Wednesday, 27 Jan, 2010 Technology

Military UAVs to Be Used to Monitor Pollution and Climate Patterns


Back in 2007 NASA received two autonomous, high-altitude long-range airplanes to study the atmosphere. It is worth mentioning that the $38 million aircrafts were initially meant to be used for military operations, being able to fly in the air for 31 hours non-stop.

NASA decided to use the possibilities of the UAVs to observe pollution and climate patterns. To be able to do so, the agency had to equip the aircraft with a number of complex instruments, such as laser hygrometers and atmospheric chromatographs, reports Wired.

Among other gears that will be mounted on the UAVs, there's cloud physics lidar (a laser-based system that takes detailed pictures of clouds and mist), micrometeorological measurement system (a series of sensors that register temperature, wind speed, and pressure) and airborne compact atmospheric mapper (a Nikon 8800 digicam that monitors cloud patterns by taking pictures every 20 seconds, and 2 spectrographs that estimate the level of gases such as the pollutant nitrogen dioxide).

Posted by Maxriter

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