Raytheon-built unmanned aerial vehicles have helped the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration monitor Hurricane Maria and gather data for storm researchers.
NOAA launched six Coyote UAV units from the agency’s WP-3D Orion aircraft as part of efforts to track and model the hurricane, Raytheon said Wednesday.
“The Coyotes collected critical, continuous observations in the lower part of the hurricane, an area impossible to reach with manned aircraft,” said Joe Cione, a hurricane researcher and chief scientist for the Coyote program at NOAA.
“NOAA is investing in these unmanned aircraft and other technologies to increase weather observations designed to improve the accuracy of our hurricane forecasts,” Cione added.
The company noted its Coyote UAVs can also be flown throughout the storms to help researchers revisit locations of interest and examine storm behavior.