China has conducted the first successful tests of its Wing Loong 10 high-altitude drone as a meteorological observation tool.
According to preliminary estimates, conducting such studies will make it possible to predict cataclysms more accurately and will save $ 4.22 billion a year on eliminating the consequences of the disaster.
Also capable of conducting military operations including armed reconnaissance, the Wing Loong-10 demonstrated its performance in extreme weather conditions with the typhoon test, analysts said.
During the typhoon detection test flight, the Wing Loong-10 drone took off from Bo’ao Airport in South China’s Hainan Province, dropped 30 sondes from an altitude of 10,000 meters, and conducted a multidimensional scan of Typhoon Sinlaku together with its millimeter wave radar, as observation data on factors including temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure and hydrometeors was sent back to the ground in real time, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Tuesday.
Typhoons cause 29.5 billion yuan ($4.22 billion) in economic losses to China every year, and drones have the potential to significantly improve typhoon forecasts, reports said.
Built by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Co Ltd under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the Wing Loong series drones are well-known for their military applications. The designation of the Wing Loong-10 was not immediately found in previous reports.
According to an AVIC statement released on the company’s WeChat account on Tuesday, the Wing Loong-10 can also conduct military operations including optical, electronic and armed reconnaissance.