Humans cannot do everything as some things are just dangerous to undergo for them such as flying over active military zones, spying on a target, or venturing deep below the ocean’s surface. For tasks like these, modern technology has brought about the development of unmanned drones that handle these tasks, thereby reducing the risks humans face.
But sometimes, to put the drones into certain situations bring about high cost in case of damage or complete loss of the unit. The University of Florida has made a tiny, disposable, cheap unmanned drone that can be used in dangerous situations without fearing cost or damage.
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These unnamed UAVs monitor hurricanes and prevent unnecessary exposure to risk of human life and expensive equipment. These machines cost around $250 and can be gotten cheaper if a bulk quantity is ordered. The internal workings of the drones are encased in a very thin but resilient carbon fiber shell. So resilient, in fact, that during the test run of the drones, they are instructed to crash instead of land safely. The UAVs are not more than six inches long and weigh about an ounce, they have the ability to fly through hurricane-force wind, and also use the winds to their advantage. Just the same way an airliner flies through Jetstreams. The drones are designed in a way that the hurricane can actually move them around so their primary work can be done which is to monitor hurricanes. Through their moving around, they’re able to get usable data.
The leader of the research team at the University of Florida, Prof. Kamran Momsen, controls the UAVs out of harm’s way with the help of just a simple laptop.
The team has adopted the use of mathematical models to ascertain where the drones ought to be and then their power goes off. The drones power on the moment the weather picks up again and they start their works of monitoring. Everything required is focused on by the drones to predict the strength and trajectory of a hurricane, from atmospheric pressure to temperature.
The UAVs are way different from regular current hurricane monitoring and sensing technology. An aircraft built to resist hurricanes flies through the eye wall, then drops a bunch of sensors into the middle, some of which may not even gather any data. With Mohseni’s method, the drones can be controlled, and aren’t necessarily a one-and-one deal, as they can fly around and even land on water.
The UAVs would team up and fly into a storm together and are even networked in order to better communicate and record data.
So far, the tiny drones haven’t been tested in a real hurricane, but the team foresees they’ll be ready in a couple of years’ time. If you have seen a hurricane before or you live in an area that’s prone to this disaster, you will discover that understanding the behavior of this disaster is an important task. If anything can stop hurricanes, the world will be better and safer for some people.