News & Events
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How Drones are Helping Us Learn About the Coldest Places on Earth
Drones are starting to make their mark in business, with a variety of commercial industries using the innovative machines to deliver products, record data, monitor work sites, and generally improve the productivity and efficiency of their operations.
The science community, not surprisingly, is also making use of drones in a variety of ways. Drones are being used to observe and record data in remote locations and endangered areas, taking measurements and collecting photo evidence of flora and fauna. Even some of the harshest and most remote places on Earth are now accessible and explorable, thanks to drones.
Ice Cold Drones
Considered one of the last remaining frontiers on Earth, the Antarctic has long been a site of exploration for scientists. It is also one of the harshest environments on Earth, with summer temperatures often staying below -10 degrees Celsius. This kind of cold can be difficult on drones, potentially causing damage to the technology. When compared to human workers, however, drones are still more affordable, and with their ability to maneuver and access hard-to-reach areas, drones still offer immense opportunity to the scientific community.
Flight of the Navigators
A land of vast ice sheets and mountains, the Antarctic is not exactly cartographer-friendly, but drones are ideal for mapping the remote areas and surveying new and changing formations of ice. They also have proved very useful for ships as they struggle to navigate the ice-riddled waters surrounding this continent. Massive icebergs and ever-changing coastline can make it difficult for ships to safely land and sail through these offshore areas. Like the commercial ships navigating the northern waters of the Arctic region, those vessels around the Antarctic need guidance and accurate maps to get them safely from point A to point B.
Checking Up on the Neighbors
In the Antarctic, your closest neighbor is most likely a member of a penguin colony. Many different varieties of penguins live on this continent and scientists have been studying them for decades. Recently, their research has also turned to conservation and monitoring how environmental changes are affecting the flightless birds. Drones are proving vital in this mission, with the ability to follow birds from land to sea, tracking their migratory patterns, observing fishing habits and locations, and keeping track of numbers, including new hatchings.
Observation and data collection are important not only for scientific study and documentation; they are also invaluable tools for alerting scientists to serious and sudden changes in the environment. Drones flying over Antarctica could readily spot blooms of algae, evidence of an oil spill, or other types of natural and human-made environmental events.
Extreme UAVs and Drone Insurance
Protecting your UAV is important in any environment, but especially when using it in an extreme environment like the Antarctic. Bitter cold temperatures and brutal winds can destroy a drone’s batteries, leading to potential power failures. It isn’t unusual for a drone to be forced to land, and the machine may not always be safely retrievable. Also, the sensitive equipment on board the drone may be easily damaged. Insurance companies are enhancing their drone insurance policies to cover the unexpected natural events and mechanical malfunctions that may occur when drones are used in extreme environments like the Antarctic. A drone insurance policy gives you the protection you need in the event your drone is damaged or destroyed.
Drones are making their significant mark in the scientific community, finding their way to even the harshest environments, such as Antarctica. Used for scientific observation, data collection, monitoring wildlife, and detecting environmental risks, drones are poised to continue working in the cold, exploring and educating us for a long time to come.
Poms & Associates offers an array of business insurance and brokerage services and offers the most current information on commercial general liability insurance policies, as well as additional coverage options such as drone insurance. For more details about the basics of business insurance policies, and to find out how Poms & Associates can help you choose the right drone insurance coverage for your company, please visit our website or contact us.
Gabriella Messina is an author who has written online content for a variety of business and insurance related topics, including business insurance basics, workers’ compensation, liability insurance, and malpractice.