In its efforts to study the underlying human and natural factors behind climate change, Aarhus University runs Villum Research Station located in Northeast Greenland approximately 1.700 kilometers into the polar circle and 900 kilometers from the North Pole itself. The university made the decision of conducting scientific research on the ice sheet in the Arctic by means of a Penguin B drone that had to be customized so that it could carry a payload consisting of a LIDER system, an autopilot, several sensors and a cutting-edge communication system developed by RESEIWE. These instruments became a 5-kilogram payload with a computing power of a conventional PC. These devices were intended for measuring the ice sheet layers and snow properties with an accuracy of a few centimeters.
The first challenge was to fit the chosen instruments into the 20-liter payload bay. At first sight, the bay seemed to provide ample space. However, the dimensions of the individual devices limited the configuration of the payload. Another challenge was the integration of the very different devices so they could communicate and interact with one another. At the same time, the issue of the compatibility of three different communication systems and their antennas had to be sorted out. The generation of enough electricity for the devices and sensors also posed some difficulties. Finally, the question of the airworthiness of the drone had to be addressed due to the addition of five extra kilos to the payload bay. How could all these issues be resolved so that the payload could become fully integrated?
Visualizing the best configuration in advance contributed to finding the optimal position for the individual sensors and devices. As for the integration of the communication systems and the remaining instruments, the key was comprehensive programming and the implementation of compatible communication protocols to ensure the full integration of the payload and the prevention of potential technical conflicts. Regarding the challenge of electrical generation, it took detailed calculations to determine the peak performance of the generator in order to manage the power available and the distribution system efficiently. Lastly, we had the task of balancing the payload in mind from the beginning of the project to prevent compromising the airworthiness of the drone. Our foresight resulted in the adoption of preventive measures that in the end made stabilizing the UAV unnecessary. Similar solutions can be applied to your drone, and if you choose our ReWiLinkTM technology, you can secure the reliability of the radio link control even in extreme environments.
Our customer says…
“What’s essential about these drones is that they make it possible to gather data more frequently and at a lower cost than flying manned missions, for example. This drone was designed so that it can contribute to the research activities planned at the Villum Research Station, and can make it possible to create new understanding of the processes that take place in different types of ice,” says Professor Henrik Skov, head of the research station.