Enabling Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Arctic Environmental Monitoring

Rune Storvold, Anders la Cour-Harbo, Brenda Mulac, Doug Davis, Wayne Crowe

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Abstrakt

The Arctic is undergoing rapid change as the coverage and thickness of sea ice is diminishing, glaciers and icecaps retreating and ecosystems are under stress. Scientists are scrambling to understand the many Arctic processes and mechanisms as a result of the rapid change. Research stations, satellites and manned aircraft are the traditional platforms on which scientists gather data of the atmosphere, sea ice, glaciers, fauna and vegetation. However, significant data
gaps still exist over much of the Arctic because there are few research stations, satellites are often hindered by cloud cover, poor resolution, and the complicated surface of snow and ice. Measurements made from manned aircraft are also limited because of range and endurance, as well as the danger and costs presented by operating manned aircraft in harsh and remote environments like the Arctic.

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and their technology, offer a range of new and unique capabilities that can assist scientists in their quest for more data. In 2008, scientists from the eight Arctic countries came together and unanimously agreed that UAS are a key tool to understand the climate change occurring in the Arctic and its impact on the environment. Operating UAS present unique challenges and it is necessary to understand and overcome those challenges. Based on the recommendations put forth by the Arctic scientists, the Arctic Council created a UAS Expert Group under the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) to help address these challenges.

This presentation describes how the AMAP UAS Expert Group are enabling use of UAS in scientific data collection in the Arctic through circumpolar coordination of demonstration projects currently focusing on Black Carbon and Sea-Ice studies. This is meant to break a trail through the regulatory, technical and logistical challenges facing scientists intending to use UAS in their arctic work. Future planned campaigns and science goals under the Coordinated Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere Interactions (CICCI) umbrella will be outlined. A new AMAP report on conducting safe UAS operations in the Arctic and how this will enable scientists to adopt UAS technology in their future work will be presented as well.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Publikationsdato24 apr. 2012
StatusUdgivet - 24 apr. 2012
BegivenhedIPY 2012 : From Knowledge to Action Conference - Montréal, Canada
Varighed: 22 apr. 201227 nov. 2012

Konference

KonferenceIPY 2012
LandCanada
ByMontréal
Periode22/04/201227/11/2012

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