The researchers built a small, foam drone that uses a program that sends the drone into updrafts, to take advantage of kestrel-like flight. They flew it at a hill and near a building, collecting data on the aerodynamics of the flight as it happened. Flights near the hill were very successful, with the plane staying airborne a full 15 minutes until its batteries drained. Flights near the building were shorter, less than a minute even when remotely controlled by a skilled pilot. Gusty wind proved to be the biggest obstacle.