Protecting environments with UAV swarms

This project will demonstrate how Windracers’ uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) swarms can be used to conduct survey missions.


Protecting environments with UAV swarms








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Project dates: 1 July 2022 – 30 June 2024

About the project

Protecting environments with uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) swarms will develop a live demonstration for uncrewed aerial survey problems. The Windracers ULTRA uncrewed platform has undergone several trials where it was used to carry cargo for Royal Mail and the NHS, and is designed to carry 100kg payload over 1000km. It has been widely used to deliver medical supplies and medical equipment to the Isle of Wight in Hampshire, Scilly Isles in Cornwall and across the Orkney and Shetland Islands in Scotland.

Please Note: Funding available is the grant value awarded by Innovate UK.

Project activities

The project will demonstrate how Windracers’ aircraft can be used to conduct survey missions. One of the main goals is to show, with the help British Antarctic Survey, how the systems can gather environmental data in Antarctica, as well as demonstrating how the aircraft could be used to detect and locate wildfires.

For these operations to scale, the ULTRA platforms need to be operated in large numbers and in difficult environmental conditions. This raises several technological challenges, some of which are centred around navigation, situational awareness, resilience to failures and degraded performance states, which the project will address.


The primary benefits of the systems developed by the project will be in demonstrating how the Windracers ULTRA and Swarm technology can be used in applications that directly help to protect the environment. Swarm technology will allow for extensive coverage and at reduced survey time and human resource.

To find out more about the project, please contact Innovate UK Business Connect’s Knowledge Transfer Manager for Aviation.

Project partners

  • Windracers
  • British Antarctic Survey (a part of the Natural Environment Research Council)
  • Distributed Avionics
  • Helix Geospace
  • Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
  • University of Bristol
  • The University of Sheffield

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