Drones, technology in the eye of the hurricane
Drones have been designed to analyze and prevent the development of cyclones in the hurricane season Every year, the hurricane season starts around June 1st and takes almost 5 months until November 30th.
Many countries get affected by these atmospheric phenomena and have resulted in many collateral damages that go from flooding, mudslides, fallen trees and power lines, damaged houses, and sadly human loss. Therefore, countries that are around this hurricane zone are always prepared and stand-by with the purpose of mitigating potential damages to the fullest.
Drones are known as versatile tools not only for entertainment, but also for exploration and analysis of varied areas of business and research. Nowadays, they have many features that are fundamental in the development of the society.
Meteorologically wise, we are excited to announce its new usage; however, experts state that we are still far from fully substituting traditional airplanes and diminishing the death risk of the crew that explores the eye of the hurricane.
Furthermore, remotely-controlled drones can actually jut out the heart of the hurricane while the controller is monitoring from the coast. Inside the eye, it is extremely dangerous and not practical to send people over inside. This new technique is providing scientists with accurate information in real time.
Drones have some sensors that capture and measure the atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind speed, amongst other important information. They also help us study the behavior and development of this phenomenon in order to create a more precise forecast for people´s safety.
One of the most important benefits that drones are giving back to society is that they could fly low avoiding the turbulent flow. Whereas, hurricane hunter aircraft can only fly over them getting into the most hectic quadrant of the hurricane.
They are capable of flying for 30 hours and 21 meters high, they even double the height that a commercial plane can reach, or 1.500 meter higher than the hurricane hunters can.
This represents a considerable reduction on gas costs, airport taxes and pilot fees, as well as taking down occupational risks at cero.
Although drones can be controlled from the distance and even from another plane, they are very likely to fall at the mercy of strong winds. This cannot assure its stability while flying.
All satellite links may be hacked causing a loss of information and communication.
After a storm or hurricane, submarine drones are a good option to follow the events, offering scientists relevant information on how it could affect the climatology. These devices are thrown into the sea about 160 kilometers off the coast in the continental platform, 30-90 meter deep. They may measure the water temperature, saltiness, and density before, during and after the hurricane or storm hit the location.
Did you know?
- In 2012, drones were used on a trial mode and pilots reported important data to scientists in the US.
- Drones are controlled from the NASA base in Wallops Island, Virginia Eastern Coast.
- Each drone is equipped with many instruments including a laser that can analyze the cloud shapes, a microwave system to probe the eye of the hurricane, it has also a radar system.
- The dimensions of these drones are 3 meters long and 6 kilograms of weight.