Grant Will Help Develop Drones Used To Study Severe Storms

A proposal to use drones to study severe storms has received a boost from a $1.9 million federal grant to refine the aircraft and some of the instruments they carry.

University of Colorado researcher Eric Frew said Wednesday the National Science Foundation grant will allow CU and four other schools to develop guidance systems that maximize the drones' flight time.

The grant will also help develop some of the instruments the drones would carry.

Test flights would be done over tornado-prone states in the West and Midwest.

The other schools involved are the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Texas Tech, the University of Minnesota and Texas A&M.

Researchers say drones can penetrate parts of storms that other instruments can't reach, at less cost and with less danger than piloted planes.