As I can see everyone liked the post of GliderUAV about automatic thermalling. I have tremendous interest in such things.
For a few month now I've been developing algorithms which will help our UAV's increase their flight times. And I've started to get some positive results.
Right now one algorithm has been already tested on x-plane HIL simulation, and I will say - it is neat!
Let me tell you some information about it. For now it doesn't have anything with searching thermals and loitering on them. Just simple soaring with constant feedback correction. I've tested it on some heights like 100, 200m and result are fine. But when I've tested it on 1km height it flew 9828m long and it took 12min 36sec without using motor at all!!! Which I can say is great result!
Let me know what you think. Can it be nice to have in our UAV's? Any ideas appreciated.