Airborne Research and Innovation

About Airborne Research and Innovation (ARI)

ARI operates a fleet of manned and unmanned aircraft equipped with state of the art sensors to support research and teaching across the School of GeoSciences and beyond.

Airborne research and survey techniques are enjoying major growth in activity and interest.

Over recent years unmanned aircraft have opened up the field to a vastly wider audience, creating entirely new types of data product and simultaneously driving the cost, size and weight of sensors and systems down. This in turn is generating exciting new opportunities for high-quality data acquisition from small, low cost manned aircraft.

We are able to support our researchers and students with direct flight operations, equipment loan, training and specialist platform development and sensor integration.

Find out more about working with us 

Light Aircraft Operations

Dimona aircraft on the ground in sweden
Light aircraft make excellent platforms for scientific sensors and represent a highly efficient solution for landscape to regional scale research operations and atmospheric studies. We own and operate a Diamond ECO-Dimona aircraft with specialised features to support inter-disciplinary research.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

A drone flying over rocks next to the sea edge at Skye, Scotland
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, represent an exciting and rapidly developing technology with extremely widespread potential for scientific research and wider application.

Airborne Sensors

sensor mounted to pod
We manage and operate a broad and growing inventory of sensors and systems for airborne applications.

Airborne Data Laboratory

view of trees at Griffin forst from abofve
To process the very large volumes of data generated by our airborne operations we run a suite of purpose built workstations with appropriate software licences.

Calibration and Test Facilities

image of test screen with electronic pulses
Alongside our airborne sensor inventory, we manage a suite of reference instruments and environmental test equipment which are available for wider use.