Watch: First-Ever Drone Boat Sails Into Eye Of Cat 4 Hurricane
Saildrone Inc. and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) deployed a sailing drone boat into the heart of a Category 4 hurricane last week. The 23-foot-long uncrewed vessel captured stunning video of “where no research vessel has ever ventured” before, the eye of a major storm.
The video of the un-crewed surface vehicle called the Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 battled Hurricane Sam’s 50-foot waves and winds of over 120 mph to collect scientific data about the storm and gave researchers a new view of one of earth’s most destructive forces.
“Saildrone is going where no research vessel has ever ventured, sailing right into the eye of the hurricane, gathering data that will transform our understanding of these powerful storms,” said Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO. “After conquering the Arctic and the Southern Ocean, hurricanes were the last frontier for Saildrone survivability. We are proud to have engineered a vehicle capable of operating in the most extreme weather conditions on earth.”
SD 1045 is one of five drone ships collecting information on tropical cyclones throughout the Atlantic during the busy 2021 hurricane season. Saildrone has allowed NOAA researchers to “improve forecast models and predict rapid intensification of hurricanes,” said Greg Foltz, an NOAA scientist.
Foltz said, “new data from saildrones and other uncrewed systems that NOAA is using will help us better predict the forces that drive hurricanes and be able to warn communities earlier.”
“This is an amazing victory for meteorology and will increase our knowledge of hurricanes,” said AccuWeather Director of Forecast Operations Dan DePodwin, who wasn’t involved with the operation.
Watch SD 1045’s onboard camera from inside Hurricane Sam.
Sun, 10/03/2021 – 22:30