dedicated professionals has demonstrated what is possible at the extreme edge,” said Nick Logan, flight operations manager for AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ Australia-based strategic business Aerosonde Pty Ltd, which led the 2012 and 2009 Aerosonde SUAS deployments.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. The...
 
 

Sikorsky awarded $8 million contract for Phase 1 ALIAS program

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced March 4 that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded the company an $8 million contract for Phase 1 of the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System program. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. The objective of DARPA’s ALIAS program is to develop and insert new automation into...
 

 

Global Hawk sees decrease in cost per flight hour amidst increased operational tempo

The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance autonomous unmanned aircraft system had another remarkable year in 2014, with a significant decrease in cost per flight hour coupled with a sharp increase in flight hours. The Global Hawk program has brought the system’s cost per flight hour down to the point of being half...
 
 
LM-AEHF

Ingenuity drives Lockheed’s AEHF program to production milestone early

Lockheed Martin has successfully integrated the propulsion core and payload module for the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite nearly five months ahead of schedule. Reaching this critical milestone early a...
 
 

First all-electric propulsion satellites send first on-orbit signals

Two Boeing 702SP (small platform) satellites, the first all-electric propulsion satellites to launch, have sent initial signals from space, marking the first step toward ABS, based in Bermuda, and Eutelsat, based in Paris, being able to provide enhanced communication services to their customers. Whatís more, the satellites were launched as a conjoined stack on a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>