Expedition to locate P-38 “Echo” from Lost Squadron just returned from Greenland’s Ice Cap

UgCS: Flight Planning & Control
July 20, 2018

USA, California - July 19, 2018 - The expedition, led by Jim Salazar and Ken McBride from Arctic Hotpoint Solutions and Fallen American MIA Repatriation Foundation (FAMIARF), just returned from Greenland’s Ice Cap having reached all set targets with success. The targets were to locate P-38 “Echo” dogfighter from Lost Squadron and to test new Drone/GPR research technology to locate airplanes buried under 300 feet or more of ice.

The eight-day expedition on the Ice Cap was carried out by a team (Fig.1) joining specialists in their respective fields:

  • Jim Salazar and Ken McBride from Arctic Hot Point Solutions (AHPS) and the Fallen American MIA Repatriation Foundation (FAMIARF), USA
  • Mario Carnevale and Myles Danforth from Hager GeoScience Inc. (http://www.hagergeoscience.com), USA
  • Janis Kuze and Alexey Dobrovolskiy from SPH Engineering (developer of UgCS http://ugcs.com), Latvia.
Figure 1. Team of the expedition.

The team worked in two groups – the UAV group started the research with the new technology - a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and drone integrated system (Fig.2) to locate the P-38. The acquired data showed anomalies at a depth of around 300 feet.

Figure 2. GPR-drone integrated system during survey mission.

UAV radar’s contact was confirmed by the ground surveying group (Fig.3). The distance between determined locations of both groups was 10ft. Taking into account surveying data of both groups, a location for the drilling was calculated.

Figure 3. Ground surveying group with GPR mounted on the sledge.

The moment of success for the expedition came in the form of a red fluid extracted from a depth of 340 feet. Preliminarily, the acquired substance is identified as 5606 Hydraulic fluid used in US aviation. The samples of the fluid have been delivered for detailed chemical analysis.

Figure 4. Discovery of the hydraulic fluid from the aircraft.

Experience gathered during the expedition confirmed the applicability of modern technologies to search and locate deep targets buried in glacial ice. Practical involvement of the equipment highlighted the inability of some equipment to function as expected in Greenland’s harsh environment, requiring some adjustments for further expeditions. The overall results are very promising and proved that the performance of aerial surveying is ten times more effective compared to ground surveying and less risky for ground operators (Fig.5).

Figure 5. Drone pilot supervising the preplanned surveying flight of the GPR-drone.
Future plans of Arctic Hot Point Solutions/FAMIARF include organising the excavation of the found P-38 “Echo” and further research to locate other aircraft of the Lost Squadron in Greenland. “We are confident that this innovative technology will assist our upcoming projects with the search of the USCG J2F Duck in the 2019 expedition,” said Jim Salazar of Arctic Hot Point Solutions, director and founder of the Fallen American Missing In Action Repatriation Foundation.

About Arctic Hot Point Solutions/FAMIARF

Arctic Hot Point Solutions FAMIARF consist of a volunteer team of experienced pilots, polar experts, geophysicists, glaciologists, and other dedicated citizens intent on finding and repatriating lost servicemen in cold regions. It is a NON-Profit organisation dedicated to finding the remains of servicemen who lost their lives during WWII and other conflicts. FAMIARF is currently working with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), and the U.S. Coast Guard. Founder/Director Jim Salazar.

About Hager GeoScience, Inc.

Hager GeoScience, Inc. (HGI) is a small woman-owned business (certified D/WBE in all six New England States, Delaware, and Pennsylvania) that since 1993 has been providing exceptional consulting services in geology and geophysics to metro Boston, New England, the United States, and Internationally. The company provides innovative solutions to unusual subsurface problems by applying the principals' more than 60 combined years of experience in field and analytical geology and geophysics. HGI's tools include state-of-the-art equipment combined with computer-assisted data acquisition and analysis techniques and proprietary software.

About SPH Engineering / UgCS

SPH Engineering offers unmanned systems integration services: building, acquiring and consulting on the selection of airframes, autopilots, payloads for a particular application and performing proof of concept projects and software development. UgCS is unified mission planner ground control software for all popular UAV platforms to control and monitor one or multiple drones on a single mission, in multi operator mode or multi-platform environment. Discover: https://www.ugcs.com/

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