Archive for January, 2015

Meet Agnes

Screenshot 2015-01-25 10.51.28

It has been some time since we last posted an update on here, but we have been very busy behind the scenes. ASTRA is developing the Massive Atmospheric Volume Instrumentation System (MAVIS). This is an unmanned air system consisting of a large number of very low cost, bio-degradable flying sensors, which can be released en masse from a high altitude balloon in order to map the physical variables of a target block of airspace.

Agnes (see the image to the right) is the first iteration of the MAVIS sensorcraft – a paper airplane with its avionics printed in silver ink onto the ‘airframe’ itself. We took Agnes to the AIAA SciTech 2015 conference – the conference paper (King, Sóbester and Scanlan) contains an in-depth look at Agnes’s development.

Screenshot 2015-01-25 11.07.40Progress is being made on the software side too, with developments on the path planning front. The goal of this activity is to understand how should this fleet of sensorcraft descend to maximize sampling efficiency.

Another SciTech 2015 paper (Crispin and Sóbester) summarizes progress in this area too.


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