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ITV NEWS ANGLIA: Scientists in Cambridge unveil huge eco-friendly drone


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About British Antarctic Survey  

The British Antarctic Survey strives to uncover the secrets of the Polar Regions and the frozen regions of the Earth. Our expertise spans the depths of the oceans to the inner edge of space.   

Our research highlights the fragility of the Earth’s frozen environments, and what that means for our planet. We have been living and working in the extremes of Antarctica and the Arctic for over 60 years. Our scientists discovered the hole in the ozone layer and identified key evidence for climate change in ancient ice – our science continues to inform decision-makers. We provide the UK’s national polar capability by operating research stations, aircraft and Royal Research ShipSir David Attenborough, supporting science at the poles and securing the UK’s presence in Antarctic affairs.   

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The British Antarctic Survey is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).  

About Windracers 

Windracers provides the capability to deliver essential logistics to the people and places that need them, anywhere and everywhere, anytime, every time. Powered by our autopilot technology Masterless™, Windracers’ highly reliable long-range drones fly without the need of a pilot, delivering an autonomous solution from engines on to engines off and offering high utilization and scalability. The robust and cost-effective ULTRA (Uncrewed Low-cost TRAnsport) platform can carry 100 kg up to 1,000 km and has Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capability. With a flexible payload, Windracers Group provides solutions across four sectors: Mail & Parcel, Humanitarian Assistance, Defence and Environmental Protection.   

The ground-breaking autopilot system Masterless™ has been developed and patented by Distributed Avionics, part of the Windracers Group, to bring greater efficiency and safety. Masterless™ control was designed in line with the company’s Zero Single Point of Failure philosophy, meaning that no single flight computer is directly controlling the aircraft, so if any component should fail or produce false data, the aircraft will still fly safely.  

Windracers is a leading cargo drone operator. With notable achievements such as the first BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) autonomous drone flight in the UK, it is a pioneer in this field. Holding more BVLOS permissions than any other operator, Windracers has successfully completed challenging flight trials in remote locations, amassed extensive operational flying time and worked with organizations including the MOD, British Antarctic Survey and Royal Mail. 

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About the Future Flight Challenge 

The UK Research and Innovation Future Flight Challenge is a £300 million programme, co-funded by government and industry, that is supporting the creation of the aviation ecosystem needed to accelerate the introduction of advanced air mobility (AAM), drones, and electric sub-regional aircraft in the UK. 

Delivered by Innovate UK and the Economic and Social Research Council, the programme works with industry, academia, government, and regulators to transform how we connect people, transport goods, and deliver services in a sustainable way that provides socio-economic benefits using new types of air vehicles with novel technologies.