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USING TECHNOLOGY TO BETTER UNDERSTAND TORNADOES.
USING TECHNOLOGY TO BETTER UNDERSTAND TORNADOES.
243 backers pledged $11,111 to help bring this project to life.
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The Sirens Project - UAV Tornado Research

$11,111

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The Purpose:

The purpose of The Sirens Project is to provide meteorologists and engineers with valuable surface data inside of tornadoes that will lead to more reliable warnings and structures. To show the immense applications that unmanned aerial vehicles posses is another aspect of this research project.

The How: 

To achieve this, we will be using specially designed and equipped UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) in order to probe the tornado for valuable information. Our UAVs are coupled with a sensor package that is able to record barometric pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. Each data point will be related to a specific GPS coordiante, including elevation. In turn, a 3-Dimensional representation of the sensor package inside the tornado will be rendered. This will allow meteorologists and engineers to essentially have access to the first MRI of a tornado. 

Photo of our tested prototype delta wing with sensor package.
Photo of our tested prototype delta wing with sensor package.

The Design:  

Our UAV design is based off of a deltawing style aircraft. This will allow us to reach high speeds while maintaining necessary control in high wind environments. A long range FPV (First Person View) system will allow us to safely deploy our sensor package from several miles away. The electronics of the sensor package are surrounded by a thick polycarbonate case, allowing for great impact resistance as well as superb electrical transmission. The sensor package acts much like the "black box" on a commercial airliner. It is designed to survive the harsh environment inside the tornado even if the UAV does not. 

A compact 1080p HI-Definition camera is secured inside the sensor package in order to document the tornado intercept, and provide any visual data that might help understand tornado dynamics at the surface. 

Through a GPS/GSM module, we are able to track the probe, and locate it after the intercept. The data is recorded to an internal SD card several times a second. 

In flight test of our first deltawing prototype.
In flight test of our first deltawing prototype.

 The Cinematics:

In addition to collecting very much needed data, we will also be documenting the project. Every aspect of the project including: design, manufacturing, challenges, and of course the actual intercept will be weaved together into a high definition documentary film. Everyone has a chance to experience this incredible ground breaking project!

Still shot of the perfect intercept opportunity. (5/28/2013 Bennington, KS)
Still shot of the perfect intercept opportunity. (5/28/2013 Bennington, KS)

The Future:

With a successfully funded Kickstarter we can experiment with different UAV designs and sensor package layouts in order to be most proficient in collecting data. 

The Team: 

Warren - Founder, Engineer, Weather Enthusiast, Social Media
Warren - Founder, Engineer, Weather Enthusiast, Social Media
Brent - Pilot, Flight Controls, Project Engineer
Brent - Pilot, Flight Controls, Project Engineer
Nolan - Project Engineer, Flight Design, Computer Science
Nolan - Project Engineer, Flight Design, Computer Science

We Need Your Help!

In order to take this project to the next phase of success, and record reliable datasets, we need your help! The funding we receive from our Kickstarter pledgers will manufacture more advanced UAVs and sensor packages. Also, to put it plain and simple...We need gas money. Severe weather can happen anywhere in the continental United States, so being able to respond to the potential for tornadoes anywhere in the country is necessary to retrieve data. With your help we can assist meteorologists in issuing better tornado warnings, and engineers in building more reliable structures. Be a part of something that will ultimately change lives!

Thank you!

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Risks and challenges

Weather:

Forecasting when tornadoes will occur is a finicky science. You win some and you lose some. It is a disappointment when the forecast doesn't pan out like anticipated. The only way to ensure that we get our UAVs into a tornado is to be ready to deploy on every severe weather event we can. We can over come this challenge with your support!

Drones, Drones, and more Drones:

The UAVs themselves are designed to be disposable, where as the sensor package acts much like a black box on a commercial airliner. Chances are each UAV won't survive the tornado intercept. We need several UAVs in order to get as many data sets as possible. The more data we collect, the more benefit we will be to engineers and meteorologists. We plan to use a majority of the funding to building more UAVs. With your help this won't be an issue!

Being a Pioneer:

This type of project has never been done before. There is a learning curve in being the first to do something. We have no one else to go off of aside from those who pour into this project. Technology and forecasting issues are sure to arise, but this project consists of very passionate individuals who posses skill sets that will make this ground breaking research project a success! Be a part of our journey!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    A heart felt thank you from The Sirens Project for helping make this vision possible, and furthering our understanding of tornadoes in hopes of saving lives and property.

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    36 backers
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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A heart felt thank you, along with five incredible high resolution The Sirens Project related desktop backgrounds. We can't do this without your support!

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    45 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A HUGE thank you from The Sirens Project, five high resolution desktop backgrounds, plus an awesome "Sirens Project" vinyl window sticker. Pledge amount does not include shipping.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A stylish and quality made Sirens Project T-shirt and our documentary film! Pledge amount does not include shipping.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    29 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Best value! An EF-5 sized thank you from The Sirens Project, five high resolution desktop backgrounds, "Sirens Project" vinyl window sticker, project T-shirt, and our documentary film. Pledge amount does not include shipping.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    16 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Video proof of your name, or company name, placed on one of the tornado intercept drones. Your name, or company name, will also be mentioned in the credits of the documentary. All previous rewards are also included with this pledge amount. Pledge amount does not include shipping.

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    Limited 18 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Your choice of one high resolution weather related digital print (20"x30"). All previous pledge rewards are included! Pledge amount does not include shipping.

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    Limited 4 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    A choice of two high resolution weather related digital prints (20"x30"). All previous pledge rewards are included! Pledge amount does not include shipping.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    You are the exclusive sponsor of one UAV. This particular UAV in its entirety will be dedicated to you, or your company. You will be personally updated on the build progress, and an exclusive shout out in our short film documentary. You will receive a project T-shirt and vinyl sticker along with our documentary. You will also receive whatever is left of your drone after the intercept. Pledge amount does not include shipping.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,500 or more About $5,500

    The ultimate sponsorship package! First off, we would like to thank you for seeing the potential that unmanned aerial vehicles posses in furthering our understanding of tornadoes. You are the exclusive sponsor of two specially designed UAVs. These two UAVs will be dedicated to you, your company, or educational institution. You will be personally updated on the build progress and testing of each drone. You will also receive all previous pledge awards. But wait! There's more! You will join us for a week as we travel the United States of America in search of the perfect tornado intercept. You will hopefully get an opportunity to see your UAVs in action! Pledge amount does not include shipping.

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Early Bird Special!

    An EF-5 sized thank you from The Sirens Project, five high resolution desktop backgrounds, "Sirens Project" vinyl window sticker, project T-shirt, and our documentary film. Pledge amount does not include shipping.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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Funding period

- (35 days)