February 24, 2024

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Ocean Drones Capture Hurricane Data in the U.S.

Image sources: noaa.gov

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and a drone company have sent ocean drones to capture data and video from inside Hurricane Samto help scientists better understand the nature of hurricanes. Battling 50-foot waves and 120 mph winds inside the category 4 storm, the SD 1045 is collecting real-time observations for hurricane prediction models, which are expected to yield new insights into how large and destructive tropical cyclones grow and intensify and how coastal communities can better prepare for severe storms.

The wind-powered ocean drones feature meteorological and oceanographic sensors running on solar power that collect real-time data in ocean environments and transmit it via satellite. Data from their acoustic and camera system is processed with a proprietary onboard machine learning algorithm to deliver high-resolution data in real-time to a secure web portal and raw data post-mission that can be accessed through an application programming interface.

Using data collected by the ocean drones, we expect to improve forecast models that predict rapid intensification of hurricanes. Rapid intensification, when hurricane winds strengthen in a matter of hours, is a serious threat to coastal communities.

– Greg Foltz, NOAA scientist

Equipped with a specially designed “hurricane wing,” enabling it to operate in extreme wind conditions, the drone is braving Hurricane Sam in the open ocean, collecting real-time observations for numerical hurricane prediction models, which are expected to yield new insights into how large and destructive tropical cyclones grow and intensify.

The drones were gathering data around the clock to help understand the physical processes of hurricanes. This knowledge is critical to improving storm forecasting and is expected to reduce the loss of human life by allowing better preparedness in coastal communities. The drones are constantly supervised by a human pilot via satellite as they navigate autonomously from prescribed waypoint to waypoint, accounting for wind and currents.

The ocean drone is going where no research vessel has ever ventured, sailing right into the eye of the hurricane, gathering data that will transform our understanding of these powerful storms. After conquering the Arctic and the Southern Ocean, hurricanes were the last frontier for ocean drone survivability.

The data on air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, water temperature and salinity, sea surface temperature and wave height and duration will also be valuable to the National Weather Service, which will use it to improve forecasting.

The National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service will work to align data findings from other observing platforms, such as gliders. The data will also be sent to the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Telecommunication System and disseminated to some 20 major forecast centres worldwide, including NOAA.

Sending a robotic vehicle into the eye of a hurricane is something that has never been done before. This activity is an incredibly complex engineering challenge that could have a significant positive impact on the ability to predict extreme weather, for the benefit of communities facing these events.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, U.S. aerospace engineers have devised an algorithm that helps drones find the fastest route around obstacles without crashing. The new algorithm combines simulations of a drone flying through a virtual obstacle course with data from experiments of a real drone flying through the same course in a physical space.

The researchers plan to fly more experiments, at faster speeds, and through more complex environments, to further improve their algorithm. They also may incorporate flight data from human pilots who race drones remotely, and whose decisions and manoeuvres might help zero in on even faster yet still feasible flight plans.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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