Continuous advances in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and the increased complexity of their applications raise the demand for improved data acquisition systems (DAQ). These improvements may comprise low power consumption, low volume and weight, robustness, modularity and capability to interface with various sensors and peripherals while maintaining the high sampling rates and processing speeds. Such a system has been designed and developed and is currently integrated on the Autonomous Flying Platforms for Atmospheric and Earth Surface Observations (APAESO/NEA-YΠOΔOMH/NEKΠ/0308/09); however, it can be easily adapted to any UAV or any other mobile vehicle. The system consists of a single-board computer with a dual-core processor, rugged surface-mount memory and storage device, analog and digital input-output ports and many other peripherals that enhance its connectivity with various sensors, imagers and on-board devices. The system is powered by a high efficiency power supply board. Additional boards such as frame-grabbers, differential global positioning system (DGPS) satellite receivers, general packet radio service (3G-4G-GPRS) modems for communication redundancy have been interfaced to the core system and are used whenever there is a mission need. The onboard DAQ system can be preprogrammed for automatic data acquisition or it can be remotely operated during the flight from the ground control station (GCS) using a graphical user interface (GUI) which has been developed and will also be presented in this paper. The unique design of the GUI and the DAQ system enables the synchronized acquisition of a variety of scientific and UAV flight data in a single core location. The new DAQ system and the GUI have been successfully utilized in several scientific UAV missions. In conclusion, the novel DAQ system provides the UAV and the remote-sensing community with a new tool capable of reliably acquiring, processing, storing and transmitting data from any sensor integrated on an UAV.