Drone films the inside of a hurricane in the ocean

Drone films the inside of a hurricane in the ocean

Oct 06, 2021

Warning: the video can cause dizziness. 

The Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 has filmed the interior of a category 4 hurricane. The video footage was gathered by an uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) that was inside Hurricane Sam that barreled the Atlantic Ocean. This is the first time an ocean drone captures video from inside a hurricane. 

The Saildrone was directed into the middle of Hurricane Sam, battling 50ft waves and winds that surpassed 120 mph to collect critical scientific data (193 km/h). This provides critical scientific data and gives us a new view of the destructive force of a hurricane. 

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Hurricane Sam has been the longest-lived storm from the Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2021. It is now a Category 2 storm that missed Bermuda on Saturday and is now moving into the far North Atlantic towards Iceland. 

The purpose of the Saildrone Explorer SD 1045

Equipped with a special “hurricane wing” that enabled it to operate under extreme wind conditions, the Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 collects real-time observations for hurricane prediction models. This is expected to provide new insights into how large and destructive these tropical cyclones really are. 

This model is one of a fleet of 5 hurricane Saildrones from Saildrone Inc. and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that are operating in the Atlantic Ocean. These gather data around the clock to understand the physical processes of hurricanes. This data is fundamental to improve storm forecasting and reduce loss of human life by preparing coastal communities. 

“Saildrone is going where no research vessel has ever ventured, sailing right into the eye of the hurricane, gathering data that will transform our understanding of these powerful storms,” -Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO. 

These Saildrones provide data directly to the NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. With the data collected, scientists at this organization expect to improve forecasts of these storms and predict the rapid intensification of hurricanes, a serious threat to communities close to the coast. 

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