Scientists from the Finnish Meteorological Institute used small unmanned aircrafts to collect atmospheric data in a measurement campaign at the Finnish Aboa station located in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. During 26 flights they collected 61 vertical profiles in altitudes up to 1000m with fully automatic operating aircrafts.
The three 70cm wingspan/580g weight aircrafts are modified Multiplex Funjet types that are equipped with the Paparazzi Open Source autopilot to control the plane and collect environment data like temperature, humidity, pressure, wind direction and speed.
The gathered data was compared with measurements from tethered balloon soundings and sonic instruments (SODAR).
No experienced RC pilot or Paparazzi software developer was at the location to fulfill the mission.