03/31/2016 07:25 EDT | Updated 04/01/2017 01:12 EDT

Ottawa testing drones as way to gather information on ice conditions

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The federal government is looking at adding a high-tech gadget to its information-gathering arsenal.

Several federal departments have been testing a drone off Newfoundland to see if it could help with Coast Guard ice operations at sea.

The Coast Guard, Transport Canada, the National Research Council and the Royal Canadian Navy were part of the team that launched the unmanned vehicle off Fogo Island.

They want to know if drones can help in icebreaking operations.

They flew the drone Wednesday from the flight deck of the icebreaker George R. Pearkes, and sent real-time ice condition data back to the ship.

Memorial University and Alaska University also participated in the trial.

The Canadian Press

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