Drone to fly into hurricane for first time

The 2007 hurricane season has been relatively quiet, but whenever the next big cyclone spirals into life in the open ocean and takes aim at the U.S. coast, Joseph Cione will be ready to plunge into it.

Not literally, of course. Cione, a hurricane researcher with NOAA, is the lead scientist on a government project that aims to send an unmanned aerial drone with advanced weather-watching equipment deep into a hurricane for the first time, and at the earliest opportunity.

The goal is to fly the 28-pound craft as low as 500 feet, gathering detailed observations of the high-wind, low-altitude eye-wall regions that are too dangerous for manned hurricane hunter airplanes to probe.

Source:  Washington Post

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