The Meridian and Yak Uninhabited Aircraft System (UAS)


The Meridian Uninhabited Aircraft System (UAS) is designed to provide an aerial platform for ice-penetrating radar developed at CReSIS. The Meridian has been developed over the last five years by a team at the University of Kansas involving many current and former students, as well as six faculty members: Rick Hale, Shah Keshmiri, Mark Ewing, Dave Downing, Ray Taghavi and Richard Colgren.

Flight Test

The first flight of the Meridian UAS was flown from a grass strip at nearby Ft. Riley.  The US Army has been exceptionally supportive of the team, providing access to the restricted airspace needed to fly uninhabited vehicles.

Jon Tom and Bill Donovan power up equipment in the avionics and payload bay

With the recent success under their belt, eight members of the flight test team left over the Labor Day weekend to the remote Dugway Proving Grounds outside Salt Lake City to continue flight testing.  After four successful flights, the team returned to KU to continue plans to deploy to Antarctica in December.

Check out the youtube link where you’ll see a video documenting the first flight. The video also includes an interview with team leader, Associate Professor Rick Hale, and voice-overs by the chief designer, doctoral candidate Bill Donovan (BS AE 2006).

In Flight

Building the Meridian

The first Meridian-class uninhabited aircraft system built for Arctic exploration rolled out of the Garrison Flight Research Center's main hangar in December 2008. This UAS, and others to come, will be flown in Greenland and Antarctica as part of ongoing research at CReSIS.

The Meridian will begin flights this year with 8 aerodynamic antennas slung beneath the wing