HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog
Video: Students Develop Tornado-Seeking Drones
6/10/2013

Mechanical and aerospace engineering students at Oklahoma State University have developed a drone that can fly into severe thunderstorms like the ones that spawn tornadoes.(Source: Oklahoma State University)
Mechanical and aerospace engineering students at Oklahoma State University have developed a drone that can fly into severe thunderstorms like the ones that spawn tornadoes.
(Source: Oklahoma State University)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
The real storm chasers
Elizabeth M   6/10/2013 7:29:35 AM
NO RATINGS
Tornados are still devastating storms and despite advanced weather equipment, people are still often caught unawares. This type of drone will be able to give meterologists advanced information of tornados before they form and hopefully aid them in prediction, giving people more advanced notice so they can get out of harm's way sooner. The one thing these drones don't do--which was reported erroneously in other publications--is actually fly into the tornado itself. As I explain in the story, they fly into the supercells from which these storms can form.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The real storm chasers
TJ McDermott   6/10/2013 12:05:52 PM
NO RATINGS
ANY storm cell, let alone a supercell, is a dangerous place for an aircraft.  This is a perfect use of an UAV.

One does wonder about the downlink though - lightning will play hash with radio.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The real storm chasers
Elizabeth M   6/10/2013 3:25:25 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, even if it's not flying into the tornado itself, this is still dangerous business! Not sure about the lighting issue...maybe researchers have designed it with that in mind? I can't imagine they wouldn't take elements of the storm into consideration.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The real storm chasers
TJ McDermott   6/10/2013 3:37:07 PM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, I'm sure they have planned for it.  I'm simply curious how they deal with it.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Tornado-Seeking Drones
apresher   6/10/2013 4:29:18 PM
NO RATINGS
This is certainly an interesting project but raises questions on how these drones will handle going into severe weather conditions.  Of course, NASA has its Global Hawk program that flies in to study hurricanes and wildfires.  Click here for blog post on the Global Hawk program.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The real storm chasers
Ann R. Thryft   6/10/2013 6:21:12 PM
NO RATINGS

Elizabeth, thanks for this news about drones being used for positive, beneficial and non-military uses. This is one of several ventures aiming to show that they have beneficent applications as well as not-so-beneficent ones.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
sensors and data logging
Nancy Golden   6/10/2013 8:41:44 PM
NO RATINGS
This is definitely an exciting development - especially in light of the tragic deaths of that experienced team of storm chasers in the last round of Oklahoma twisters...

I am curious though - I don't really see a sensor array on the drone. What type of sensors are used and how is the data logging accomplished? I would imagine that going into such harsh weather conditions they would need some fairly rugged sensors and a way to accurately collect data that could withstand the environmental extremes the drone would be subject to...

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
different application?
NadineJ   6/10/2013 11:50:24 PM
NO RATINGS
This is cool and timely but I don't see the need, based on the article.  We know what types of storms produce tornadoes.  It's seasonal and, for the most part, occurs in isolated areas (i.e. Tornado Alley).

Only the severity is unpredictable.  How does a drone that measures elements that "can be useful for predicting storm development and formation" help with that?

What is the "different application" they are working on with the Department of Homeland Security?

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The real storm chasers
Elizabeth M   6/11/2013 4:22:28 AM
NO RATINGS
My pleasure, Ann. I, too, am happy to see when drones can be used for something other than spy missions or dropping bombs during war engagements. The most interesting uses for me are things like this, as well as search-and-rescue-type endeavors, which I believe also is another use being eyed for them.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: different application?
Elizabeth M   6/11/2013 4:30:00 AM
NO RATINGS
NadineJ, it's my understanding (and maybe I'm wrong?) that not all supercells form tornados, and the drones are meant to take temperature/atmospheric pressure and other measurements etc. that meterologists use to predict if a tornado will form out of a particular supercell. They are still working on the technology so I imagine this will get tweaked as the research goes on.


In terms of the other applications, my source did not say...I imagine since it's with the Department of Homeland Security, at this point it might not be public information.

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
National Instruments sees 5G WiFi and software-enhanced test equipment as advances that will change technology and business.
The new $120,000 Model S P85D boasts a 221-horsepower front motor and a 470-horsepower rear motor that packs a punch. The car is able to go from 0-60 MPH in just 3.1 seconds … quietly.
Bill Gates took to Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) and fielded fielded questions on everything from his outlook on the future of technology to who he's rooting for in the Super Bowl.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Feb 9 - 13, Embedded Development Using Microchip Microcontrollers and the CCS C Compiler
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Stratasys
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service