Centaur OPA To Conduct Unmanned Arctic Flights

By Graham Warwick
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
September 23, 2013

Climate change is fueling a race for once-inaccessible Arctic resources, but the rapidly thawing ice poses a growing risk of accelerating global warming by releasing huge stores of eons-old carbon into the atmosphere. Unmanned aircraft are beginning to play a key role in monitoring the changes in these vast and remote areas.

A team lead by Harvard University has completed flights over Alaska's North Slope to measure the release of greenhouse gases by melting permafrost. Aurora Flight Sciences' Centaur optionally piloted aircraft was flown manned for these initial flights, but the team plans to return next year and fly the modified Diamond DA42 unmanned on extended flights over the ocean.

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