ODENSE, Denmark — Concerns about global climate change, developing technologies, and the international race to access Arctic resources have made Greenland the new frontier for unmanned aerial systems or UAS research.
At the UAS Test Center Denmark earlier this year, Integra Aerial Services delivered its Penguin B drone to the Villum Research Station (VRS), which is based in Northern Greenland. The newly built station is 1,250 km (776.6 miles) from the nearest city and was funded by a donation of 70.5 million DKK ($11.02 million U.S.) from the Villum Foundation.
By the year 2100, scientists predict that the local temperature at VRS will be 9 to 10 degrees Celsius (16 to 18 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than today, so the location is perfect for observing dramatic changes — using the new drones.
“I usually say that Greenland in many ways is a sentinel for climate change. If the changes are seen in Greenland, they are global,” said Henrik Skov, head of the science station and a professor at the Arctic Research Center and the Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University in Denmark.
Drone business takes off in Greenland
After years of cooperation, the first large drone is now ready to take off in Greenland.
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