The passage of Hurricane Noel provided researchers their first chance to test out a new pilotless hurricane research aircraft.
The remotely controlled craft can fly into storms at low levels to measure its winds. The winds will test the mettle of the aircraft's sensors and data delivery capabilities. The aircraft is 5 feet long with a wing span of 10 feet. Scientists hope using unmanned aircraft will help fill a gap in near-surface data that are hard to gather because of the safety risks of low-level flight.