Defense technology used to aid in hurricane disaster efforts

PHOENIX. Defense companies deployed their technology to aid in hurricane disaster efforts. The undertakings by Raytheon, Cubic Missions Systems, and Textron Systems enabled government officials to gather data on hurricanes as well as aid in the recovery efforts in the affected areas over the past month.

Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) used Raytheon's Coyote unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to track and model Hurricane Maria. The UAS launched from a NOAA WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter aircraft, the Coyotes flew directly into the storm, giving researchers an unprecedented view of Maria from a safe distance.

NOAA researchers prepare to launch the Coyote UAS. Image by Raytheon.

"NOAA is investing in these unmanned aircraft and other technologies to increase weather observations designed to improve the accuracy of our hurricane forecasts," says Dr. Joe Cione, NOAA hurricane researcher and chief scientist for the Coyote program. "The Coyotes collected critical, continuous observations in the lower part of the hurricane, an area impossible to reach with manned aircraft."

The Coyotes gathered and transmitted storm information directly to the National Hurricane Center.

Cubic Corp.
Cubic Mission Solutions (CMS), a business division of Cubic Corp., deployed its GATR satellite antennas and personnel to support hurricane disaster recovery operations. Working with several of its global disaster relief customers, Cubic's GATR antennas were deployed on the islands of St. John and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Antigua; Barbuda; and St. Martin.

GATR antennas providing internet connectivity for clinic, hospital and pharmacy in St. John. Image by Cubic.

On the island of St. John, the GATR antenna is providing communications, networking and high-bandwidth internet connectivity via satellite for a local clinic, hospital, and pharmacy to ensure medications are refilled for patients on and off the island.

"With many hurricane victims displaced and separated from their homes and families, communication lines remain uncertain," says Mike Twyman, president of Cubic Mission Solutions. "Using our GATR antennas, we are able to help individuals stay connected to family and friends as well as assist the daily operations of medical personnel and first responders."

Textron Systems
Officials at Textron Systems Civil & Commercial deployed a team to conduct both manned and unmanned operations in support of Hurricane Harvey recovery missions. The efforts of the company enabled government officials to receive video from the operations, which was broadcasted across multiple states, including to first responders on loan from the state of Tennessee, officials say.

UAS Magazine reported, "the company deployed a UAS team equipped with the Aeryon SkyRanger to assist first responders in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Texas Gulf Coast on August 25."

The UAS deployed in response to Hurricane Harvey "enabled the team to cross physical barriers and collect data to verify which areas were flooded and which had been cleared of people in need of rescue," UAS Magazine says.

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