The Wave Glider ocean drone collected and transmitted weather data during one of Asia’s biggest typhoons this month. This information will allow scientists to better predict intensities of typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes with the goal of saving lives and minimizing property damage. The drone, from Liquid Robotics, was piloted remotely through the path of category 5 Typhoon Rammasun, navigating sustained winds of 145 mph and gusts up to 175 mph with waves more than 45 feet. It gathered real-time wave, temperature, conductivity and current data from the surface of the ocean, even as seaports and transportation systems in multiple countries were closed due to the storm.
“There is no other method to study a storm of this magnitude from the surface of the ocean without an extreme high risk to human life,” says Gary Gysin, CEO of Liquid Robotics, in a press release. “Scientists require this surface data to improve storm prediction models and early warning systems. The loss of life and property destruction from Typhoon Rammasun have only strengthened our resolve to instrument the ocean while our hearts are with those affected by this monstrous storm.”