GAINESVILLE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The University of Florida using new technology to help make you safer during a storm.
Call it the "hurricane lab," where the goal for Ryan Catarelli's team is to reproduce extreme wind events at model scale."
With funding from the national science foundation, they're doing it like never before, building a new take on the wind tunnel.
"It's more like a pipe organ than a duct, with a fan in it," says Catarelli. "You can play this thing at will."
To make the wind move and not just hold one speed, and to change power and directions just like in an actual hurricane. Using 3-D printing and other tools they're gauging what those storms can do.
"It allows you to design structures to withstand wind speeds for where they're going to be built," Catarelli adds.
They can create diverse landscapes in under two minutes and then use lasers to see what that wind's doing in specific locations. They're even finding the flaws in hurricane proof windows. The idea behind all of this is to gain knowledge to build things better. Potentially save property and even lives when these dangerous storms hit."
"We wanna have a better understanding of what's happening during these events."
What they learn in this UF lab could one day ease the catastrophic damage we've seen too many times.