We talked to UAVE’s Grahame Grover about the Prion MK3.
UAVE has sold the Prion MK3 drone to Aarhus University in Denmark.
Grover said: “They’re going to take it up to Greenland and they’re going to load the sensor bay full of scientific atmospheric monitoring equipment to measure black carbon in the high atmosphere.”
This is important because tiny specks of black carbon in the high atmosphere can settle on the ice, increasing its thermal conductivity and causing it to melt faster.
The Greenland ice sheet covers 1,710,000 square kilometres – which is over 80% of the surface area of Greenland. It is the second largest ice body in the world.
Greenland’s ice has seen record melting in recent years since detailed records have been kept. If it continues, this melting is likely to contribute substantially to rising sea levels as well as to possible changes in ocean circulation.
“Understanding the rate of the melt of the ice is extremely important in this current age of global warming,” Grover said.
Grover explained: “The performance is something that we’ve worked really hard on. The drone itself has an endurance of 12 hours. In order to get that performance, we use a petrol engine, but the petrol engine only burns half a litre of fuel per hour so it’s extremely efficient and it has a very low environmental footprint.”
The Prion MK3 has a payload capacity of 15kg and a maximum range of 1,000 kilometres.