OSU research testing drones to use during severe weather

VIDEO: OSU testing drones as response to severe weather events

STILLWATER, Okla. — Quick Facts:

  • Oklahoma State University’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute is working on ways to make people safer during extreme weather situations.
  • It is testing drones that would bring supplies to areas where storms have made it difficult to do so on the ground.
  • The drones are more durable, made of Kevlar and fiber glass, so they can withstand things like high winds and hail.
  • The drones can also travel farther distances because they are designed to be used beyond the visual line of sight.
  • Jamey Jacob, director of the Unmanned Systems Research Institute at Oklahoma State University said it would solve one of the biggest challenges for emergency managers--getting supplies into affected areas where roads and bridges have been wiped out.
  • Jacob says the research group hopes to get permission from the FAA to start using the drones in real life situations within the next 6 months to a year.
  • On Dec. 6, OSU announced the drone program received a $1.49 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant is part of the National Robotics Initiative 2.0 program.
  • The grant will be used to study how drone technology can estimate wind conditions in different environments.

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