After Hurricane Sandy caused hundreds of deaths and billions in damages, Congress passed a bill allotting a massive amount of funding for supplemental disaster assistance. Nearly $500M went to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration (NOAA).
One of NOAA’s projects focuses on the development of a drone known as the Coyote, which is designed to fly into the eye-wall of a hurricane and collect data for up to an hour. The data collected by the Coyote inside the hurricane will offer scientists an unprecedented glimpse into an area of the hurricane too dangerous for manned aircraft.
The scientists behind the project hope that the data gathered and transmitted by the Coyote drone could eventually improve hurricane prediction models and enable more accurate forecasts.
Earlier this month, the Coyote team flew a number of drones into Hurricane Edouard, which was eventually downgraded to a tropical storm. The NOAA scientists said the tests were successful, and they are currently analysing the data and gearing up for the Coyote’s next opportunity to fly into the heart of a hurricane.
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