NOAA-Raytheon UAV Hurricane Tracking Initiative Gets Laureate Award; Thomas Bussing Comments

Aviation Week has recognized Raytheon and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with the publication’s Laureate Award for the deployment of company-built Coyote unmanned aerial vehicles to track and model Hurricane Maria last year.

NOAA launched six Coyote UAVs from a Lockheed Martin-built WP-3D Orion aircraft in efforts to help agency researchers view the storm and examine its behavior from the inside, Raytheon said Friday.

Thomas Bussing, vice president of Raytheon’s advanced missile systems business, said the vehicles work to collect and deliver real-time storm data for weather forecasters to create hurricane models.

Coyote is designed as an air- or ground-launched expendable platform for deployment in areas that may pose risks to manned aircraft operations.

Raytheon developed its UAV to operate for up to an hour at a maximum distance of 50 miles from its host aircraft.

In 2014, four Coyote units were launched into Hurricane Edouard and gathered meteorological data from the storm’s eye and eyewall.

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