Canadian shipping company uses drones to check ice conditions

(Screen grab)

(Screen grab)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 2:05 PM ET

A Montreal shipping company has started using drones to check ice-covered waters ahead for potential problems.

Fednav said it is the first shipping company to use the unmanned air vehicles on a commercial voyage.

Fednav said its icebreaker Umiak I recently used the equipment off Labrador's coast and found the drones helped capture subtle ice features like ridges and fractures, giving the captain and officers real-time visual information on local ice conditions.

"The use of UAVs is proving to be extremely beneficial to identify many ice features that should be avoided ahead of the vessel, as well as identifying open water leads to improve voyage efficiency," Thomas Paterson, a senior vice-president with Fednav, said in a release.

"The deployment of drones fitted with top-quality cameras gives the ice navigator another useful aid when making important decisions while transiting heavy ice regimes, and, in turn, improved safe navigation."

Fednav Drones from Fednav Limited on Vimeo.


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