One of the things I like to highlight on Drone Chatr is the use of drones throughout our society. Drones are a relativity new technology and has now become available to nearly everyone. You just need to imagine the application.
Over the past week we’ve all been following Hurricane Matthew. Unfortunately it has left behind a path of destruction and death. Hundreds have died in the Caribbean. Dozens have died in the United States. It is interesting to learn that drones have been used ahead, within and after the storm. These drones have been big, small, expensive, and relatively cheap. Let’s take a look at a few involved.
Ahead of and within Hurricane Matthew
- Big – NASA flew their Global Hawk drone over the hurricane to collect weather data. This is not your typical drone. When you think about this drone, think about an airliner. Global Hawk has a wing span of 140 feet, it flies for 30 hours at a time at an altitude of 60,000 feet. Source: http://fortune.com/2016/10/07/nasa-drone-hurricane-matthew/
Small – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) dispatched Coyote when Matthew approached land. At 13 pounds and a wingspan of five feet Coyote launches from the belly of a plane. The remote pilot controlling the drone is in the plane. While flying into the eye of the storm Coyote collects very detailed weather information and returns it directly to the National Hurricane Center. Source: http://qz.com/803994/a-lightweight-drone-is-investigating-hurricane-matthew-by-flying-into-the-eye-of-the-storm/
After Hurricane Matthew
- Scope of Destruction – We’ve talked about the use of drones in journalism through past blog posts and as you can imagine this is an ideal opportunity to put them to use. Here an ABC News broadcast is showing the damage along the Florida coast. Source: http://abcn.ws/2dBRBAp
- Restoration – A Florida electric utility (Florida Power & Light) used drones to access hurricane damage. Given the hazards of downed electrical power lines, this sounds like a safe and smart use of drones. Source: https://twitter.com/insideFPL
The effects of hurricanes are very unfortunate, however it good to see the efforts of drones to better predict their behavior and recover from them safely and promptly.