Drones Need Aviation Forecasts

NCAR scientists direct their weather expertise to UAS needs

The possible future uses for drones are spectacularly diverse. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) could make door-to-door deliveries, search for a lost hiker, survey agricultural crops, inspect infrastructure, or collect scientific data from difficult-to-reach places, among other things.

Already Amazon is experimenting with drone delivery of packages, for example, and BNSF Railway is testing the use of drones to inspect hundreds of miles of railroad tracks.

Yet the ultimate success of efforts like these may hinge on a good weather forecast.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), long a trusted provider of critical weather information to the aviation industry, is beginning to lend its expertise to the UAS community as well.

Staff in NCAR’s Research Applications Laboratory are already working with NASA to provide low-level turbulence forecasts for NASA’s project to create a UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system, which would be similar to the air traffic control system for crewed airplanes. And in May, the NCAR team is hosting a UAS Weather Forum in Dallas. The forum will be co-located with XPONENTIAL, a conference on “all things unmanned” that is organized by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

Source: Multirotor – uavexpertnews – Drones Need Aviation Forecasts