American weather boffins plan to send more unmanned aircraft plunging deep into the 2008 crop of Caribbean hurricanes, in a bid to find out more about the deadly rotating storm systems. Aerosonde heads into the hurricane When the going gets tough, the robots get going. ©Jon Becker, Aerosonde Pty Ltd. This year will see as …
2000 miles on a tankful
Just as well these UAVs have got a good range. Hurricanes tend to swing well to the noth of Barbados ('53 exepted) unless the NOAA's know something we don't.
Still, Florida or Barbados? I know which I'd choose. (Apartment in Holetown, please. Not too far from Cocomos)
mine's the one with the high SPF.
"(The US FAA don't care for unmanned planes near hurricanes in US airspace, apparently.)"
"Previously the Aussie robocraft used a American naval airbase at Key West, but it's hoped that the new Barbados deployment for the 2008 hurricane season will allow more storm probes than in previous years."
So was the former simply Lewis speculating in his usual paranoid manner (and completely ignoring the latter fact), or did the FAA recently change their stance, and the latter is NOAA spinning the fact that they must now deploy from Barbados?
It'll be mighty turbulent down there, and some amazing downdraughts too.
I'd be surprised if they make it back from this mission.
I don't believe what I'm reading, 50-80k for one of these badboys, can't we strap some munitions to them and save ourself millions rather than buy the US predators. C'mon this is the UK, not like we're not used to doing things on the cheap (well the public anyway, the politicians never do it on the cheap cause they know we're paying).
True, but I see you've never looked at the insurance premiums for hurricane damage in Florida, have you?
It's bad enough when the storms hit the coasts, but when it hits inland, it's nastier. I'd be happy to spend a bit more cash to understand the driving force of hurricanes as long as we can prevent another Charley-Ivan romp. And the added benefit is that there's no one's actually in the aircraft this time--you know how dangerous manned aircraft at 3k above a hurricane gets? It's worse down *there.*
re: 300 feet?
>It'll be mighty turbulent down there, and some amazing downdraughts too.
>I'd be surprised if they make it back from this mission.
Sounds like a really good way to feed a quarter million $ worth of drones to the drone_grinder.
I would assume there is a huge difference in 'hospitality' between a US company and an Aussie one. Think of the Powerpoint presentations and the holidays and theatre tickets and sports fixtures -- O.K., there are some of us who would prefer an Aussie Rules final to the softies at the Superbowl.
Anyway, the US robot could be ordered in to a storm but an Aussie one would do it for a laugh.
At which point you wonder where you got your robots with emotions from...
Film at 11
So how long before our local news features a bedraggled drone that was blown a thousand miles off course?
"Aaaw. Poor little thing!"
I see a Disney movie in the works.
Most hurricanes that threaten the east coast form in the central atlantic - so Barabados makes sense as a base due to the large American embassy there. It's also well east of many of the other islands in the eastern caribbean chain, so they can get an eye on the forming depressions earlier.
Of course the storms that threaten the Gulf coast mostly form in the central caribbean (especially early in the season), so I wouldn't be surprised if they start basing this out of Puerto Rico soon if all goes well (the manned Hurricane Hunters fly out of Florida and PR mostly). Or maybe they'll just use the UAV's on the early storms - when they're weaker and don't need the faster reflexes of a pilot in-plane vs. the latency of pilot-miles-away.
These "bad boys" must be exactly that - bad - cos the govt down here recently announced a project to monitor our northern coasts with UAVs built in, er, Israel. I guess the home brew models used in the Caribbean must be cheap and cheerful enough to be disposable.
I use these droid planes all the time.
I get them to pick up me beer from the pub in the next town. They can carry 2 whole slabs and a bottle of sherry for the Missus!
Since you have no passengers and meat pilots to spill their drinks etc, and the AUVs have a short wingspan, they should survive being tossed around very well.
Recalling my scuba diving days, you can get very close to rocks with huge swells rising up against them without being ground up. While gathering mussles etc, we'd get within touching distance of the rocks and be in a 3 metre crest-to-trough swell. The water must go somewhere and if you become one with the water you just flow with it. Similarly, when an AUV flies in turbulent air it will be thrown around, but the down-draughted air must go somewhere... ie sideways.. and so long as that AUV stays in that air and does not lose its airspeed and bearings too badly it should not crash.
Methinks that the key to avoiding another Katrina-style disaster would simply be to follow already established rules and procedures, maintain the levees properly and not have a moron for President who appoints a monkey at a federal emergency institution.
No need to spend hundreds of thousands for a robot to go throw itself at a hurricane.
That said, I am quite interested in knowing how a hurricane - the most important atmospheric force of this planet - forms and draws its energy from the sea. We cannot know too much about them.
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