Chinese met agency tests high-speed drone to improve emergency observations

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China’s meteorological department is conducting a drone-based research experiment exploring the effectiveness of a mobile emergency observation system to help prepare against weather-related disasters such as typhoons, flooding and forest fires.

Originally designed for military applications, the Wing Loong-10 (WL-10) drone has been equipped with several meteorological sounding payloads and would help create a three-dimensional observation network together with sea surface buoys, balloon sounding systems, and ground-based remote sensing instruments for upper air observations.

Technologies carried by WL-10 include a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) occultation/sea reflection sounding system, and terahertz (THz) ice cloud sounding instrumentation to carry out the effective detection of ice and water content.

This will be complemented by dropsonde systems and millimeter-wave cloud radar (MMCR) observations of temperature, water vapor and wind. The experiment will last around a month.

Zhang Xuefen, deputy chief engineer at the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) Observation Center, said, “This experiment will verify the drone platform, and improve the payload performance, observation approach, and occultation system and THz radar. It will pave the way for setting up a complete meteorological emergency response sounding operation based on WL-10.”

The experiment is being jointly conducted by the CMA Observation Center, Hainan Provincial Meteorological Service, and Aviation Industry Corporation of China, among other institutions.

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Dan first joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As editor, he now produces content for Meteorological Technology International, unearthing the latest technological advances and research methods for the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest meteorological news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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