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Saildrone Set to Deploy Record Number of Drones to Chase Hurricanes

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Saildrone Set to Deploy Record Number of Drones to Chase Hurricanes

Josh Guerrlich
Total Views: 1681
June 28, 2023

Saildrone will send a new record of 12 ocean drones to intercept large and destructive hurricanes during the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season

The drones will aid the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) in research for advanced hurricane forecasting. They will be deployed in the Atlantic Tropics along with the Gulf of Mexico. Launches will happen from Florida, South Carolina, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. So far, 8 of the drones have already been deployed.

This year marks the third season that NOAA and Saildrone have partnered on the deployment of drones to aid in hurricane research.

The main focus of this year’s research will be on the sudden change of mild tropical storms becoming major hurricanes. This type of event can be incredibly destructive when it occurs just prior to landfall. 

“Rapid intensification, when hurricane winds strengthen by 35 mph or more in a matter of hours, can be a serious threat to coastal communities,” said Greg Foltz, one of the missions principal investigators and scientist at NOAA. “The data provided by Saildrone and the other uncrewed systems that NOAA is using will help us better understand the physical forces that drive hurricanes, with the goal of more accurate forecasts and earlier warnings for communities.”

Saildrone will also be using ariel, surface, and sub-surface technology to help with the goal of creating a clear picture of the ocean-atmosphere causes of hurricanes. 

Saildrone hopes to obtain data on air temperature and humidity, wind speed, water temperature, and wave height. 

The data will be used to create more accurate models for hurricane prediction. The data will also be archived and sent to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), making it available to over 20 organizations worldwide. 

Hurricanes in the U.S. have more impact than any other weather disaster. From 1980-2021 over 6,600 people have lost their lives and over $1.1 trillion in damages have occurred.

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