Posted: Jun 27, 2012 7:11 PM by Pat Shingleton
"EMILY" is five feet long and resembles a bulky water scooter with a top speed of 7 mph. It's equipped with a tiny gasoline-powered engine and can remain at sea for up to 10 days. "Wave Glider" is eight feet long, resembles a surfboard, and is propelled by the motion of waves; plodding along at 2 mph and can remain on the high seas for months. This small fleet of crewless watercraft will be directed into the paths of tropical storms for the first time this year. Their mission is to collect valuable, ocean and atmospheric data to improve hurricane forecasts. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have designed the probes to be satellite-linked to transmit collected data to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.