La NOAA o National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency that depends on the United States government, has just announced its plan to develop specific drones capable of entering the eye of a hurricane in order to collect as much information as possible about it and thus determine its behavior. This program has just been tested for the first time during the Hurricane Matthew which has just literally ravaged the Caribbean region.
This program is not completely new, but it is an evolution of the previous ones. As NOAA itself indicates, back in 2014 they already used prototypes during Hurricane Edouard that could be operated within a radius of five kilometers. Among the novelties present in this new program, we can highlight, for example, that this radius has been extended to 80 kilometers. According to the data collected, the drone entered the hurricane when it was still in category two, which means that it had to withstand winds of almost 180 kilometers per hour.
NOAA will explore what happens inside hurricanes with drones specifically designed for these types of tasks.
As for the drone itself, it should be noted that we are talking about a system whose wingspan is 1,5 meters. Despite this data, the drone can fly in extreme conditions obtaining valuable atmospheric information such as the temperature, the humidity of the environment, even the speed at which the wind blows, its direction and the conditions that the ocean surface presents in real time. Undoubtedly a fairly sophisticated technology that makes, according to NOAA that each unit of this drone has a price of U.S. dollar 22.000.
This particular drone used to investigate the behavior of hurricanes, baptized as NOAA, is a device whose weight is less than six kilograms. Thanks to this and its unique complex architecture, it can fly over hurricanes to get close to its center where it will begin to collect all kinds of information. All data collected is sent for processing to the National Hurricane Center.