Arctic with its harsh weather conditions and difficult terrain has always been an unsolved mystery for not only common people but also the researchers. However, the “Arctic Drifter” is a media-centric habitation and work unit that provides a new way of seeing the Arctic landscape. Riding on the prevailing winds above the Arctic Circle, the media unit gathers the images for better understanding of the frozen land. The Drifter can sail effortlessly across all flat terrains, including ice, water and small crevasses, thanks to its size and resilience. It makes use of a network of multi-band sensors, the FlyEye system, to collect ultra-high-resolution spherical projections by stitching together smaller images in real time. Moreover, the images from the sensor network can be projected immediately on the interior surface, enriching the experience of the crew.
Enclosed by Hypalon air-bags, the Drifter when fully inflated swells 15 m in diameter, which deflates in to smaller dome-shaped structure for stability. While the inner roll-cage keeps the crew capsule in an upright position, which deflates a part of the air-bags and detaches to exit the capsule. Equipping the crew capsule within a three-axis gymbal, the drifter mounts the heavy mechanical systems and batteries below the center of gravity to help it float upright in any orientation. For repositioning or short-distance travel, the gymbal system comes integrated with two low-speed high-torque electric motors that are used for steering control during wind-powered travel to tack away from the wind. In short, the drifter is a well equipped unit to explore and understand the harder or inaccessible landscapes across the world.