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Programming Unmanned Aircraft to Cooperate in Hurricane Missions

Getting unmanned aircraft to fly in coordination with one another, while in the throes of hurricane force winds, is no easy feat. It calls for mathematical formulas, tricky steering algorithms, and prototype testing. With support from the National Science Foundation, aerospace engineer Derek Paley and hurricane researcher Sharan Majumdar are working on programming unmanned aircraft to fly cooperatively and collect an abundance of hurricane data from altitudes and in conditions that are considered unsafe for humans to fly. They hope this will lead to more accurate predictions of hurricane intensity.