China has made a major step forward in building an airborne marine meteorological observation system based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), a vital step to strengthen its meteorological services capabilities.
The China-developed Wing Loong-10 UAV has successfully completed a scientific research and experiment test mission on marine meteorological observation on Nov. 27. It pioneered in the country the use of one UAV platform to conduct the multi-modes metrological collaborative observation.
The new move has laid a solid foundation for China to build the UAV-based meteorological emergency observation and detection system, said Zhang Xuefen, deputy chief engineer of the Meteorological Observation Center under China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
The test is essential to verify the performance of the Wing Loong-10 UAV as the aerial platform, and improve the payloads capabilities, observation methods, test process and related technical means for marine meteorological observation, according to Zhang.
During the test, meteorologists on the ground could receive real-time data sent by the Wing Loong-10 in the air, which could not have been achieved by conventional meteorological observation means.
Developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Ltd. (AVIC), the Wing Loong-10 is a high-altitude and high-speed UAV systems model.
It features high-speed, high-flight altitude, reliable systems, safe performance, and convenient and efficient deployment, enabling the UAV to meet diverse demands from customers, according to the AVIC, the country's leading aircraft maker.
The UAV carried out collaborative observations on cloud systems over the ocean, temperature and humidity profile distribution, surface wind fields, and other meteorological factors during the test.
The Wing Loong-10 can carry out a comprehensive, multi-factor, multi-dimensional, and high-resolution marine meteorological observation with related meteorological detection payloads onboard.
The newly completed mission is part of a CMA-AVIC joint project, which focuses on scientific observation tests on typhoons and other marine meteorological activities.
Endowed with a long coastline, China suffers from frequent typhoons and other marine meteorological disasters, which cause massive losses to the lives and property of coastal residents and the economy.
China has achieved significant progress in correcting and narrowing the forecast errors of typhoons and other meteorological disasters. However, the current airborne observation means could hardly realize the approaching detection with high spatial and temporal resolutions.
The fine observation and forecast capabilities are also common challenges for other countries affected by tropical cyclones.
The new move is a step forward for China in building an airborne meteorological observation system with the UAV as the key platform, said the AVIC.
It lays the foundation for the country in marine utilization and disaster prevention and mitigation. It also provides new and accurate technical means for global meteorological services, said the Chinese aircraft developer.