A peacetime UAV application: investigating hurricanes

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are in use all over the world for many things, but most famously for their role in warfare. Fantasy abounds and people picture UAVs or “drones” sweeping Iraq in formation, eradicating enemies with the “Terminator” theme in the background. Well, the drones are working to fight that image.

NOAA is working on deploying some drones from Barbados to take a look at Hurricanes in the Caribbean and West Pacific region. They say that the amount of data they can get from actually flying within the hurricanes is enormous, and may result in some insight into the storms’ behavior. The UAVs are Australian, from a company called Aerosonde, and they have only a 9-foot wingspan. Sounds a little flimsy; I’d feel safer in one of these. [via the Register]