The flight path taken by the first of the UAVs, last Thursday/Friday (Image: NASA)
A satellite image of Hurricane Leslie (Photo: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team)
The first of the two Global Hawks, coming in for a landing in Virginia last Friday (Photo: NASA Wallops)
A satellite image of Tropical Storm Nadine (Photo: NASA's GOES Project)
The flight path taken by the first of the UAVs, when it observed Tropical Storm Nadine earlier this week (Image: NASA)
There’s only so much that we can learn about hurricanes by looking at them from the ground, or by observing them using distant satellites. Aircraft, on the other hand, give researchers an aerial view of the weather systems, while also allowing for direct measurements of variables such as temperature and humidity – the one catch is, would you want to be in a plane that was circling over a hurricane? Probably not. That’s one of the reasons why NASA is using Global Hawk UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to study hurricanes off the east coast of the U.S.
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