The Skyhunter aircraft is an excellent COTS platform which is used as a sensor platform for the Cloud Map flight campaigns. Low cost and with a large internal volume for autopilot equipment and payloads, the Skyhunter can be launched by hand or catapult and skid-lands on its belly for use in unimproved flight areas where atmospheric measurements often need to be performed. It is capable of flying full auto waypoint missions and is equipped with First Person View video equipment for pilot situational awareness.
The current sensor suite takes in-situ measurements of CO2 levels, temperature, humidity, pressure, and wind as well as smoke levels for alternate tests measuring wildfires. This data is logged at ~1Hz along with the GPS coordinates and altitude, allowing the atmospheric data to be mapped for 3D analysis.
Wingspan: 5.9 ft
Max Gross Takeoff Weight: 10 lbs
Cruise Speed: 30 kts
Max Speed: 50 kts
Endurance: 30-45 min
Material: EPO foam with carbon fiber reinforcements