NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is capable of flight altitudes greater than 55,000 feet and flight durations of up to 30 hours. NASA Photo
Forget Moby Dick’s white whale – a tropical cyclone is by far the most difficult ocean beast to track. This rotating system of clouds and thunderstorms, most commonly known to North Americans as a hurricane once it reaches a certain size and speed, is typically several hundred miles wide with winds as fast as 155 miles per hour.
These vast storms are essentially a physics puzzle, in which the interaction of moisture, wind, air, heat and other elements can trick even the most knowledgeable scientists trying to forecast both the path and intensity of a hurricane. In the last decade, weather models have gotten much better at predicting path and landfall, but they have been less skillful when trying to estimate pressure and maximum wind speeds. Read More
Two Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Tritons. Northrop Grumman Photo
The Navy plans to deploy its new MQ-4C Triton long-range surveillance unmanned aircraft to the Middle East in 2016, Rear Adm. Sean Buck, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, said Thursday in a call with reporters following Wednesday’s first successful Triton flight. Read More
Northrop Grumman-built Triton unmanned aircraft system completed its first flight May 22 from the company’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif. Northrop Grumman Photo
The Navy held the first test flight for its next-generation surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle, Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton.
Wednesday’s 80-minute flight, from a Northrop Grumman’s in Palmdale, Calif., will mark the start of flight testing for the Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) system that will bear the bulk of the Navy’s long-range reconnaissance mission into the 21st century. Read More