Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you from AtlantikSolar and all the robots of the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich! Thanks for following us and stay tuned for exciting research & news in 2015!

AtlantikSolar at ICARUS Field Trial Week

During field trials organized within the framework of the ICARUS FP7 Project, the ASL team presented the capabilities of the AtlantikSolar platform and collaborated with other ICARUS partners. The videos below present a short summary of our main activities during the field-trials demonstration that took place between 21st to 25th of July 2014, in the CTC UAV Test Site which is located in the Collsuspina area around Barcelona.

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Autonomous Flight with AtlantikSolar

The AtlantikSolar prototype performed its first successful autonomous flight – a waypoint following mission – on May 6th. The autopilot testing and optimization, previously done on a smaller test plane, was started by tuning the pitch and roll angle-hold autopilot on May 5th. Based on this, the altitude control autopilot and finally the waypoint following loops were added on May 6th. Overall control behavior was very satisfactory, although the significant thermals and gusts during the day challenged the altitude controller such that improvements will be implemented in the next test flight. An excerpt from the first autonomous flights can be seen in the video below.

The next steps will be to robustify the inner loops and the altitude controller, in order to prepare the aircraft for much longer flights later this summer!


Welcome to the AtlantikSolar blog!

Atlantik-Solar is a novel kind of Solar-UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) with the goal to demonstrate the very first fully solar powered and autonomous crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in summer 2014. Due to the ultra long flight endurance of Solar-UAVs demonstrated during the atlantic crossing, future applications lie in search and rescue support, meteorological observations or surveillance operations. The Atlantik-Solar UAV is developed by the Autonomous Systems Lab of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) in cooperation with industry partners.

In the upcoming months, we will use this blog to keep you updated about major steps towards the Atlantic crossing in Summer 2014.This will include insights into the development and production of our UAVs as well as results of the flight test programme. Some technical background information on solar-powered autonomously flying aerial vehicles (or SUAV for short) will be added to the about section soon.

The Atlantik-Solar Team