ocean drone battles super typhoon Rammasun
July 23, 2014
SUNNYVALE, CA –
Battling estimated sustained winds of 145 mph and gusts to 175 mph,
with waves over 45 feet, a Liquid Robotics Wave Glider® ocean drone
positioned directly in the path of the storm successfully navigated
and continuously collected weather data through the eye of Typhoon
Rammasun (Category 5), one of Asia's biggest typhoons in 40 years.
Conducting a meteorological mission in the South China Sea, the Wave
Glider was deployed for a week prior to first encountering Rammasun's
path on July 17th.
With seaports and
transportation systems closed in multiple countries and caught
squarely in the typhoon's path, the Wave Glider was remotely piloted
through the storm collecting and transmitting vital and rare, real
time wave, temperature, conductivity and current data all from the
surface of the ocean. Collecting current data to 100 meters and full
directional wave spectrum data, this encounter gives scientists a
unique picture of the horrific surface conditions during this type of
event. Until the invention of the Wave Glider no vehicle could travel
through and survive typhoon/hurricane class storms to collect surface
data without severe risk to human life.
"Our mission in building the
Wave Glider was to build a surface drone which could persist in the
ocean for very long periods of time despite the ocean's harshest
conditions," said Roger Hine, Founder and CTO of Liquid Robotics.
"There is no truer testament to the Wave Glider platform than the
persistence of its sensor payload through one of the most catastrophic
storms in recent history."
"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," said Gary Gysin, CEO of Liquid
Robotics. "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."