Drones could revolutionize weather forecasts, but must overcome safety concerns

Robotic vehicles unleashed into the atmosphere and oceans, commonly known as drones, may uncover meteorological secrets critical to improving weather forecasts.

Potentially, they could sample the atmosphere in difficult to reach, remote locations where weather data is scarce. The data received could then be integrated into prediction models – improving their resolution and reliability.

Research facilities at multiple agencies and Universities have been testing methods for using drones in meteorological data collection for many years, but operational drones for weather analysis have only been put into practice in the last few years. According to NASA, the agency’s Global Hawk drone made “the first ever high-altitude flyover of a tropical cyclone with a UAS (unmanned aircraft system).” … (Read more)

This photo of Tropical Storm Frank was taken from the HDVis camera on the underside of the Global Hawk aircraft on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 5:07 pm EDT as the aircraft approached Frank for the second time. The Global Hawk captured this photo from an altitude of 60,000 ft. (about 11.4 miles) (NASA/NOAA)

Source: WashingtonPost.com