The China Meteorological Administration has launched an unmanned ship for three-dimensional cloud and sea fog observation.
On board the vessel, a multi-band sea cloud and fog observation instrument is equipped for the observation of multiple meteorological factors like cloud height, cloud cover, sea fog, visibility, sea surface temperature and sea salt. The vessel’s instruments can also be used together with the meteorological observations gathered from satellites to create a wider coverage and a higher accuracy.
The vessel is now on its first long-duration voyage in the Huanghai Sea, where it navigated 110 nautical miles in its first 16 hours. According to the administration, this demonstrates its ability to provide widespread meteorological and hydrological observation.
Current sea fog observation stations in China are located near the coast, with a detection range of only a few kilometers. Now, the unmanned ship can expand the observation range to 180 nautical miles (330km) from the coast.
The China Meteorological Administration highlighted the importance of this extended range by pointing out that severe sea fog exerts a huge impact on human activity in local coastal areas that already experience volatile climate conditions and frequent natural disasters.
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