School of GeoSciences

Airborne Research and Innovation (ARI)

ARI specialises in airborne data acquisition and innovation. It operates a fleet of manned and unmanned aircraft to support research and teaching across the School and beyond.

A light aircraft plane, the ECO Dimona on the tarmac

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

Over recent years unmanned aircraft have opened up the field to a vastly wider audience.  This creates entirely new types of data products and simultaneously drives the cost, size, and weight of sensors and systems down. In turn, exciting new opportunities are being generated for high-quality data acquisition from small, low-cost manned aircraft.

We can support our researchers and students with direct flight operations, equipment loans, training and specialist platform development and sensor integration. 

Facility resources

We operate a mixed fleet of manned and unmanned aircraft equipped with a broad range of imaging and atmospheric sensors.  These provide you with a unique multi-scale, multi-disciplinary, ultra-high resolution sensing capability. In addition, we can provide fully supported data acquisition, training, equipment loan and data processing facilities.

Airborne Research and Innovation website

We encourage you to visit the Airborne Research and Innovation website for more details, including:

  • our facilities and equipment
  • services available  
  • areas of research
  • teaching and student projects
  • quality and safety management
  • research, innovation and teaching opportunities

Visit the Airborne Research and Innovation website


Contact and location


For more information or to access our facility resources, we encourage you to visit our ARI website for more details.

We are always delighted to discuss future opportunities for projects, research, innovation and teaching. 

Please feel free to contact us with any queries or comments.

Visit the Airborne Research and Innovation website


ARI has an office and laboratory spaces in the Crew Building, School of GeoSciences at Kings Buildings Campus, University of Edinburgh.

The University provides campus maps and accessibility guides for the campuses and buildings.  

University campus maps and guides

Fife Airport

Our ECO-Dimona aircraft is hangared at Fife Airport, near Glenrothes, where we also rent an operations cabin adjacent to the hangar. 

Small Research Facility (SRF)

Airborne Research and Innovation is operated as a Small Research Facility (SRF).

A Small Research Facility (SRF) is a facility or service provided by the School and used for research and teaching.  They are also available for use by the wider community such as external academic or commercial use.  Our SRF's are available for hire or on a consultancy basis.  These charges are recognised by grant funders and can therefore form part of a grant submission.

Explore our Small Research Facilities (SRF)