Paparazzi autopilot in the Arctic again

We are back in the Arctic flying Paparazzi aircrafts on Svalbard (N78° E15°) doing research with the Geophysical Institute of the University of Bergen/Norway. There are two teams operating near Longyearbyen, one on the apron of Longyearbyen airport (LYR) and the other at the old northern lights research station in Adventdalen. Currently we can get permission to fly up to 1500m outside the airport opening times. The Paparazzi aircrafts work perfectly...for humans it is just a little cold. Last night we flew having -32°C (-25°F) on the ground.

The aircrafts are flying vertical and horizontal surveys to measure temperature, humidity and pressure. Wind is estimated by flying and gliding in circles. The aircrafts operate over open land, in the valley, over ice and water. The air layers show very strange effects, especially in the valley. Last night we "surfed" on a wave of air that was falling down and bouncing up from the surrounding mountains. Without the motor turned on the Funjet soared up 1m/s for several minutes at 1330m. The aircrafts nose was pushed down to sink and the Funjet is not a glider at all...

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Comment by helitron on March 24, 2009 at 4:31am

I'm curious what kind of batteries are you using in this cold ? Normally LiPos ? Thanks.

Comment by Martin Mueller on March 24, 2009 at 5:27am

we use "normal" 3 cell LiPos - well insulated from the outside cold by the foam of the fuselage, all holes closed. They can be pre-heated to like 50°C but it works fine without.

Comment by Angus Peart on March 24, 2009 at 5:47am
Measuring wind by gliding in circles, that does sound very interesting!!
Care to share some more on that?
Comment by Matt Fisher on March 24, 2009 at 6:22am
And more pics! It looks amazing up there.
Comment by Max on March 24, 2009 at 6:26am
Yea I remember your landings in the back of the ship... very impressive! Almost made me buy a funjet, hmm...
Comment by Martin Mueller on March 24, 2009 at 6:34am
see the wind source code in the Paparazzi repository:
Comment by helitron on March 24, 2009 at 7:22am
Thanks Martin,

and good luck furthermore in the cold :-) .....

Comment by helitron on March 24, 2009 at 7:29am
Regarding Funjet, it's an absoIutely great plane and I just build my third Funjet (unfortunately the other ones are toast already) beside of my good'ol Attopilot/Ardupilot testplane Easystar :-). Funjet will be the platform for my 2nd Ardupilot then.



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