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They record for the first time inside a hurricane with a marine drone designed to withstand winds of more than 190 km / h

Category 4 Hurricane Sam has served to carry out a pioneering science mission. For the first time, they have used a marine drone equipped with a camera to record the interior of the hurricane. A remotely piloted drone that looks similar to a surfboard.

The device belongs to the company Saildrone, which together with the National Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have obtained video recordings, plus other data such as wind speed, direction, barometric pressure, temperature, salinity, humidity and other data to study the behavior of the hurricane.

Waves of more than 15 meters and hurricane force winds

The vessel, an unmanned surface vehicle (USV), is the first of its kind to enter a Category 4 hurricane. In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 had to face waves of more than 15 meters and winds of more than 190 kilometers per hour. A destructive force of nature for which the vehicle was prepared.

Equipped with a “hurricane wing”, the marine drone can adapt to conditions and collect data in real time and then produce better predictions and simulations.


The SD 1045 is one of five marine drones designed by Saildrone to study hurricanes. “We are proud to have designed a vehicle capable of operating in the most extreme climatic conditions in the world,” explains Richard Jenkins, founder of the company. In total, the autonomous vessel measures seven meter wingspan.

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The video recorded by the SD 1045 conveys well the danger of these hurricanes. A drone that is “surfing” on the huge waves to better predict how these hurricanes behave and thus be able to warn with greater advance notice.