In Underwater Drones, a New Weapon for Hurricane Hunters featured on UNDARK
A researcher’s decision to put an underwater drone in Hurricane Irene’s path is helping to transform the science of hurricane intensity prediction.
In August 2011, with Hurricane Irene bearing down on the mid-Atlantic coast, Scott Glenn, an ocean engineering researcher at Rutgers University, made a bold decision. While most other research teams moved their ships, personnel, and expensive hardware to safety ahead of the hurricane, Glenn left his data-collecting drone — a torpedo-shaped underwater “glider” about 6 feet long and worth about $150,000 — directly in its path.
Because that remote-controlled glider survived Irene — much to the relief of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which technically owned it — it may have helped to change the science of hurricane intensity prediction.
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