Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
Breaking News
Cartegraph and CycloMedia Partner to Deliver Timely, Objective Asset Data to the Public Sector
Cartegraph, a leader in high-performance government software and services,...
Formal Partnership of HeiGIT/GIScience Heidelberg with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Announced
Today HeiGIT/GIScience Research Group Heidelberg and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap...
ArcGIS Experts, GEO Jobe, Celebrates 18 Years in GIS Software Development, Services, UAV Mapping
Established in 1999, GEO Jobe is pleased to be...
Esri Book Helps Students Put The Science of Where to Work to Make Spatial Decisions
Redlands, California — Making Spatial Decisions Using ArcGIS Pro:...
Dewberry To Lead Lidar Project Covering Six Areas in Northern California
Dewberry has been selected by the U.S. Geological Survey...

The U.S. Coast Guard wants to install a UAV on the Cutter Healy by 2012.

Gregory Walker has been tapped to assist the United Stated Coast Guard (USCG) in testing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for installation on their polar icebreakers. With the potential for a more ice-free arctic looming on the horizon, the USCG is hoping to have a UAV installed on the icebreaker Healy by fall 2012.

Walker is currently is the manager of the University of Alaska (UA) Unmanned Aircraft Program based at the Poker Flat Research Range.

Currently the Coast Guard Cutter Healy is the only U.S. icebreaker in the polar north and three total in service. While icebreakers are equipped to carry a helicopter, the climate’s harshness has led the USCG to view their use as unsafe in the Arctic.

According to the USCG and Walker, this is a problem. Without aircraft, ships can only see as far ahead as the bridge allows them. Satellite imagery, while helpful, is also problematic in that it can only show open water and ice (which is oftentimes covered by puddles of water, but still solid).

Equipping a UAV on the Healy would radically change how the vessel moves in Arctic waters, Walker said. While icebreakers can travel through thick ice (which is what their designed for), it burns more fuel and can make patrols longer. The installation of a UAV would allow the ships crew to choose the easiest route.

While the process has begun, the first UAV will most likely not be installed on the Healy until early fall 2012. “The military is developing them and I’m trying to find scientific and technical applications to use them,” Walker said about the UAV program.

Story source: The Sun Star/Jeremia Schrock

Image courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard

Comments are closed.