With UK coming up with its first deep-diving, remote-controlled robot for proving mysteries 6.5km (four miles) deep down the Antarctica, University of Kansas in Lawrence researchers have also come up with a prototype pilotless aircraft that will be tracking the melting of the polar ice, using ice-penetrating radar.
The aircraft prototype will also use a laser altimeter over the Greenland fringes and Antarctica ice sheets to probe its fast melting. With melting as one of the hottest topics in the list of global warming effects, and since, going into the Antarctica and Greenland overland is not just difficult for humans, but also expensive, radar surveys from aircraft or satellites are being used to make probing easier!
Since, it is hard to analyze the data from the edges of the ice sheets, as increased water content of the ice there absorbs more of the radar signal, compared to ordinary ice and fractured ice also distorts the signal, the new prototype have come up with solutions to these drawbacks.
The ‘prototype pilotless aircraft’ besides carrying ice-penetrating radar and a laser altimeter has an ultra-sensitive receiver capable of detecting the tiny scattered signals returned from the ice sheet.