Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tiny airborne probe could help local weather forecasts

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Right now, the test system is quite limited: researchers have to wait until their drone lands to fetch information. It’ll get a big help later this year, though, as a link to Iridium’s satellite network will feed live weather data to both pilots and forecasters. NASA even envisions a dual-pronged hurricane forecasting approach where a mothership aircraft combines the probe’s data with that from gliders to get a more complete picture. If forecasters can get a better sense of where a hurricane is going, they can focus evacuations and relief on those areas that genuinely need it, rather than covering large swaths of the coastline “just in case.”

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