Description: Hurricane Matthew has brought mass casualties and destruction all over the Caribbean Islands and South Eastern United States. Drones are being used by scientists to track the storm and by civilians to show the world the devastation it has left in its wake. You can see the mass destruction in Haiti in this drone video posted by the Guardian. Around 300 people have been killed while thousands of homes have been destroyed. One U.N. Official is calling this the “largest humanitarian event” since 2010’s earthquake that killed more than 220,000 Haitians.
A group from the University of Wisconsin are planning to fly the drone “Global Hawk” right into the hurricane. The project is called SHOUT for Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA. Global Hawk is a high-altitude drone capable of flying long-range missions into and above storm systems. From there it gathers information like wind-speeds, moisture, pressure and temperature, all of which influence a storms direction and ability to intensify. They say the drone has a wingspan almost triple that of a Boeing aircraft and is controlled from their base in Madison, Wisconsin. According to the University, they had planned to launch the drone Tuesday morning, but one local media source wrote they would have to wait until Thursday morning at the earliest. No word yet on if the drone has launched.
Verizon recently tested a drone that they say can provide wireless coverage in case of a weather emergency. They say the test demonstrated how the technology can be used to aid first responders and emergency personnel in disasters. It’s clear that drones will play a major role in disaster situations in the future. However, we at AirVūz would like to reiterate what the FAA has made clear: Do NOT fly near hurricane response efforts. Response teams may be flying at a lower altitude, your drone could impact their ability to help someone in an emergency.
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