Canadian military tests drones in High Arctic

The Canadian military is testing remotely piloted vehicles in the extreme conditions found in the High Arctic. The ground and air vehicles could be used for rescues and for mapping and hazard identification.

Remotely piloted vehicles could be used for rescue, communications work

Canada's National Defence is testing remotely piloted vehicles in the extreme conditions found in the High Arctic.

The military wants to determine the usefulness of drones for rescues and other operations in such a challenging environment. 

The vehicles used in the tests were developed by the Defence Research and Development team based at CFB Suffield in southeast Alberta.

Scientist Simon Monckton says the group tested both air and ground vehicles at Canadian Forces Station (CFS) in Alert, Nunavut, in late August. 

'They overcame the challenge'

"We were delighted with how well they tolerated the transport to Alert and how they overcame the challenge the arctic presented to them, " he said.

However, Monckton added it is too early to tell if or when the vehicles could be put to use in the Arctic. 

The Canadian military uses drones to respond to chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear and explosive incidents, as well as to perform surveillance activities.

According to National Defence, this is the first time drones have been tested in the Arctic and this is the farthest north such vehicles have been used. 

With files from CBC's Kyle Bakx