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)
Thanks, Elizabeth - It would be interesting to understand the sensing and data logging mechanisms, especially under such extreme conditions. Hopefully you will hear back. Thanks as always for reporting on such interesting and potentially valuable technologies!
It's my pleasure, Nancy. I really enjoy writing about these types of innovations and am always impressed by what the really clever people in this world are dreaming up! I sent an email to Jamey yesterday so let's see what he says. I'll post a comment when I get his reply.
Your comments and concerns are warranted, I think, Thinking_J. I didn't really think of the potential negative consequences of this, but you're right, there are probably a lot of reasons why this technology isn't such a good idea. I'm sure malfunctions in such dire conditions are definitely possible. We can only hope that if this technology is put to actual use that the inventors take as much precaution as they can to avoid any of these issues.
Thanks, Elizabeth - I am curious as to what he has to say. I had a friend that used to design and build industrial weather stations out of his home and I designed a wind rose as a student project back in my school days so I am really interested in these types of designs that involve monitoring weather parameters...it will be interesting to see what he says.
Very interesting post Elizabeth. In the late ' 60s, I did a TDY at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. It was in late March; prime tornado weather for that part of the country. Around 2:00 in the morning the alert sirens sounded indicating a tornado had been spotted. We all hurried down into the shelters to wait until the all-clear sounded. We had maybe 5 minutes to get underground before the tornado hit. We were there for about 20 minutes and when we came "top-side", we discovered the tornado had hit two hangers and basically destroyed several aircraft stationed inside for maintenance and repairs. This was an F-2 and yet it bent and twisted aircraft as though they were toys. Any thing that can be done to provide greater warning and more time to react is greatly needed. I suspect Homeland Security intended the drones for keeping track of citizens but this is an excellent use of the technology.
"Oklahoma State University students working to solve this problem have developed the ultimate storm chaser -- a drone that can fly into the storms and send data back to meteorologists. "
Very nice idea. Hurricanes always left us thousands of people facing expensive repairs for property damage. Concerned people want to help relieve some of that burden through relief charities. Unfortunately, these kinds of disasters also bring out scammers trying to make a fast back by taking advantage of tragedy and misery. The Better Business Bureau released some helpful tips in sorting the legitimate contractors and charities from the unscrupulous. tragedies. If you need help paying for emergency fixes, get financial advice.
I am really late to thread, but good luck to the guys trying to get inserments into a tornado. They come in all sizes from little more than whorle wind to ones that plow trenches 8 foot deep in the ground. I expect the secret to getting the drone to stand up is making the lightes stongest drone they can and hope it doesn't get hit by something solid.
A drone is tool and like any good tool it can be used for good or bad. It up to the user not the tool.
It would also be great for finding hot spots in grass fires and watch for the fire getting behind the fire crews.
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