MicroPilot Flies Successful Mapping Mission Over Antarctic
Trimble’s UX5, flown by MicroPilot’s MP2128HELI, maps Antarctica terrain. National Military Geographic Institute of Ecuador celebrates its successful mission.
October 29, 2014 - Stony Mountain, Manitoba, Canada – MicroPilot autopilot technology recently flew a Trimble unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Antarctica terrain. The National Military Geographic Institute of Ecuador (IGM) chose Trimble’s UX5 aerial imaging UAV to map a scientific research base located a few miles off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. The IGM selected the UX5 to carry out its imaging missions because of this product’s ability to operate over rugged terrain and in severe weather conditions. Additionally, IGM was impressed with Trimble’s Business Center software.
The mapping project took place this past winter and was supported by an expedition totaling 38 people, including biologists, micro-zoologists, cartographers, weather experts, and soldiers. The outcome was exceptional considering cold weather conditions, which are generally difficult for photogrammetry. The UX5 persevered in temperatures averaging 5ºC (23ºF) and through winds of 10 to 15 knots with unpredictable gusts.
Cold temperatures are no mystery to MicroPilot, headquartered in Central Canada. Winter temperatures in Stony Mountain dip as low as -40C. Therefore, MicroPilot is versed in the challenges of operating under adverse weather conditions. In addition, MicroPilot’s wide-range temperature calibration is valuable for customers flying in cold climates such Antarctic. This calibration makes it possible for operators to rely on their autopilot regardless of temperature extremes.
“MicroPilot is flying to the ends of the earth to support imaging products,” says Howard Loewen, MicroPilot President. “Success stories like this make the long hours spent at MicroPilot perfecting our products well worth it.”
Trimble’s UX5 operates with the help of MicroPilot’s MP2128HELI autopilot. The MP2128HELI provides extraordinary user definability. Additionally, its open architecture provides access to gains and the ability to load custom code using MicroPilot's developer's kit. The system is not only light in weight but particularly versatile, making it a popular choice for UAV manufacturers. For example, the MP2128HELI flies fixed wing, helicopter, and multi-rotor UAVs—all using the same software.
With 850 clients in over 70 countries, MicroPilot is the world leader in miniature autopilots for UAVs and MAVs. MicroPilot is the first UAV autopilot manufacturer to bring to market a sub 30 gram autopilot, triple redundant autopilot, and full-function general purpose autopilot. MicroPilot offers a family of lightweight UAV autopilots that can fly fixed-wing, transitional, helicopter, and Multi Rotor UAVs. MicroPilot also provides complementary products such as the XTENDERmp SDK, trueHWIL, payloads, and catapults.