A team of students, faculty and researchers from the University of Kansas performed a successful flight test of the Meridian UAV on Friday, Aug. 28, at Fort Riley, Kan. The Meridian is an 1,100-pound unmanned aircraft with a 26-foot wingspan that was piloted by remote control.
Meridians mission will be to gather data on the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland for the NSF Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), headquartered at KU.
The innovative aircraft has been almost five years in the making under the direction of CReSIS Autonomous Platforms team leader Richard Hale, an associate professor of Aerospace Engineering. The aircraft, which was designed and built at KU, will help researchers to compile better data by allowing flight passes at slower speeds and lower altitudes above the icy terrain, flights that might be too dangerous for human pilots.