Associate Research Professor
Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Unmanned Aerial Systems in the Arctic: Applications and Challenges
Sea ice and land ice in the Arctic are undergoing large and accelerating changes that have a variety of implications. Sea ice extent set a record low in 2007, decreasing by 42% compared to conditions in the 1980s, with fundamental changes in the nature of the remaining ice. Many of the fast-flowing, marine-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland and elsewhere have undergone dramatic increases in their rates of mass-loss over the past decade, nearly doubling the ice sheet’s contribution to sea level rise. Some aspects of these changes and the processes driving them cannot be adequately monitored from space, manned aircraft or through field projects. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and vehicles (UAV) can address this need, but in turn pose a variety of research and engineering challenges that arise from operations in polar regions. This talk will review ways that UAS can complement satellite remote sensing of key sea-ice and ice-sheet characteristics, and will discuss lessons learned from our previous work consisting of over 1000 UAV flight hours in the Arctic. Plans for new UAS-based polar experiments will be summarized, and work underway to adapt COTS-based sensors, including a laser surface profiling system, will be described.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm
Discovery Learning Center, Bechtel Collaboratory, UCB
Lunch for faculty and graduate students!