Verizon Launches Drone Project for Storm Forecasting, Monitoring

The partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is designed to improve disaster response and tornado research

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

May 9, 2024

2 Min Read
Lightning Storm By a Highway

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Verizon Frontline have announced a new partnership deploying drones across storm-impacted areas, collecting data on any damages and informing disaster response. 

The three-year project will see Verizon providing its autonomous drone system platform and sensor technology, flying over areas of interest identified by NOAA and providing access to typically hard-to-reach disaster zones.

The drones will streamline post-storm damage surveys, gathering data to assign tornado ratings and document a storm’s path – tasks typically performed manually by staff on the ground.  

The partners said they hoped using drones to complete these tasks would improve the efficiency and safety of post-storm assessments, and create a more in-depth understanding of storm patterns. 

The project aims to support NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), helping to conduct post-storm damage assessments rapidly and providing data for research conducted by NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory. 

The researchers will then use this data to better understand tornado behavior and impacts, with the long-term goal of improving warnings. 

“This partnership will help pioneer new strategies aimed at gathering and disseminating crucial imagery,” said Michael Adams, Verizon’s associate vice president for federal civilian services. “Leveraging our collective expertise to enhance response efforts to severe storms and mitigate their impact on communities across the U.S." 

Related:Verizon Deploys New Drone for Crisis Response

Verizon’s drones use photogrammetry, which creates 3D images using aerial imagery, allowing for more rapid and detailed renderings of a disaster zone than satellite imagery typically provides. 

“After a crisis, the first imagery that any emergency management agency or similar public safety agency gets is typically satellite data and the resolution isn’t ideal,” said Chris Sanders, Verizon’s frontline crisis response team member. “What we’re aiming to do through our partnership with NOAA is develop ways to get these agencies high-resolution imagery much faster than they can get it today by using our robust network and rapid-mapping capabilities.”

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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