NASA is working on building an aircraft that will be able to predict or forecast hurricanes. This aircraft is called the Global Hawk, which is an unmanned craft that is piloted remotely. The weather forecast tools that the aircraft is equipped with include forecast observation capabilities. This aircraft will be flown from this week in order to track hurricanes and to observe or forecast their intensity.
This aircraft will be managed through the ground control center that is located at the Wallops Flight Facility of NASA which is based in Virginia. Here the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been working with the NASA scientists on a project called SHOUT which is the short form for Sensing Hazards through Operational Unmanned Technology. This technology has been worked upon as part of the research being done by NASA on collaborative storm predictions. The aircraft will be able to move closer to the source of weather conditions and be able to act as a tool for forecasts and weather observations.
The practice of getting the aircraft’s flight perfection has been achieved by sending out the Global Hawk during severe storms and hurricanes in order to check whether it can provide forecasts as to how the storm will veer and the intensity of the same.
The tests are in and will last till September when scientists and pilots will direct the flights to travel over the Atlantic Ocean and to collect data on different atmospheric conditions like wind speed, moisture, temperature and direction of wind. This real time data can then be collected and used by the National Weather Service. They can fill in this data in their forecast models which are used at the National Hurricane Center.
The findings are encouraging after this aircraft has been designed. The lead scientist of this project stated that Global Hawk has allowed NASA to be aware of the weather patterns ahead of time since the time it has been operational. It is a great observation tool that can endure weather conditions like a satellite can but with the precision of an aircraft as well as providing data that is of fine resolution. The aircraft is equipped to profile different storm conditions. It can release Dropsondes that can profile the wind speed, pressure and temperature. With the HIWRAP technology that is inbuilt it can help to pick up wind speed as well as measure out the precipitation to an accurate level. There are other built in sensors and devices in the aircraft that will aid greater accuracy in measuring thunderstorms, the electric fields they generate and so forth.