Leveraging the UAV to support Chinese Antarctic expeditions: a new perspective
at : Mar 02, 2021 18:03:22  (view:515)

Leveraging the UAV to support Chinese Antarctic expeditions: a new perspective

LI Teng1,2, ZHANG Baogang1,2, CHENG Xiao2,3,4*, HUI Fengming2,3,4 & LI Yuansheng5

1 State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, College of Global Change and Earth System Science (GCESS), Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;

2 University Corporation for Polar Research (UCPR), Beijing 100875, China;

3 School of Geospatial Engineering and Science, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, 519082, China;

4 Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory, Zhuhai 519082, China;

5 Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, 200136, China

* Corresponding author, E-mail: chengxiao9@mail.sysu.edu.cn

Abstract  Recent developments in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and their applications in various subjects are of interest to polar communities. Due to the harsh climate and dangerous environment, these regions pose challenges for the expedition teams. Several countries have tested the UAV technology to support Antarctic research and logistics. In this trend paper, we provide insightful reviews and discussions on such a prospective topic. Based on a comprehensive literature survey, we firstly summarize the key research progress of UAV in Antarctic studies. Then the examples of risk scenarios during the field exploration are given, after which several promising applications of the UAVs in safety guarantee are illustrated. In particular, we present a case of site-selection for the Chinese first ice sheet airfield, using the data collected in the 34th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE). In the end, we highlight the unique value of the UAVs in the popularization of polar science before concluding the advantages and limitations. Considering their excellent performance, we expect more innovations for UAV’s applications in the following Antarctic expeditions.

Keywords  Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Antarctic expedition, remote sensing, polar research, logistics support