Accession Number:



Aerosonde Technical Development

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



LONG-TERM GOALS. The Aerosonde development program has been in effect since the early 1990s with the first field trial flown at the end of 1995 as part of the Maritime Continental Thunderstorm Experiment of northern Australia McGeer 1996b. Since that time, the Aerosonde has been deployed in diverse jurisdictions and climates in collaboration with the weather services of Australia, Canada, Taiwan and the U.S. Principal results are as follows more than 1000 flight hours since 1995, deployment with relative ease except still requiring significant ground support personnel, seven flights longer than 24 hrs with the longest flight of 30.5hr., flights in severe tropical thunderstorms Western Australia, South China Sea, flights in midlatitude icing Vancouver Island, flights in the arctic environment Barrow, fully automatic flight from takeoff to landing, control of multiple aircraft from a single ground station, inflight transfer between ground stations and enroute control-by-telephone from weather forecasting centers, and first unmanned Atlantic crossing 3270 km from Newfoundland to Scotland on 20-21 August, 1998 in 26 hr 45 min using 4 kg of fuel. In 1999, ONR funded further engineering development of the Aerosonde at the University of Washington. This funding was further supplemented by a contract from Aerosonde Robotic Aircraft of Australia replacing SES. The major goals are to develop the necessary tools for a technology base supporting Aerosonde class aircraft design while improving the current vehicle. Secondary goals for the UW are to integrate the Aerosonde development effort into the educational mission of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Subject Categories:

  • Aerodynamics
  • Aircraft

Distribution Statement: