Yesterday UAV technical service provider FlyToDiscover delivered to GREAL, after the usual pre-departure preparations, the drone equipment that the laboratory will use during Polarquest2021, in the Arctic, these July and August.
The cooperation between the Italian company, based in Rome and led by Sandro Russello, and GREAL, has a long story and saw already joint work in the Arctic in 2018 (Svalbard) and 2020 (Greenland). The 2021 works plan draws from those previous experiences.
The drone prepared by FTD for use by GREAL is a customized version of the Phantom 4 Pro modified to effectively carry additional payload consisting in sensors. Furthermore, the drone can fly under tether in particular conditions, in order to prevent accidental fly-aways which can affect those machines in the specific research location. Although not designed for use in the Arctic, the popular drone proved an otherwise excellent survey machine in the workgroup’s previous research activities, provided that appropriate precautions are taken for its effective operation.
The currently planned observation programme includes the collection of aerophotogrammetric data on some relevant sites as well as surveys with sensors for thermal and near infrared imagery.