Fairweather's Tulugaq Bolsters Real-time Data Collection in Arctic

New company allows for rapid expansion of airborne remote sensing capabilities

Published Oct 4, 2013 7:35 AM by The Maritime Executive

Following the recent acquisition of VDOS, a worldwide leader in airborne remote sensing operations, Fairweather, LLC has announced the formation of subsidiary Tulugaq, LLC -- the result of a partnership between Fairweather, LLC, Olgoonik Corporation and Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation.  Tulugaq (pronounced “too-lu-gak”) is the native Inupiat word for “raven.”

The company was formed to bolster Fairweather’s remote sensing and real-time scientific data collection capabilities utilizing specialized manned and unmanned airborne assets to support offshore oil and gas exploration and production efforts in the Arctic. Utilizing cutting-edge remote sensing technology, Tulugaq provides critical real-time data to offshore operators including ice movement and break-up, as well as marine mammal and wildlife monitoring. The unique ability to share assets and programming costs between projects provides an added benefit to clients.

Tulugaq’s operations are supported by the purchase of a new Diamond DA42 optionally-manned aircraft outfitted with live streaming high-definition video, infrared and ultra high resolution digital cameras. Future integration will include the addition of multispectral sensors. Tulugaq is one of the few operators of the DA42 in the U.S. and the only operator in Alaska. Originally designed for government work, the DA42 is designed to collect data in harsh weather and no-light conditions. The aircraft’s low profile and quiet operation allows Tulugaq to conduct complex missions without disturbing the Arctic’s many species of protected wildlife.

The Tulugaq team is led by Operations Manager Steve Wackowski, who brings extensive experience gained as an operator of UAS (unmanned aerial systems) in the U.S. Air Force.  Wackowski currently holds the record for high-latitude UAS flights deployed from an icebreaker. Tulugaq flight operations will be performed by an Alaskan team with over 40,000 hours of flight experience in Alaska and over 2,000 hours of manned and unmanned flight experience worldwide.

“The Tulugaq partnership combines the technical capabilities, infrastructure and experience offered by Fairweather with the long-held local knowledge of the coastal villages of Wainwright and Kaktovik,” said Fairweather founder Sherron Perry. “Fairweather greatly values the long-standing relationships we have established with these Alaskan native villages, and we are extremely proud to expand this historic and enduring partnership. The Tulugaq team will be changing the game in airborne remote sensing in Alaska and filling a very important need.”

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.