The Climate Drone That Goes Where Scientists Fear to Tread

The Manta explores and monitors Greenland's treacherous glaciers.

By Eric Roston|Monday, February 23, 2009
RELATED TAGS: GLOBAL WARMING, GADGETS

How much ice melted on Greenland last summer? Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) knew that dispatching a crew to the glaciers to find out was too risky. So to gather data that satellites could not provide, they turned to unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. The 6-foot-long, 45-pound planes, called Mantas, can run for about six hours on gas-powered engines and fly as high as 16,000 feet. They are built by Advanced Ceramics Research and fitted with scientific equipment by NOAA.

Comment on this article
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
DSC-JanFeb15
+

Log in to your account

X
Email address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it emailed to you.

Not registered yet?

Register now for FREE. It takes only a few seconds to complete. Register now »