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RV-8 On Skis Helps Research in Antarctica
By Patrick Gilligan, EAA 1164458
October 2016 - Not many aircraft builders can claim to have flown their aircraft around the world, let alone three times.
Michel Gordillo’s around-the-world flight will help study the effects that black carbon particles have on our atmosphere. He will be flying his RV-8 for 14 hours nonstop from Hobart, Tasmania, to Zucchelli Station, Antarctica, then crossing the continent collecting data.
Patrick Gilligan’s RV-8 on skis.
“Many times, we forget about one of the most important goals of this project: to study the black carbon over remote regions.
“Data recording is present at many places, but mainly taken by ground stations, like LIDARs. Data taken by aircraft is scarce, and data taken from aircraft at remote areas — there are almost none.
“The first half of Sky Polaris has contributed to know more about global warming. Now, the aethalometer has been improved by Aerosol (thank you, Grisa), and adjusted for lower sensitivity, to be able to retrieve the data at Antarctica. GPS has been incorporated in the aethalometer, so data is georeferenced in a better way than it was before using a data logger.
“Also safety is better, because the tracking system is also to be improved with the Spidertracks system that will be incorporated to the aircraft. Spidertracks has decided to sponsor the project because both the flight and the scientific project are very important for all of us. We feel very glad about that!”
“We are also glad to know that the skis are ready to be shipped. Patrick Gilligan and his wife, Susan, have had no weekends, no free time for a long time, since they have been working hard together to have the beautifully designed skis ready on time. A big thank you!”
The skis that Patrick built.