Two members of the Symboticware team, Bora Ugurgel and Bikash Agarwal, returned this week from Baffin Island after completing two environmental monitoring projects.
The first project was for Peregrine Diamonds Ltd., and involved the installation of a remote meteorological station in South Baffin Island. This station will be deployed at this location for approximately 4 years, and is completely remote controlled and accessible using a simple to use interface.
“It was a great experience for myself and the company. It gives us a great opportunity to demonstrate our products, in this case our autonomous weather stations, in a harsh Canadian arctic setting,” says Bora Ugurgel.
“The difficulty with installing weather stations in Baffin Island is how they will remain powered year long. In the summer time, solar power is fairly easy to accomplish, because the sun never fully sets. However, in the winter, the sun barely rises, and only for a few hours. So we had to install a wind turbine on the station for hybrid power. When the voltage lowers to a point where the solar panels can no longer keep the batteries charged, the station automatically switches to the wind turbine.”
The second project took them over 1000 kilometres north, to the north ocean tip of Baffin Island, where the sea ice is floating all around. This project was a partnership with Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation (BIM) and Laurentian University. The project consisted of upgrading last year’s Symsats with the new SymBots, Symboticware’s new advanced bi-directional platform for data collection, reporting, and real-time updating.
Bikash explains, “It was exciting, challenging and above all very satisfying to install my team’s work in such a remote location.” He also quickly added that he was happy to have not encountered any polar bears.
Sunny and warm, the weather was quite a departure from the area’s normal temperatures and conditions for the entire visit. The only downside for the trip was the mosquitoes that plagued our team. Asked if they would like to go back again, they summed it up with one word, “definitely!”.