25C3 -

25th Chaos Communication Congress
Nothing to hide

Martin Ling
Day Day 2 (2008-12-28)
Room Saal 2
Start time 14:00
Duration 01:00
ID 2940
Event type lecture
Track Science
Language used for presentation en

Flying for free

Exploiting the weather with unpowered aircraft

Birds, glider pilots, and recently UAVs can exploit a variety of weather effects in order to gain altitude, remain airborne and travel long distances all with no power input – effectively, hacking the atmosphere to fly for free. This talk will explain the aircraft, techniques, meteorology, hardware and software that we use to achieve this. In the process I will show why the sport of gliding may be of interest to hackers, and explain how you too can get involved in this highly rewarding and low-cost form of flying.

Introduction – a brief history and philosophical motivation.

Vulnerabilities – an introduction to the different mechanisms by which we can extract energy from the atmosphere including ridge, thermal and wave lift and dynamic soaring.

Hardware – comparison of the various types of soaring aircraft including sailplanes, hang gliders and paragliders, R/C gliders and recent autonomous soaring UAV projects, along with instruments and other equipment.

Software – a look at the increasing array of both ground-based and in-flight software used to aid soaring, much of it now in the form of open source projects developed by and for pilots.

Results – an overview of modern gliding and its accomplishments, and some tales from my own experience as a pilot and instructor.