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NOAA invests $3 million for unmanned aircraft system testing
Date:1/23/2008

  • Pacific and West Coast Storms: In spring 2009, both low- and high-altitude unmanned vehicles will fly over the Pacific to study atmospheric rivers, long arms of moisture from ocean storms that bring heavy rain and snow to the West Coast. The data could help forecasters warn water resource managers in time to adjust reservoir levels and avoid flooding and will shed light on weather and climate processes that affect water resources across the arid west.

Future missions will help monitor fisheries, track Greenland glaciers, preserve natural resources, and provide firefighters with key wildfire data. Murky plumes of volcanic emissions and urban pollution will also be targets for dirty work by unmanned vehicles.

Unmanned planes can loiter in the sky over a storm or a forest fire or continue nonstop to a distant target area, such as Antarctica. Some can reach any location on Earth in one trip. Solar-powered vehicles can fly for days at a time. Small vehicles launched from ships at sea can vastly multiply a ships observation area to gather rare data in remote regions.


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Contact: Anatta
anatta@noaa.gov
303-497-6288
NOAA Research
Source:Eurekalert

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