Coyote UAVs Help NOAA Track & Model Hurricane Maria (Multi-Video)

A researcher holding a Raytheon Coyote canister-launched drone (Image courtesy of NOAA)
A researcher holding a Raytheon Coyote canister-launched drone (Image courtesy of NOAA)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was able to successfully use six Raytheon Company Coyote® unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to track and model Hurricane Maria.

Launched from a NOAA WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter aircraft, the Coyotes flew directly into the storm, giving researchers an unprecedented view of Maria from a safe distance.

(See launches of Coyote and Silver Fox unmanned aircraft systems from every angle. Courtesy of Raytheon and YouTube)

Developed for the military, Coyote is a small, expendable UAV that’s air- or ground-launched into environments too dangerous for manned aircraft. The system can fly for more than an hour and up to 50 miles from its host aircraft.

(Learn More. Coyote, the unmanned aircraft can fly into very low and very turbulent parts of a hurricane that are too dangerous for piloted planes. Courtesy of WPRI and YouTube)

NOAA scientists are evaluating the data to better understand Hurricane Maria and other storms like it.

NOAA researchers prepare to launch a Raytheon-built Coyote UAV into Hurricane Maria.
NOAA researchers prepare to launch a Raytheon-built Coyote UAV into Hurricane Maria.

“NOAA is investing in these unmanned aircraft and other technologies to increase weather observations designed to improve the accuracy of our hurricane forecasts,” said Dr. Joe Cione, NOAA hurricane researcher and chief scientist for the Coyote program.

“The Coyotes collected critical, continuous observations in the lower part of the hurricane, an area impossible to reach with manned aircraft.”

Researchers can also fly Coyotes throughout the storms, revisiting key locations inside hurricanes to obtain the most robust data possible.

(Take a rare look inside NOAA’s P-3 Orion which flies directly into the eye of hurricanes. Courtesy of Fox News and YouTube)

The Coyote system is one of Raytheon’s family of high-tech weather forecasting technology, including:

Raytheon logoWith a history of innovation spanning 95 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5I™ products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries.