Flyability’s Elios used to discover a few of the deepest ice caves on the earth – Drones Information
Flyability’s drone technology is helping scientists reach the depths of some of the deepest ice caves in the world in Greenland.
September 11, 2020 – A new video from Swisscom Ventures shows a Moncler-sponsored research expedition to explore the deepest ice caves in the world with the Elios drone from Flyability.
The expedition was sponsored by the clothing company Moncler and took place over two weeks in 2018 on the Greenland ice sheet, the second largest ice body in the world after Antarctica. The research focused on an area about 80 kilometers east of Kangerlussuaq, where scientists wanted to study the movement of water deep underground to better understand the effects of climate change on the melting ice.
In a previous expedition, scientists were only able to push themselves to a depth of around 130 meters within the huge vertical ice shafts (called moulins) that led to the underground rivers they wanted to study. On this expedition, scientists used the Elios, Flyability’s collision-tolerant drone, to reach the bottom of the Moulins and learn more about the movement of the water and the shape and stability of the ice shafts.
“Entering a moulin 300 meters deep is very dangerous, especially if the conditions further down the shaft are unknown,” says Geoffroy le Pivain, Aviation Product Manager, who helped organize the mission. “Thanks to its collision tolerance and other features we developed to help inspectors fly in difficult indoor spaces, the Elios presented a unique solution for explorers to get to the bottom of the Moulin.”
The mission was led by Francesco Sauro, professor of planetary geology and exploration at the University of Bologna. He was supported by a team of world-renowned geologists, glaciologists, speleologists, geographers, biologists and polar explorers.
In the same part of Greenland where the mission was conducted, French cave explorer Janot Lamberton made the deepest ice cave descent ever in 1996, traveling to a depth of 202 meters. Due to climate change, the caves have since become too unpredictable to attempt another deep descent. Using the Elios, which was designed for inspections in confined spaces, the researchers managed to reach the bottom of one of the moulins, where they discovered a lake on the icy bottom.
“At Flyability, scientific discovery and exploration are very important to us,” said Adrien Briod, co-founder and CTO of Flyability. “The focus of our work is on developing indoor inspection solutions to replace the need for people to enter dangerous, narrow spaces. But we also want to help push the boundaries of human knowledge by accessing places that would otherwise be inaccessible, and the Greenland Expedition really shows that aspect of our work. “
Moncler was founded in Monestier-de-Clermont, Grenoble, France in 1952 and is currently headquartered in Italy. Over the years, the brand has combined style with constant technological research supported by experts in activities related to the world of mountains. Moncler’s outerwear collections combine the extreme demands of nature with those of city life. In 2003, Remo Ruffini took over the company, of which he is currently Chairman and CEO. Moncler produces and sells the clothing and accessories collections under the Moncler brand through its boutiques as well as in exclusive international department stores and multi-brand stores.
Swisscom Ventures is the venture capital arm of Swisscom AG, the leading telecommunications and ICT provider in Switzerland. Since 2007, they have invested in over 60 technology companies from their offices in Switzerland (Zurich and Bern) and the USA (Silicon Valley). They invest in 6-8 new companies each year for a total of $ 30-50 million per year. As a strategic investor, they offer entrepreneurs not only financial support but also access to their technical infrastructure and their market channels.
About flight ability
Flyability is a Swiss company that builds solutions for the inspection and exploration of interiors, inaccessible and narrow spaces. By using drones safely in buildings, industrial companies and inspection professionals can reduce downtime, inspection costs and worker risks. With hundreds of customers in over 50 countries in the power generation, oil & gas, chemical, marine, infrastructure and utility, and public safety sectors, Flyability has pioneered and continues to lead innovation in indoor commercial drones.
More information at www.flyability.com / @fly_ability