ARDi - Codename: Aerial Research Drone 1 - Status: Retired

Estimated cost to build this model today.
$1015 USD

ARDi (Aerial Research Drone One) is the Micro-UAV that Started it all for us at WWVi. ARDi Was born in Australia and shipped to us here in Canada. Since his arrival, ARDi has been modified and changed more times than we have recorded. With configurations for water flying, snow flying, fire flying and many more.

ARDi, its missions, and the experience we gained with it, led to the development of other MUAVs and other MUAVS in our fleet are named in honor of ARDi so model numbers are now RD2, RD3 etc . and so forth.

Ardi has flown at paddlefest, flown in wildland fires, flown in the remote wilds of the Nahanni, all over the map in the Northwest Territories.

Platform Format: Quadcopter +
Gyros: Murata ENC-03R - MK
Accelerometer: STMicroelectronics LIS344ALH - MK
Magnetometer: None Installed At This Time
Barometric Altimiter: Freescale Semiconductor MPX4115A - MK
GPS Module: Mikrokopter MK-LEA4H GPS (u-blox)
Lipo Power: Turnigy 4S 40C 2650 mAh Lipo
Propellers: EPP 10x45 Counter Rotating Sets
Radio System: Futaba 9C Super - TM8 (Futaba)
PPM Adapter: Old Man Mike (OMM) Version 2
Receiver Module: Futaba R617FS


Mikrokopter MK-30 Quadcopter Frame


MK BL-Ctrl V1.2

Flight Controller:

Mikrokopter Flight-Ctrl V2.0 ME


Robbe Roxxy Brushless Outrunner 2827-35

Lab Rating:



  • Reliability
  • Stability
  • Quality


  • Pseudo Open-source (Not really open)
  • Non Commercial Licence
  • German Language Bias in documentation and Software

Visitor Rating:

Average: 4.6 (7 votes)
Pictures of ARDi

Franco Nogarin's picture

ARDI - Images

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(ARDi) ARDi Flies Paddlefest 2010

Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 12:17

(ARDi) The Fall of ARDi

Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 12:17

Thumbnail Video Post Datesort descending
Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

Fun at Slave River Paddlefest 2010 - Fort Smith, NT Canada

Some paddling action at Paddelfest 2010 on the Slave River in Fort Smith, NT Canada. Set to the original track "Wreckless Abandon" by renowned local group and our good friends, "State of the Art".

Sunday, August 1, 2010 - 10:17

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

The Story of ARDi and Project FireEye

The aim of project FireEye is the application of WWVi's Aerial Research Drone 1 (ARDi) to the tasks of detection, observation and monitoring of wildfire. WWVi and ARDi join the scientists at the Canadian Boreal Research Community FireSmart Project in Fort Providence, NT to explore the potential applications that the Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Micro-UAV) and Unmanned Aerial Robot (Micro-AUR) platforms can play in the areas that are high risk to human life and high cost due to aircraft availability and fuel costs

Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 10:18

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

North Nahanni Wilderness Adventure - Episode 1

In the spring of 2011, I had the rare opportunity to venture deep in the heart of the Canadian subarctic wilderness, into the wilds of the North Nahanni. I took my faithful flying robot ARDi along, and this video is the result of the first day of the adventure. For more info about this trip, the video or the robot, visit 

We would like to thank the "Tragically Hip", Peermusic Canada and Universal Music for permission to use the songs! 
To The Hip, You guys define Canadian - Thank you!!!

At the Hundredth Meridian from FULLY COMPLETELY
New Orleans is Sinking from UP TO HERE
Ahead by a Century from TROUBLE AT THE HENHOUSE

Saturday, March 26, 2011 - 09:43

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

ARDi flies into wildfire - Project FireEye - Short Version

Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 09:37

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Project FireEye 2011 - ARDi Flies Wildfire - Full Version (~30 Minutes)

Pilot notes:
Timecode is mission time.
~5:30 into the mission: a strong downdraft turns my low battery decent into a powerful quadcopter trampoline jump. Thank godness for the landing gear/ pontoon rig. my first indicator of the chaotic nature of the winds near a wildfire, even in its infancy.

~15:20 into the mission: Downdrafting, updrafting, and winds in all directions impede shooting, the quad is thrown around like a plastic bag in the wind.

~16:30 into the mission: A flare up, begins intensifying the fire on the east (Right) side of the area.

~20:48 into the mission: The left side nears full intensity.
~21:20 into the mission: Last battery change before things go full tilt.
~22:00 into the mission: Both sides of the fire, begin to come together and the blaze intensifies into a wall of fire.
~22:25 into the mission: I fly ARDi into the smoke column of the fire, and a wild ride into flying debris begins
~23:00 into the mission: wind shifts, and smoke column and firey debris rains down on the crew and ARDi - hot debris, sticks to the lens
~23:20 into the mission: both fires join, and ARDi is pummeled with debirs, I bring it down to about 10 feet and fly under the smoke and get a peek at the main fire.
~25:30 into the mission: A small rabbit, escapes the blaze to safety, I follow its path with ARDi

For more information about ARDi, its missions or other MUAVS visit 
For more on Project FireEye or Wildfire information for the Northwest Territories in Canada, visit

Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 12:34

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

ARDi - The Final Free-Fall

Even when you have crossed all your "t"s and dotted all of your "i"s, and have hundreds of hours on a model, things can and will go wrong. The most painful experience for an RC modeler (in which nobody gets hurt) would have to be permanently losing a model (It gets away and you never see it again) and perhaps the second most painful is having to kill your own model to avoid the first. If you feel strongly enough that you need to comment on this video, you can either do so where it was linked, or feed back in our lab. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011 - 12:30