Jacob says the only other tornado-sensing UAV system that he’s aware of is the Tempest, a modified powered glider designed by a company called UASUSA for the University of Colorado. Most systems used to collect data from inside a storm rely on dropsondes – instruments dropped by parachutes from aircraft to obtain temperature, pressure and moisture measurements.

“They require an aircraft to fly above or into a storm, and once the dropsondes are deployed they can’t be controlled and aren’t usually recovered,” says Jacob. “We hope our UAVs would replace that process with a more controlled system to provide more data.”

More Industry-Changing Research

CAMX 2017 will feature a Poster Session where the next-generation of researchers, engineers and industry professionals share innovations in materials science and composites. For more information on the Poster Session and CAMX, which will be held Sept. 11-14 in Orlando, Fla., visit www.thecamx.org.