Home Technology Studying Hurricane Using the World’s Largest Simulation Task

Studying Hurricane Using the World’s Largest Simulation Task

11 min read

Hurricane Simulator Game

A category 5 hurricane called Dorian is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean for the past several days. But weather forecasters are unable to predict its exact path.

According to The National Hurricane Center, hurricane Dorian is expected to touch the lands of Bahamas on this Sunday. It will reach the eastern coast of Florida as a category 4 hurricane on the following day.

Experts have studied hurricane models for long now. Over the years, they have been successful in improving hurricane models. These humanmade hurricane models are very helpful for forecasters to learn about hurricanes. It helps them to understand how a hurricane is formed and intensifies.

To study hurricanes and to find answers to all such questions, they have made an acrylic tank about 75 feet long at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. They have made a machine worth $15 million, which can mimic the conditions of a category 5 hurricane.

According to the director of the laboratory, Brian Haus, this is the world’s largest hurricane simulator. It will help them to understand hurricanes and predict them better in the future.

The World’s Largest Hurricane Simulator In Brief

This simulator tank is created to house a hurricane so that experts can study the nature of hurricanes. The tank is 72 feet long and 20 feet wide. It has a surface area of 4200 square feet, and it is 6.5 feet deep. This makes it the largest hurricane simulator in the world.

The machines simulate a hurricane with the help of a wind tunnel, and a wave makes that can mimic the movement of waves in oceans.

Hurricane simulation is the study of waves and wind and how they interact. The wave basin and the wind tunnel are the two most important components of the machine. Together they can simulate random conditions to create a hurricane or storm. There is nothing to worry about, as this is a man made hurricane in a controlled environment. So if you are thinking, it is capable of causing damage, then you are wrong.

The wave basin is big enough to hold around 40,000 gallons of water. With the help of 12 huge underwater paddles, the water is churned to prompt a storm.

On the other hand, the wind tunnel is designed to pull in air from a giant fan that is powered by a 1,460 horsepower engine. The turbines can be really loud, and therefore, researchers are required to wear headphones. With the help of computer models, researchers can study the patterns and the behavior of the hurricane. Starting from the way it is formed to its direction, everything is studied by the researchers.

How is this hurricane simulation tank helpful for the researchers?

As already mentioned above, this huge simulation tank is built to study hurricanes. It is designed to create a manmade hurricane, which will then be studied by the researchers to know more about hurricanes. From studying hurricanes, they can learn the following things.

  1. By studying the conditions inside the SUSTAIN simulator, the researchers can make more accurate predictions about hurricanes. For example, when will it arrive or how strong it will be. They can also learn how a hurricane is formed and its direction. They can even know where it will land. By gathering all this information, forecasters can prevent possible damage that is caused by a hurricane.

Over the years, the researchers have put in great effort to improve the simulation tank model. However, they haven’t been able to improve much, even in the past 20 years.

  1. Haus wants to know how a hurricane gains its strength over warm water at a molecular level. He can now monitor the situation inside the tank to get his answers. In other words, the simulation tank will help him and his team to understand the situation of the hurricane without having to put themselves out there. Since they have the world’s largest simulation tank to study, they don’t have to be in the middle of the storm to gather information.

The main advantage of this simulation tank is that it allows you to create a storm whenever you want. But in reality, you have to face the real beast which you have no control over.

  1. The massive size of the tank allows researchers to mimic a realistic oceanic condition. The tank has see-through walls, which makes it easier for them to observe what’s happening inside. Researchers make use of lasers and cameras to measure the changes in the atmosphere and water when they create the storm.

The entire thing is practiced inside a controlled environment. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about.

  1. The giant tank will have a miniature house placed at one end. The house will be rigged with sensors before it is used for the test. It will help the researchers to get a better understanding of how man-made structures such as buildings fare in large storms.

Although, the real-life condition is hazardous than what can be observed inside the tank. But it still helps the researchers get an idea of how much damage a hurricane can cost.

From the above pointers, it is clear that this simulation tank is made to help the researchers understand the formation and nature of hurricanes. There is no doubt that this is a useful invention as it is meant for the good cause. By studying hurricanes, experts will be able to predict them better. This will help them to save millions of lives that may fall prey to such hurricanes. However, they have a long way to go before they can make a more realistic simulation model. The progress is still on, and hopefully, they will be able to do better in the coming years.

Hurricanes are like uninvited guests. They come and create chaos. Therefore, being able to predict their arrival is always beneficial. This is the main reason behind such a significant investment like this simulation tank. Researchers are currently trying to study the nature of a category 5 hurricane.

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