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Media: China successfully tests typhoon tracking drone on Hainan

The Ilun-10 drone, equipped for meteorological observations, gained an altitude of 10,000 meters

HAIKOU, August 6. /TASS/. China has successfully conducted the country's first test of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the integrated observation of typhoons. The fully automated mini-plane was launched from Hainan's Boao Airport, according to China Central Television (CCTV).

The Ilun-10 drone, equipped for meteorological observations, gained an altitude of 10,000 meters. The device dropped 30 probes into the Sinlaku typhoon area, after which the millimeter-wave radar scanned the atmospheric phenomenon. The obtained data helped specialists to determine the location of the typhoon center, as well as to get its three-dimensional model. The study also involved meteorological satellites and unmanned surface vehicles.

Since sea surface observations are limited, the Chinese Meteorological Office launched the Haiyan (Petrel) project in 2018 to monitor sea weather conditions using UAVs. The launch of a drone to monitor the typhoon was part of this program.

Typhoon Sinlaku formed on July 31 off the coast of the Philippines. On the way to the west, it affected the southern provinces of China, Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as the territory of Thailand.

Typhoons cause China an economic loss of about 29.5 billion yuan (about $ 4.2 billion) annually.