Studying lightning strikes



Scientists studying thunderstorms hope that using an “uninhabited aerial vehicle,” or UAV will allow them to overcome speed limitations of conventional aircraft to gain a better understanding of weather data and forecasting.

Researchers with the Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES) say that the Altus UAV flies at between 129 and 185 kilometers per hour, slower than conventional aircraft. This should allow the 55-foot wingspan vehicle to provide a longer-duration picture of thunderstorms without putting pilots and airborne researchers at risk during an August field campaign, based out of Naval Air Station Key West in Florida.