Global Hawk drones to be used to hunt hurricanes this year

Watts Up With That?

From the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, it seems the days of the Orion P3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft may soon be numbered.

NASA mission sending unmanned aircraft over hurricanes this year

Beginning this summer and over the next several years, NASA will be sending unmanned aircraft dubbed “severe storm sentinels” above stormy skies to help researchers and forecasters uncover information about hurricane formation and intensity changes.

Several NASA centers are joining federal and university partners in the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) airborne mission targeted to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin.

NASA’s unmanned sentinels are autonomously flown. The NASA Global Hawk is well-suited for hurricane investigations because it can over-fly hurricanes at altitudes greater than 60,000 feet with flight durations of up to 28 hours – something piloted aircraft would find nearly impossible to do. Global Hawks were used…

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