by Radiance Calmer, a CIRES postdoctoral researcher 

That’s it! Our copter now has a name: The HELiX! 

Unless you have already been in polar regions, you might not think about transportation on the ice and the challenges of pulling everything on a pulka (a type of sled), and more particularly a TAROT X6 from DJI… This copter is massive, with its six arms and high landing gears, and it is  really unstable in a pulka dragged around ridges, slushy snow and melt ponds. During the first trip out, our copter took an unexpected bath in a puddle. We tested the water resistance of the ESC for two motors, which were surprisingly (and fortunately) very resilient. Despite the melt ponds, the rain and the slushy snow, our copter has been very resistant to the melting season in the Arctic! However, we quickly figured out that we needed a box to safely transport our copter from the ship to our field. At the general meeting, I asked for some help to build a box. People helping will then have the privilege to choose the name for the copter! Delphin from the logistic team built us a wonderful box out of wood, adapted to the pulka, specifically designed for the size of the copter. The box changed everything for our commute. We are so grateful for the support of the logistics team! Then, people started to notice the beautiful box and inquired about the name. It took some time for Delphin to decide which name to give to the copter. Nonetheless, one morning we discovered “the HELiX” branded in red letters on the four faces of the box. That was it. Our copter was named. Now we need to figure out what each letter stands for to create this acronym… 

The HELiX on top of the box during the flight preparation by Jonathan Hamilton. Photo: Radiance Calmer/CIRES and CU Boulder

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