None of us, unless we are very unlucky, will ever see first-hand what it looks like at the center of a hurricane. However, new footage from a crewless vessel in the Atlantic Ocean gives us a good idea of what this experience would be like as it has captured some of the only footage from inside a major hurricane.
The 23-foot unmanned vessel, called Saildrone, collected a 28-second clip of winds of 120 miles per hour as well as waves of 50 feet. The vessel was built by California-based Saildrones Inc. and operated by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“This is a truly groundbreaking accomplishment because we’ve shown for the first time that it’s possible to send an uncrewed, remote-controlled vehicle on the surface of the ocean directly into a major hurricane — one of the harshest environments on Earth — and we showed that we can retrieve this extremely valuable data from within the hurricane immediately,” said NOAA scientist Greg Foltz.
The captured footage will be valuable for storm forecasting and hurricane impact research. Data from inside the actual storm will help scientists better understand how these storms move and intensify.
The hurricane was also a successful trial for Saildrone’s technology, which allowed the ship to withstand a storm that would sink most others. The technology allows the vessel to be held underwater for an extended period of time and still come back up. Saildrone vessels are also used for ocean mapping and maritime security, among other uses.
With a month to go in peak hurricane season, the team hopes to capture more footage this year to further understand the energy exchange relationship between the ocean and storms. Want to see the video for yourself? Check it out at the source link below.