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Sen. Giessel Sees Huge Potential for Alaska with High Tech Robotics, UAVs

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 5, 2012

Sen. Giessel Sees Huge Potential For Alaska

With High Tech Robotics, UAVs 

(Juneau) Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, said today that Alaska has an enormous potential to research and develop robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles, in turn creating high tech, high-paying jobs for young Alaskans.

“It’s an interesting coincidence that, at the same time Sen. Mark Begich is applauding and supporting the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) work at University of Alaska Fairbanks, we here in the Senate pass a citation honoring the robotics team at East Anchorage High School,” Sen. Giessel said. “Robotics, as used in UAVs, is a technology that our kids are very interested in and which the state and federal governments would be visionary to support.”

Giessel noted the work in which a team of researchers from UAF has been engaged recently, with a UAV from Aeryon Labs.

“This team used their UAV to monitor the progress of the icebreaker, Healy, to deliver fuel into Nome.  The UAV assisted in locating the most efficient route through the sea ice. It has been tested in an application monitoring pipelines. It is currently being flown in partnership with NOAA in Bering Sea. UAVs could also be used in mapping projects in Alaska.”

Giessel agreed with Sen. Begich in identifying the UAF Poker Flat launch complex, north of Fairbanks, as a facility that should be designated by the federal govern ent as one of six UAV test centers, nationwide.

“Research and development of UAVs is one area where Alaska can be a shining star,” Giessel said. “It is an exciting, emerging technology that challenges young minds and holds great promise to create high-paying jobs to keep those young people here in Alaska.”

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To view a four-minute video of the UAV operating at Nome during the effort to bring in fuel, please go here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNZY-fGYQUw&feature=player_embedded


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