china rocket boat shoot typhoons

Robot Submarine

Chinese scientists built an autonomous submarine designed to travel into storms — including deadly typhoons — in order to fire off meteorological rockets that will collect data from the atmosphere.

“The unmanned semi-submersible vehicle is an ideal platform for marine meteorological environmental monitoring, and the atmospheric profile information provided by [meteorological rockets] launched from this platform can improve the accuracy of numerical weather forecasts at sea and in coastal zones,” Chinese Academy of Sciences researcher Jun Li said in a press release.

Typhoon Shooter

Initial trials of the hardy submersible boat, which is painted a peppy orange color, are described in a new paper in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.

The meteorological missiles that the boat launches are a key part of the project. According to the paper, they collect detailed “vertical profiles” of the pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind in a storm — an environment too hazardous for regular observation by aircraft or weather balloons.

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