In the wake of the recent Oklahoma City tornado, it's clear that better storm tracking and real-time weather data can save lives. And students from Oklahoma State University might have created just the tools we need.
Three teams of students — the Stormtroopers, the Barnstormers and the Flying Honeybadgers — have each designed drones which are meant to fly directly into storm centers. The hope is to reduce risk to human stormchasers, as well as to people in the path of the storm.
The drones will need to be easily transportable and capable of taking off in high winds from any paved road. Once aloft and inside the storm, they will use onboard sensors and deployable dropsondes (a sort of weather probe) to measure humidity, temperature, windspeed, and wind direction.
While the three drones are as yet concepts, the hope is that they'll be up and operating across the tornado belt by 2015, at which time we sincerely hope they will be a powerful tool in the prevention of tragedies like the recent events in Oklahoma City.
Via Popular Science