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ArcticShark UAS ready for flight testing

3rd March 2017 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A new atmospheric data collection UAS called the ArcticShark is set to commence flight testing at Pendleton UAS Test Range.

The UAS will be owned by the US Department of Energy and managed by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility. It will be deployed in the Arctic equipped with instruments designed to record sophisticated measurements about Earth's atmosphere in order to help scientists better understand one of the most sensitive regions of the planet.

The UAS has a wingspan of 22ft, a gross take-off weight of 625lbs, and can fly at altitudes of up to 15,000ft.

Flight testing and pilot training of the ArcticShark at Pendleton is expected to take place almost daily throughout March. The UAS is scheduled to begin field research in Alaska starting in 2018.

Over the past twelve months the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) - which manages the ARM Facility - ArgenTech Solutions (AgTS), Pendleton UAS Range, and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, have worked to obtain Federal Aviation Administration flight approvals and build the concept of operations for ArcticShark.

Jen Armstrong, vice president AgTS commercial services, said: 'We are pleased to provide programme development, flight approval expertise and safe operations support to PNNL for their class D operations. We are paving the way for the evolving integration of UAS into the National Airspace System and we're pleased to be assisting in those test objectives.'

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