METOC Technology

Meteorological and Oceanographic Products

Area-I developed a UAS that launches and flies into hurricanes to gather crucial data so we can understand how hurricanes develop and rapidly intensify.

ALTIUS in Hurricane Ian

Launching off NOAA P-3 #42, ALTIUS flew for nearly two hours, successfully traversing through one of the most severe and rapidly intensifying hurricanes of the past decade. ALTIUS was able to collect critical data, most notably that maximum wind speeds in the eye exceeded 187 knots at less than 2300 feet above the sea surface.

ALTIUS Expands the Capabilities of the P3.

ALTIUS keeps NOAA scientists and manned aircraft out of harm’s way. NOAA engineers have flown in hurricanes for decades, but now they can send a UAV to accomplish their mission and more.

Hurricanes gather energy from the ocean and can increase in intensity as they move toward the US. The data above the ocean’s surface, The Hurricane Boundary Layer, is critical for understanding how hurricanes develop and why they rapidly intensify. The risk to humans and scientific equipment makes collecting data in this region of the hurricane a great challenge.

The use of ALTIUS in Hurricane Ian provided NOAA with real-time, high-quality data in the Hurricane Boundary Layer and upper ocean. ALTIUS provides scientists with a new and exciting tool that will aid emergency planners to accurately forecast hurricanes, which will saves lives and property.