American scientists have controlled a camera-equipped sea drone that filmed raging Hurricane Sam from within the Atlantic Ocean, footage released Thursday shows.
The conscious images were released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a federal agency dealing with meteorology and oceanography. They show how the sea drone, which looks like a robotic surfboard, fights fifteen metre high waves and resists gusts of more than 190 kilometers per hour.
The sea drone has been named Saildrone and was developed by a San Francisco Bay based company of the same name. The Saildrone is the first of its kind and helps scientists gather data on hurricanes, such as wind speed and direction, air pressure, temperature, salinity and humidity.
“We expect to improve prediction models that predict rapid intensification of hurricanes,” NOAA scientist Greg Foltz said about the usefulness of the sea drone. “Rapid intensification, when hurricane winds grow in strength within hours, is a serious threat to coastal communities.”