Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
Friday, July 13, 2018

CIRES, NOAA Research Drones Take to the Skies for Flight Week

In mid July, two dozen small research drones will zip, hover and soar over parts of the San Luis Valley, collecting data on how and where clouds form, storms start, and rain falls. Improving weather forecasts requires better observations from parts of the atmosphere where it can be difficult to make measurements. So to get instruments to the right place at the right time, researchers are experimenting with small, remotely-piloted drones carrying state-of-the-art weather instruments.

Please join us at the beginning of Flight Week, Saturday, July 14, to learn more about what atmospheric scientists from around the world hope to learn about the atmosphere and regional weather through research right here in the San Luis Valley. The Community Open House at Leach Airport runs Saturday, July 14 from 8 am to noon. Participants in the International Society for Atmospheric Research using Remotely Piloted Aircraft (ISARRA)’s Flight Week and Community Open House will:

  • Explain their research and envisioned economic benefits
  • Showcase their Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
  • Demonstrate technology and run test flights
  • Calibrate and cross-compare instruments
  • Answer questions from the community


  • Gijs de Boer, CIRES/University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA
  • Suzanne Smith, CLOUD-MAP/University of Kentucky
  • Brian Argrow, University of Colorado Boulder Aerospace Engineering Sciences
  • CAPT Phil Hall, NOAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems program

Registration requested but not required (Eventbrite link).

Supporters: ISARRA, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, UAS Colorado, NSF, DOE, NOAA (including the UAS Program), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Saguache and Alamosa counties, San Luis Valley UAS Program, Oklahoma State, University of Oklahoma, University of Kentucky, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Kansas State University, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, BlackSwift Technologie, Alamosa County Economic Development, Heightened Path RV

Organizers: CIRES/University of Colorado Boulder, UAS Colorado