ESRL Global Systems Division

NOAA Scientist Hosts Round Table Discussion at AGU on UAS in the Arctic

Dr. Betsy Weatherhead in NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, co-lead of NOAA's Arctic test base, is inviting all interested parties to come together to discuss the recent development and future plans for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the Arctic. The roundtable discussion is a follow-up meeting this year, again in conjunction with the American Geophysical Union (AGU) annual Fall Meeting which is being held in San Francisco, December 10-14, 2007.

UAS are a developing technology revolutionizing NOAA's ability to monitor the global environment. These remotely operated aircraft have the potential to bridge the information gap between satellites and surface based sensors. There is increased recognition that UAS can fill critical gaps in our current measurement systems over remote and dangerous areas, such as Polar Regions, the mid-oceans, expansive wildlands, and volcanic islands where manned aircraft flights are not possible due to long flight durations and hazardous conditions.

Over 68 member states, the European commission, and forty-six participating organizations around the world have joined together to coordinate environmental monitoring through the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS). As an integral part of this effort, NOAA is moving forward to fill critical gaps in our current measurement systems. UAS can be used to take accurate measurements where current approaches and capabilities are inadequate. NOAA would like to engage with international colleagues to develop a cooperative environmental monitoring program.

Contact information
Name: Betsy Weatherhead
Tel: 303-497-6653