Boldrewood Innovation Campus UAV Laboratory


The University of Southampton's Boldrewood Innovation Campus is home to our UAV research laboratory and offices. Hanging from the ceiling of the lab are several of our in-house built platforms and other research vehicles. The work surfaces and shelves are dotted with new designs, research payloads and prototyped parts and the walls are home to photos, system diagrams and whiteboards full of doodles. The availability of a 3D printer, machining workshop, electronics workstation and hot-wire cutter makes the lab space perfect for designing, manufacturing and assembling our airframes. A virtual tour of our lab space is available here through the university's website.

All our research and development takes place here. On the centre table you will normally find our 1:1 scale "iron bird" - our systems integration test bench. This is a blueprint of our Spotter Light UAS on to which all the electronics, avionics and other components are incorporated. This allows us to prototype, optimise and validate new avionic and electrical designs, and test new components under the same conditions and constraints as the real aircraft. It is also the perfect tool for confirming the characteristics of system failures (for example, what would happen if an aileron servo failed). Once tested and validated the design can be easily integrated into the airframe ready for a test flight.

For more information about the Boldrewood Innovation Campus follow this link to the university's website.

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MC3 Vehicles, Gannet and Osprey


Our state-of-the-art Mobile Command Control and Communication (MC3) vehicles are equipped to support any field test. Although primarily used by our team to support our flight tests, the vehicles are available and designed to support any autonomous systems test that requires an "office on wheels". Each van is fitted with

  • A 10 kW integrated generator and inverter system to charge the large battery bank or provide direct power.
  • Four powerful rack mounted computers with large SSD storage and flat screen displays.
  • A large externally mountable flat screen monitor to allow students to follow a mission/experiment.
  • Multiple 4G high-bandwidth communications for internet connection where 4G is available or a satellite internet communication system for more remote areas.
  • VHF air-band and marine-band communications transceivers.
  • Secure/ encrypted frequency agile broad-band comms and high speed scanning multiband transceiver for long range comms.
  • Local team “walkie-talkie” system.
  • Aircraft and ship transponder interrogators/ airspace virtual radar.
  • A roof mounted conventional marine radar (Osprey only).
  • High quality, HD 30X zoom pan, tilt, tracking camera.
  • A secure helium gas storage facility and a secure petrol storage facility.
  • A pneumatically actuated communications mast (10 m on Osprey, 6 m on Gannet).
  • 4 auto-levelling pneumatic rams to provide a stable ground station.
  • Workspace, storage cupboards and shelving units.
  • A microwave oven, two gas hobs, a sink and air-conditioning.
  • Four rear seats (safe to use for travelling) and two front seats.
  • A side mounted fully enclosed awning.

For more information and enquiries about the vehicles and booking availability, please contact Mehmet Erbil ([email protected]).

Gannet and Osprey Calendar

Colour code:

  • Gannet:      Green    
  • Osprey:      Orange   

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