PRESS RELEASE – FEBRUARY 2, 2019
The project goal is to better understand meteorology and weather forecasting models by measuring atmospheric conditions during high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flights. To accurately sample atmospheric weather conditions in the stratosphere, the project design included a sensor system integrated into a high-altitude glider, called the HiDRON. The HiDRON is a high-altitude in-situ measurement platform developed by earth observation company, Stratodynamics Aviation Inc.
Travis Schuyler, a PhD candidate working with Professor Marcelo Guzman in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, stated “I have built the system for fast sampling of temperature, pressure, and relative humidity during the ascent and descent trajectories of the balloon-launched HiDRON to a target altitude of 25 km.” Part of the challenge, explained Schuyler, involved the engineering to fit the instrument in the glider fuselage and to integrate it along with other important hardware and avionics systems to enable the unmanned flight and collection of atmospheric data. Marcelo Guzman commented, ‘we are very excited to share the resulting data collected using the glider with the scientific community soon.”
An immediate project goal is to compare the high-altitude data collected on the HiDRON with the high-resolution weather models for the same time and geographic location. 12 hours before the high-altitude launch, high-resolution weather models were provided by TruWeather and TempoQuest. This is the first time this kind of atmospheric-sensing equipment has been successfully integrated and flown using a balloon-launched, unmanned glider. The results will enable the evolution of new UAV technology and in-situ observation methodologies.
Marcelo Guzman and Travis Schuyler, University of Kentucky Researchers
“A project goal is to better understand meteorological and weather forecasting models by measuring atmospheric conditions during high-altitude aerial vehicle flights, and we are very excited to share the data collected using the HiDRON with the Scientific community,” commented Marcelo Guzman. Travis Schuyler added, “This is the first time that this kind of atmospheric-sensing equipment has been integrated into a balloon-launched, unmanned glider and the results will enable the evolution of new UAV technology and in-situ observation methodologies.”
For more information on the HiDRON visit: www.stratodynamics.ca