Ice airfields to be built in Arctic
Specialists at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University have developed a technology for changing the structure of ice, thanks to which it can be used in the construction of runways, as well as for storage sites on the continental territories of the Arctic. The project is called Ploshchadka (Site).
"It implies the construction of pre-fabricated ice airfields by modifying the ice cover using special chemicals that allow aircraft to land on the processed ice strip," the university's Vice-Rector for Economics and Innovation Yevgeny Storozhuk said on the sidelines of the Army 2020 Forum.
The strength of the ice strip and the presence of any cracks on it will be examined by fiber-optic sensors laid in its thickness. In the event of a thaw, the state of the ice field will be maintained by freezing or adding reagents. At the same time, air traffic controllers of such airfields are assumed to be able to work remotely.
"We are collaborating with the Ministry of Defense on this project," Yevgeny Storozhuk said, adding that in the future even heavy military transport aircraft, such as the Ilyushin Il-76, will be able to land on such airfields. He also noted that the technology is now being tested and, according to experts, this stage will last about a year.