Development and Flights of Ant-Plane UAVs for Aerial Filming and Geomagnetic Survey in Antarctica

ShinIchiro Higashino, Minoru Funaki


The authors have been developing two types of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) named “Ant-Plane UAVs”. Ant-Plane UAVs are developed so that they can be used for scientific missions such as aerial geomagnetic survey and filming in summer season in Antarctica. In order to demonstrate usefulness of UAVs, accumulate expertise, and promote use of UAVs especially for scientific missions in Antarctic area where the research activities using manned aircraft are no easy, we have attempted several flights and made success to acquire precious geomagnetic data and onboard video images in Antarctica during 2011-2012 summer season.  The UAV has taken off from the glacier near St. Kliment Ohridski Station of Bulgaria in Livingston Island to the area over Deception Island.  The island is located 30km off the Station.  Total distance flew in the survey flight was more than 300km, and the geomagnetic data obtained by the UAV has become the world’s first geomagnetic data above Deception Island.  This paper describes the UAVs developed, the flight results in Antarctica, obtained expertise and lessons learned.


Aerial filming; UAV; aerial geomagnetic survey

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