Helipod is a self-sufficient airborne measuring probe with its own power supply using batteries, navigation systems, data processing and mass storage. The basis of the on-board computer is a robust and small foot-print CompactPCI® system, operation the probe over a wide temperature range of -40°C (in the Arctic) up to +85°C (in the desert).
A PowerPC®-based COTS SBC offers the UARTs, USB and Ethernet interfaces needed for the application. Analog and binary input and outputs for the measuring and control data are added using ANSI standard M-Module™ mezzanine cards. An ARINC interface M-Module™ transfers the position data to the CompactPCI® system.
The Helipod system is attached to a helicopter in such a way that it is out of the downwash area of the carrying helicopter. It is the most modern airborne system worldwide for measuring atmospheric turbulences. Apart from operation in Germany (LITFASS and others), it has also made measurements in the Arctic (with the research vessel Polarstern as a basis), in California (PHELIX) and in other places, together with international scientific organisations. The probe records turbulences, wind vector, humidity, air and surface temperatures as well as CO2 at very high precision in defined altitudes of maximum 2000 meters above land or water surface.