WATCH: DART Technology in Alaska

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Courtesy of Alaska DOT&PF

JUNEAU, Alaska – The State of Alaska reports a successful deployment and detonation of two CIL explosives on an unmanned UAS by the Alaska Railroad Corporation and Alaska DOT&PF.

The Alaska Railroad Corporation and the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) demonstrated that drones can be used in avalanche mitigation efforts after it successfully deployed and detonated two CIL explosives on an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The detonations triggered two man-made slides to protect transportation infrastructure, according to the report from Local First Media.

The report shows the tests were conducted in January and build off a “foundation of prior technological advancements and collaborative efforts in avalanche mitigation, including reports from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) (2003), Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) (2010), and the work of Mountain Drones (2013), which demonstrated the feasibility of using a heavy lift UAS platform to drop a single explosive round for avalanche control.” 

The Drone Amplified’s Drone Avalanche Reduction Technology (DART) have regulatory challenges to contend with, particularly due to the FAA requirements for “carriage of dangerous weapons.” 

Timothy Glassett, DOT&PF Avalanche and Artillery Program Manager said, “This demonstration represents a significant step forward in avalanche risk reduction for our public highways. The State of Alaska is moving away from military artillery as a primary means of avalanche mitigation and will adopt Remote Avalanche Control Systems (RACS). UAS will help fill the gap where RACS are not feasible or economical.” These RACS are fixed-position detonation installations and are used to protect infrastructure.

About Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities: 
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 9 ferries serving 35 communities, over 5,600 miles of highway and 839 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.” 

About Alaska Railroad: 
The Alaska Railroad provides comprehensive freight and passenger rail services, ensuring the safety and reliability of rail operations across Alaska, in some of the most challenging environmental conditions in the U.S. 

About Drone Amplified 
Drone Amplified is a pioneering US based UAS company specializing in drone-based land management solutions. The company focuses on providing safer and more efficient methods for combating wildfires and mitigating avalanches. 

About CIL Explosives 
CIL, with over 140 years of experience, is a leader in specialty explosives and marine safety products, offering a wide range of globally available avalanche control and USCG-approved signaling solutions, while contributing to industry professionalism through scholarships and profits.”

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