Unmanned Systems Research Laboratory – USRL
The Unmanned Systems Research Laboratory (USRL) at The Cyprus Institute offers on-site related infrastructure for research, development, and testing of technologies related to UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).
These are remotely controlled aircraft that can be flown autonomously based on pre-programmed flight paths, or can even fly by using more complex dynamic automation systems.
UAVs can carry an increasing amount of sensors and fill the gap between ground-based and satellite measurements, by providing, for a very competitive cost and risk, the capacity to perform with high spatial resolution, long-term monitoring observations necessary for assessing air pollution and climate change in our region. The current mission of the USRL is to provide high-quality observations of atmospheric pollutants and other parameters relevant to air quality and climate change. Taking advantage of several other CyI infrastructures, such as the instrumentation and analytical laboratories for testing and qualifying miniaturized sensors, as well as a private runway and dedicated airspace, USRL performs regular (weekly) UAV flights to document and contrast long-range transported pollution from three continents (Europe, Africa, and West Asia) and dust aerosols from the largest desert regions in the world (Sahara, Middle East).
USRL capacities will be upgraded within four priority axes:
- Operational fleet of UAV-sensor systems for science;
- Development of innovative UAV solutions for atmospheric research;
- Specialized UAV products and services, and;
- Education and Training in operating UAV-sensor systems.
For the purpose of long-term monitoring activities, USRL will provide ready-to-use (robust and qualified) UAV-sensor systems to conduct regular vertical profiles to connect ground-based in-situ (CAO) and remote sensing (satellite) observations. The UAV fleet is unique in the region and its capacity will be extended to enable it to operate intensive field campaigns in the EMME and to support research activities conducted by the Consortium. It will also become an active and accredited mobile platform within the ACTRIS research infrastructure. USRL will work with the Instrumentation Laboratory & Nanolab to customise sensors to develop innovative UAVs for atmospheric research.
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