– With the rapid changes occurring in the Arctic, scientists are looking for new tools to fill data gaps and assist with their understanding of Arctic climate processes. While satellites and manned aircraft have been the primary platforms for remote sensing, data gaps still exist. Unmanned aircraft have potential to help fill those gaps because of a variety of unique capabilities including long endurance. The primary challenge to flying unmanned aircraft in the Arctic is gaining access to the airspace. Based on the recommendations put forth by the Arctic scientists, the Arctic Council created a UAS Expert Group under the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program to help address these challenges. This paper will discuss how unmanned aircraft can assist scientists with obtaining data in Arctic, what the challenges are, and how the UAS Expert Group is helping.
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