image
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Drone Helping Mission to Ship Fuel to Alaska Town

  1. #1
    I Like Waffles... SENTRY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    10,848

    Drone Helping Mission to Ship Fuel to Alaska Town

    http://news.yahoo.com/drone-helping-...225508866.html

    As a Russian fuel tanker slowly moves through the frozen Bering Sea toward an iced-in city in western Alaska, it has been getting help from an unusual source at its destination: a drone that flies overhead and sends images of the sea ice to researchers onshore.
    The camera-equipped drone looks like a smoke detector with wings and legs. It glides on 20-minute missions ranging from 10 feet to 320 feet above the ice, and its images can be instantly viewed on a tablet-type computer screen.

    The tanker is bound for Nome, a town of 3,500 residents that missed its final pre-winter delivery of fuel by barge when a big storm swept the region last fall. Without the delivery of 1.3 million gallons, the city could run short of fuel before a barge delivery becomes possible in late spring.
    Researchers were using the 2.5-pound drone to provide a large picture of the ice in hopes of guiding the tanker as close to shore as possible, said Greg Walker, unmanned aircraft program manager for the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute.
    The Healy, the Coast Guard's only functioning icebreaker, has been accompanying the 370-foot tanker through the Bering Sea.
    Progress was stalled by thick ice and strong ocean currents Tuesday. The vessels made nine miles but drifted with the ice while at rest for a total gain of just six miles, Coast Guard spokesman David Mosley said.
    Ice conditions remained tough Wednesday. The Coast Guard said the two vessels were in densely concentrated ice about 100 miles from Nome by mid-afternoon.

    "The way it's been described to me, ice breaking is a mission in patience. You take the miles as they come," Mosley said.
    Meanwhile, a researcher assisting in the mission has discovered a 25-foot ice pressure ridge at the entrance to the Nome's harbor.
    The pressure ridges are created when the pack ice from offshore pushes against the stationary shore ice, creating thick ridges somewhat like icebergs, scientists said.

    The top of the ridge sits about 5 feet above the frozen surface but the rest extends well down into the ocean, the Geophysical Institute's Andy Mahoney said. The ridge is too big to get past, but it shouldn't prevent the tanker from offloading its fuel through its mile long hose.
    Pictures from the drone will be used to figure out the best way to lay the hose.
    As the tanker approaches Nome, the pressure ridges actually might come in handy as they are natural fault lines, Walker said. If the tanker can break the ice away from the ridges, it could open up a pathway.
    "I Like Waffles" : FPVLab on Facebook and FPVLab on Twitter

  2. #2
    I Fly Real Aircraft <3 J.Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Prescott, Arizona
    Posts
    63
    Whats it like the Gatewing?

  3. #3
    Stockholm, Swe arch001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    215
    Very cool. They seem to be using a quad from Aerial Vehicle Systems.

  4. #4
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    82
    The Univ. of Alaska has several different types of unmanned aircraft, from the Scan Eagle on down. We haven't gotten a confirmation on exactly what they are using on this effort. Still, it's not shooting Hellfire missiles and is doing some good out there!

    As for any legalities, they are some 100 miles offshore from the Alaska coast, so no big deal there.

  5. #5
    FPV Addict Scotttu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Silverdale, WA, USA
    Posts
    9,997
    The pic shows a quad in it...we need more GOOD news stories like this so these companies that RELY on these systems can fight major regulation for us

    "Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills"- Author unknown

    KF7TRX

  6. #6
    Let your perspective soar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    1,219
    That drone really looks fantastic... it's made to fly in rain and wind too.
    And... if you've ever wanted the title 'Field Application Engineer' at a drone company...
    They're hiring: http://www.aeryon.com/company/careers.html

    The developer job looks nice too

  7. #7
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    82
    Yep, we found out that they are NOT flying this thing 100 miles, but within 3km of the shore looking for pressure ridges. No one has reported the legalities of the operation or whether proper channels were gone through for all flights so it's difficult to comment. Is it good? You bet! Is it legal? Hmmmm......

    If it's done with clearance through the proper federal channels then it's a win-win situation.

  8. #8
    I Like Waffles... SENTRY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    10,848
    I'd say it's a win regardless. This is a situation where there are lives at stake - and if the operator hesitates or hits resistance from an autocratic agency like the FAA, and can prove that such resistance is endangering lives - the FAA will be left having to explain that one after a few properly placed called to the right news agencies.

    I know what the capabilities are of my rigs - and I know that in a disaster or event where I can add some value I'm going up - REGARDLESS.
    "I Like Waffles" : FPVLab on Facebook and FPVLab on Twitter

  9. #9
    Im lost
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Rio Brasil
    Posts
    2,891
    well said sir.^^
    seeing the world through a security camera

  10. #10
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    82
    Quote Originally Posted by SENTRY View Post
    I know what the capabilities are of my rigs - and I know that in a disaster or event where I can add some value I'm going up - REGARDLESS.
    You will be called..... Keep one at the ready!

Similar Threads

  1. CERT Almost every town has one.
    By Myron in forum FPV : POSITIVE USES
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 21st November 2013, 03:50 AM
  2. Hello from Alaska
    By Stone1295 in forum PILOT'S CHECK IN
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 5th January 2012, 12:02 PM
  3. Hello from Alaska!
    By KC10Chief in forum PILOT'S CHECK IN
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28th August 2011, 10:10 AM
  4. The Trappy Drone... er Parrot AR Drone
    By PnoT in forum FIXED WING
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 1st April 2011, 02:19 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts