US: Raytheon Coyote UAV helped the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to track Hurricane Maria. Launched using NOAA WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter aircraft, the coyotes gave a complete view of Hurricane Maria, which was never seen before.
Originally developed for the military, Coyote is a small and expendable UAV that is launched into environments that are too hazardous for manned aircrafts.
Coyote navigated winds greater than 100 miles per hour and directly transmitted information to National Hurricane Center. NOAA researchers are studying the data to understand Hurricane Maria and other big storms.
Dr. Joe Cione, NOAA hurricane researcher and chief scientist for the Coyote program, said “NOAA is investing in these unmanned aircraft and other technologies to increase weather observations designed to improve the accuracy of our hurricane forecasts”
He further adds “The Coyotes collected critical, continuous observations in the lower part of the hurricane, an area impossible to reach with manned aircraft.”
Coyote is one of Raytheons high technology weather forecasting, including the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument, which is aboard NOAA‘s Suomi NPP spacecraft, the common ground system for the Joint Polar Satellite System, and the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System – a powerful forecast toolkit that helps meteorologists globally to analyze weather data.