JLab Guest Lecturer Discusses Hurricane Hunting - By Remote Control! On April 14

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., March 2, 2009 – Learn how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration are using an unmanned aircraft system to gain information never before gathered about tropical storm systems and how this data is helping them better understand these powerful storms.

Dr. Joseph J. Cione, with the NOAA Hurricane Research Division, will present a lecture titled Hurricane Hunting - By Remote Control! at Jefferson Lab on Tuesday, April 14.

Since 2003, NOAA and NASA have worked together to establish low-altitude, long-endurance UAS observations in tropical cyclones. In 2005 they successfully flew into tropical storm Ophelia. This landmark event marked the first time an autonomous vehicle was flown into the core of a mature tropical system. In 2007, they successfully conducted their first hurricane UAS mission into Noel, and set new benchmarks for tropical cyclone UAS endurance and altitude.

The primary objective of this research has been to use UAS to better document areas of storms that are either impossible or impractical to observe. In both cases, according to Cione, the UAS provided critical measurements to the National Hurricane Center in real-time. Analyses of these unique data sets – in addition to missions flown in the future – should improve our understanding of the hurricane boundary layer and will provide invaluable ground truth for satellite and aircraft remote sensor measurements. Analyses from these two UAS tropical cyclone missions will be presented.

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. and be held in Jefferson Lab's CEBAF Center auditorium, located at 12000 Jefferson Ave., Newport News. It is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about science. The program will last about one hour and include a question-and-answer period at the end.

For security purposes, enter at JLab's main entrance (Onnes Drive.). Everyone over 16 is asked to carry a valid photo ID. Security guards may perform ID, parcel and vehicle checks.

For directions and information about other Jefferson Lab public lectures, visit http://education.jlab.org/scienceseries/index.php, or contact Christine Wheeler, wheelerc@jlab.org or call 757-269-7560.

This lecture is part of Jefferson Lab's ongoing spring and fall Science Series.


Jefferson Lab is managed and operated for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture between the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and CSC Applied Technologies Division, LLC.  Jefferson Lab is one of 17 U.S. Department of Energy national research laboratories and facilities.