Alameda company gives rare look at hurricanes with 'explorer drones'

A company in Alameda is giving scientists a rare look at the surface of the Atlantic Ocean during a Category 4 hurricane with "explorer drones."

For example, in September, Saildrone was able to capture video of Hurricane Sam in the Atlantic.

Explorer drones are providing scientists with important information to help them improve their hurricane forecasts. 

"Data that we collect to improve the intensity forecasting and that's really what we're shooting for here," Saildrone Vice President Brian Connon said. "We're pretty good with tracks. Over the last 510 years we've gotten really good at forecasting that track five, seven days out. We haven't done as well with the intensity."

The saildrones have also been used by the U.S. coast guard to patrol remote ocean areas, by scientists in the Mediterranean to collect environmental data, and in Alaska, to collect information on managing sustainable fishing.

MORE: Ocean drone captures video from inside hurricane for 1st time