Category ArcticShark

The Winter-Proof high payload Drone That Will Watch the Arctic [Pics & Video]

A high-payload, low-cost drone would change Arctic science forever. But the challenge of making it freeze-proof still remains.

The wide-open spaces of the Arctic are a dream for drone science. A maneuverable eye in the sky has made unmanned aircraft a go-to method for counting sea lion populations, mapping ice cover, and perhaps one day for search-and-rescue operations off Alaska’s coast.

But small drones bring their own inconveniences, too, like limited flight time and a small payload. That was a problem for the U.S. federal research facility Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), which needed something that could carry lots of equipment to measure solar irradiance, three-dimensional windspeed, and analyze air particulates...

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