A team from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and Northrop Grumman has flown, for the first time, a Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system through Canadian airspace.
The 21-hour flight was part of an environmental data collection mission in the Canadian Arctic intended to study changes in topography and ice caps, Northrop announced Dec. 19.
The Northrop-built NASA Global Hawk system has an uninhabited aerial vehicle synthetic aperture radar and a high-resolution camera for ground mapping and visual observation of the Arctic ice caps.
“Flying high and long missions with advanced scientific equipment over the Arctic provides scientists with real data to better understand the changes that are affecting our world,” said Janis Pamiljans, Northrop Grumman sector vice president and general manager of unmanned systems.
Other teams involved in the flight included the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and their Canadian counterparts.
The flight follows a recent five-year renewal of the Space Act Agreement.