New flying robot to explore Arctic has no analogs in Russia

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At present, the robot conducts field trials in the suburbs of Vladivostok.

The unique flying robot to explore the Arctic was developed in the Maritime State University in Vladivostok. Specially designed copter is equipped with an automatic software complex for studies of the ice conditions of the Northern Sea Route, told TASS one of the developers, a member of the University Research and Education Center Alexey Pertsev.

“This robot has no analogs in Russia. It took about six months to implement the idea. A large group of students and postgraduates under the guidance of Professor Oleg Bukin and Senior Associate Tikhomirov worked on the project,” Pertsev specified.

“The quadrocopter, built on a special order, is resistant to low temperatures. It can explore ice fields at a speed of 40 km/h, flying ahead of the vehicle moving along the Northern Sea Route,” explained Pertsev.

The copter has the equipment for electromagnetic sensing of ice thickness and determining the concentration of the hydrocarbons in seawater by measuring its optical parameters.

“The system allows vehicles to choose a safe way on the ice, as well as to detect oil pollution, which is especially important in the extraction of hydrocarbons in the Arctic Shelf,” said a university representative.

At the moment, the robot conducts field trials in the suburbs of Vladivostok. The real work for it will start in a few months when the scientific expedition on board the Maritime University training ship “Professor Hlyustin” goes to the Arctic.

The robot creation was conducted by the Russian Science Foundation “Development of new research methods and robotic systems to ensure the safety of navigation, to monitor maritime and underwater environment in the Arctic”. Its funding amounted to 5 million rubles ($92,000 - ed).

Text and pictures by TASS