Practical use of mini and micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for the Environmental Sciences

20th – 24th August 2018 - Oban, Scotland


This comprehensive five-day course will provide you with the knowledge and hands-on, practical skills required to undertake an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) campaign safely, legally and successfully for NERC oriented science.
This course has been specifically designed for environmental scientists with an interest in the application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to their science and will take place at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland, where you will have the chance to fly both indoor and outdoor missions (weather permitting).

Practical sessions will take the form of simulated mission scenarios, where you will have the chance to take an off-the shelf instrument, integrate it into a mini/micro UAV airframe (<20kg in weight) and plan and perform scientific flights. You will then analyse collected data and evaluate your missions.

Alongside the hands-on sessions, lectures will be presented on topics including regulatory and air traffic legislation, flight planning and checks, and the miniaturisation and integration of instruments into UAV designs.

Topics covered

Unmanned aerial vehicle
Using UAVs for NERC Science
Aircraft control theory and autopilots
Miniaturisation / integration of instruments
UAV regulations
Flight planning, operations and checklists
Integration of sensors onto mini/micro UAVs
Indoor mission flights
Outdoor flight missions
Mission debriefs and supervised data analysis
Group presentations and practical results

How to apply

Places are strictly limited and you must return your completed application form to Sara Kinahan by 20th July in order to be considered for a place.

This course is free of charge for current PhD students and early career scientists. Accommodation, subsistence costs and reasonable travel within the UK will be fully-funded for students with at least 50% NERC funding.