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Autonomous Flying Platforms for Atmospheric and Earth Surface Observations

The use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) has increased dramatically in the recent decades. UASs are widely used for different civil applications such as land management, earth sciences, contaminant detection and monitoring and commercial use.


The Autonomous Flying Platforms for Atmospheric and Earth Surface Observations project (APAESO) of the Energy, Environment and Water Research Center (EEWRC) is aimed at the dual purpose of carrying out atmospheric and Earth-surface observations in the Mediterranean.

The APAESO UAS platforms provide the unique ability to produce 3D measurements for determining: physical, chemical and radiative atmospheric properties, aerosol and dust concentrations and atmospheric dynamics as well as 2D investigations into: surface morphology, vegetation and land use patterns, archaeological site reconnaissance, contaminant detection and ocean surface properties (biology, waves, currents) at high spatial resolution.

Through a modular design philosophy, APAESO is very adaptable for a variety of scientific investigations enabling scientific collaborations between the Cyprus Institute and national and international research organizations. Presently, the major scientific questions that can be answered using APAESO are being identified in order to determine proper design specifications and performance requirements.

The Cyprus Institutes's unmanned aerial vehicle project is part of a European COST network (COST ES0802) on "Unmanned Aerial Systems in Atmospheric Research" ( ).

The network brings together 19 institutions from all over Europe in order to coordinate ongoing and conceive future research on the development and application of UAS as a cost-efficient, trans-boundary research tool.

Researchers in the APAESO project will participate in a project funded under the Transnational Access program of the European Facility for Airborne Research (EUFAR;

The VESSAER project ( "VErtical Structure and Sources of AERosols in the Mediterranean Region: a pre-campaign for ChArMEx and HyMeX" ) aims at carrying out vertical profiling in conjunction with ground-based and Lidar measurements to study long-range transport and the evolution of aerosols in the Mediterranean region.

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More in this category: First Flight of the APAESO Planes »