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).