Transport Canada testing new drone tech in Labrador, shifting focus after Cain’s Quest cancellation

Transport Canada testing new drone tech in Labrador, shifting focus after Cain’s Quest cancellation

Whereas 2023 Cain’s Quest racers had been gearing as much as race round Labrador earlier this month, Transport Canada despatched a crew to the Huge Land to check new drone know-how.

With assist from New Brunswick based mostly firm AVSS the federal government company was flying drones round Labrador Metropolis.

“This was a very nice event to see if the know-how is ready to stand a difficult actual world state of affairs in addition to difficult environmental circumstances just like the chilly and the wind,” Mark Robbins, Transport Canada’s supervisor of enterprise initiatives, advised CBC Information.

Transport Canada timed their testing to coincided with the eleventh operating of Cain’s Quest, so they may observe the racers, however when the race was cancelled the crew pivoted to doing extra testing in Labrador Metropolis. 

The quadcopter drones are outfitted with a canister able to carrying provides with a specialised precision parachute connected.

Utilizing GPS co-ordinates they’ll ship the drones out to a location and drop the canister.

Mark Robbins, the manager of Venture Projects at Transport Canada's Innovation Centre, is interviewed by the CBC while in Labrador City.
Mark Robbins, the supervisor of enterprise initiatives at Transport Canada’s Innovation Centre, says the brand new know-how has a lot potential. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

“The parachute takes consideration of different components like wind and adjusts itself on the best way down, and 95 per cent of the time we’ll land inside 5 toes of the place it is making an attempt to go,” mentioned Robbins.

Robbins mentioned the work is supposed to check the brand new know-how’s capabilities.

“We expect there’s lots of potential for it, so we need to be right here to know all of the ins and outs of it,” Robbins mentioned.

One risk can be that drones might get into areas that helicopters cannot.

A quadcopter equipped with a bright orange cannister sits on a frozen Tanya Lake in Labrador City prior to taking off.
Transport Canada, together with Aerial Automobile Security Options of New Brunswick, was on Tanya Lake in Labrador Metropolis testing new drones earlier this month. (AVSS/Transport Canada)

“If we’re capable of finding applied sciences that may bolster the power of individuals to to make use of the air to get emergency provides to folks, could possibly be an actual pressure multiplier for search and rescue,” mentioned Robbins.

With the chilly climate testing in Labrador accomplished, the subsequent step for Transport Canada is to conduct trials of the precision parachute through helicopter and fixed-wing plane at a flight coaching college in Ontario.

Learn extra from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador