This is spring time and thus the ThermoPilot project is still under intensive development (now the v6.x version) and real tests flights can be conducted because the thermal upwards can be hunted above the fields... Below a sample log flight during a full autonomous thermal hunting in free mode.
Here a flight log during a 23 km of full autonomous cross country soaring mission in closed loops with 5 waypoints.
An ArduPilot Mega 2560 is installed on the Cularis e-Glider with the ThermoPilot v6.x firmware (an enhanced version of the ArduPlane v2.33). The ThermoPilot v6.0 includes a lot of improvements for the cross country soaring and the thermal hunting and some dedicated ML algorithms to do a close following of the thermal upwards.
Below the Cularis e-Glider and its big brother, the Fashionista: a 5 meters wingspan e-Glider (a very good thermal hunter)...
During the summer and the spring 2012, the ThermoPilot project will be very active in the air... Stay tuned...