SHOUT 2016 Hurricane Rapid Response Begins with First Science Flight
NASA & NOAA Global Hawk 24 Hour Flight Leads to Classification of Hurricane Gaston
NOAA UAS Program’s Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) is exploring the use of flying High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAS, such as NASA’s Global Hawk, to collect weather data from hurricanes. On its third year, the SHOUT team is testing the value of using unmanned aircraft to provide weather data to improve hurricane forecasts and be available as a satellite gap data provider in an operational mode.
LCDR Jon Neuhaus, NOAA, safely landed the Global Hawk completing SHOUT Hurricane Rapid Response (HRR) Science Flight #1 at 0559 EDT August 25th after a 23.9 hour flight. A day earlier, NOAA’s Co-Principle Investigators Dr. Gary Wick and Jason Dunion, Dave Fratello (Global Hawk Payload Manager), were in the Global Hawk Operations Center for the 0607 EDT August 24th launch from NASA Wallops which began the SHOUT HRR Campaign.
During this first event using data from the 75th dropsonde (out of a total of 84 dropped) launched from the Global Hawk’s Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS), the National Hurricane Center evaluated the real-time data to upgrade GASTON to the third hurricane of the Atlantic Season:
HURRICANE GASTON TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072016 1215 AM AST THU AUG 25 2016 ...GASTON BECOMES THE THIRD HURRICANE OF THE ATLANTIC SEASON... Dropsonde data from a NASA/NOAA Global Hawk mission indicate that Gaston has strengthened to a hurricane. The maximum winds are estimated to be 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. SUMMARY OF 1215 AM AST...0415 UTC...INFORMATION