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Journey to the Typhoon

DOI: 10.4236/aast.2016.11003, PP. 21-31

Keywords: Tropical Cyclone, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Spinsonde, Vertical Wind Profile, Vertical Landing, High-Alpha Maneuvers

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Abstract:

Application of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for tropical cyclone missions is an emerging area of research and recent advances include the concept of spinsonde for multi-cycle measurement of vertical wind profile within the storm. This work proposes the design of a typhoon UAV as part of a cost-effective approach for acquiring atmospheric data to improve prediction and refine models. Land- and carrier-based flight schemes are proposed in this study and computer simulations are carried out to investigate the flight performance. Results suggest that the UAV achieves a maximum cruising speed in excess of 350 km·h-1 with excellent spinsonde performance. Furthermore, the UAV is capable of performing high-alpha maneuvers as well as vertical landing, thus rendering it suitable for space-efficient operation whether on land or aircraft carrier.

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