Drone Elios used to explore the depths of Greenland’s ice caves


This technology is not new, taking into account that it was already thought in 2016 when Gimball appeared. According to what was shown at the time, the drone had been placed inside a cage, which in addition to protecting the structure of the machine was able to translate the force of the impact absorbed by the cage into rotation energy. Now, the idea is to send this drone to explore the depths of Greenland’s ice caves.

This drone will go to places that humans cannot go. Researchers will be able to collect more information on the spot without taking risks to explore difficult and dangerous locations.

Drone can be very useful to explore the depths of the ice caves

Drones could be a good idea for exploring the interior of ice sheets. However, the conventional shape of these aircraft, taking into account the action of their propellers, could not be effective. Thus, the Elios drone comes with a wide range of technology to bridge and add something to the conventional drone.

This Flyability machine was equipped to explore deep ice caves in Greenland.

Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Gimball, Elios is essentially a quadcopter placed within a spherical protective structure mounted on the gimbal. While flying, the carbon fiber structure is impacted by collisions with objects such as walls or trees, saving the drone itself from damage.

Previously, the aircraft was used to explore glacial cracks in the Swiss Alps and caves in Sicily. However, more recently, it was chosen to reach the bottom of some of the deepest ice caves in the world. Greenland.

Although recently announced this month, the expedition actually took place over a two-week period in 2018. Led by Prof. Francesco Sauro of the University of Bologna, Italy, an international team of geologists, glaciologists, cavers, geographers and biologists traveled to an area approximately 80 km east of the city of Kangerlussuaq, in the Greenland ice sheet.

Elios goes to the depth where the human being cannot go

On an expedition prior to that region, the scientists wanted to study the rivers below the ice. These rivers were accessible through vertical ice pits known as moulins. However, the researchers were only able to rappel down to 130 meters deep.

Moulins can reach a depth of 300 meters, but the ice structure is dangerously unpredictable at those depths.

For the 2018 expedition, Sauro and his team rappelled down some of the moulins, but then remotely piloted an Elios drone the rest of the way. As shown, they used the HD camera and LED spotlights, allowing the drone to transmit real-time video of a previously unknown lake at the bottom of one of the moulins.

Therefore, here on Earth, these machines can be of great value, considering their easy adaptation.

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