Drones assist with weather monitoring

2023-08-03 08:38:35China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Civilian drones built by the Aviation Industry Corp of China, the nation's major aircraft maker, have been providing meteorological support to the World University Games in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, according to the company.

Right before the games' opening ceremony on Friday, two drones from the AVIC Chengdu Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System — Haiyan I and Haiyan II — were flown to monitor and measure meteorological factors to obtain accurate and timely data, AVIC said in a news release sent to China Daily on Sunday.

"This is the first time that a large international games event is being held in western China. The host city of Chengdu is in the middle of its rainy season, which is characterized by rapidly changing weather. This means meteorological support must be accurate and reliable," the company said, explaining that its unmanned aircraft is flexible and efficient in collecting weather information.

Yang Hanru, a senior engineer in charge of this project at the AVIC Chengdu Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System, said the drones took off from Lantian Airport in Zigong, Sichuan. They have collectively flown more than 10,000 kilometers and have deployed dozens of weather monitors. Their operations accumulated more than 26,000 pieces of data, which have significantly contributed to meteorologists' forecasts.

Liu Zhenyu, a researcher at the China Meteorological Administration's Meteorological Observation Center, said using unmanned aircraft to place meteorological devices in the atmosphere is an important method to enable forecasters to analyze and predict rain during the event.

According to Yang, Haiyan I is a modified variant of the Wing Loong 10 model, while Haiyan II is based on the Wing Loong 2. Both Wing Loong 10 and 2 are reconnaissance/combat drone types designed and made by AVIC.

Before Haiyan I and II, AVIC had built several civilian models based on the Wing Loong 2 and 10 armed drones to assist in emergency response, communication relay, weather forecasting and other public service operations. These civilian variants have been widely used across the nation.

The Chengdu games, which started on Friday and will run through Aug 8, is the first international multisport event to be held in China after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chengdu, a metropolis in southwestern China, has become the third city on the Chinese mainland to host the biennial summer event, following Beijing in 2001 and Shenzhen in 2011.


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