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Tornado Tank

Tank for up close photographing of a tornado
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Todays storm chasers are getting bolder and bolder while taking pictures of tornados. Every year, the footage shows that the camera people are getting closer and closer to the funnel itself. For the ultimate ECU (extreme closeup) The Tornado Tank will take viewers into the epicenter of the vortex. A modified eight wheeled armored tank would have a weight of approximately twenty five tons, with a speed of about 60mph/100 kph. New fairings will be installed to give the tank a rounded shape and eliminate right angles to minimize the effect of the wind. These fairings will continue down to cover 3/4 of the exposed wheels, so as to form clean and unbroken lines, thus negating the force of the tornado. The loading and storage compartment will be converted to house a large auger, of the same type used to bore holes for telephone poles, a hole in the bottom of the tank will enable this auger to dig into the ground beneath the tank to anchor it in place once it is the direct path of the tornado. While the auger is drilling, an onboard pnuematic air system will deflate the tires, so the whole unit will be lowered closer to the ground to prevent the wind from acting on the bottom of the tank. The turret will be removed and replaced with a rotatable dome made of the strongest impact resistant glass. The dome will have a three bladed wiper system, that extends from the base of the dome, conforms to the glass and is connected at the apex of the dome by a swivel joint and continously sweeps the glass clean. This feature will have to be extremely robust, since the air will be filled with water, mud, leaves, debis, etc. From here, the camera operator could operate in relative safety. The tank could contain numerous scientific instruments to conduct experiments on the inside of a tornado at ground level, and footage from the sight and sound from that vantage point would be unreal. At twenty five tons and bolted to the ground, it's unlikely that even an F5 tornado would be able to pick this up and toss it around. It would be hauled around on a flat bed in the tornado alley section of the US, it might take some time before the right opportunity presented itself, but today's weather researchers are getting better at anticiapating likely areas of sever weather.
ty6, Sep 02 2002

(??) Tonado Chaser Car Mod Deployed Successfully http://www.autoweek...ms?articleId=102748
got here from Boing Boing [Eugene, Aug 28 2005]


       It's much easier and more practical to design something that doesn't have to take into account human safety. You're not going to learn anything useful standing and looking around.   

       The fellows in the Severe Storm lab's Vector program used to toss a big oil drum rigged with instruments into the path (they called it "Toto", and it was ripped off as the "Dorothy" thing in the movie "Twister"). Much more practical useful information is gathered this way.   

       Also, ty6, would you consider the use of blank lines inserted into your type here and there? It's very difficult to read a big long block with no breaks.
waugsqueke, Sep 03 2002

       I don't know if the TOTO was ever situated dead center in the middle of a tornado. With a driver, you could chase it down, and plow right into it, sure would be a lot of fun, if you knew you would't get hurt. Could also be used as a rescue vehicle I suppose. Breaking up the type is not a problem.
ty6, Sep 03 2002

       How about just planting a series of well-anchored pipes every ten feet or so in a long line across Tornado Alley. On each pipe, mount a robust videocam with a fisheye pointing up, and any other tornadological doodads you can think up. Then just sit back and wait.
DrCurry, Sep 03 2002

       <adds "tornadological" to her vocabulary>
bristolz, Sep 03 2002

       How about a 12 ton pinwheel on top, just for amusement.
jimk, Sep 03 2002

       We like thisidea, and we know a man who'd drive it, too.   

       Something like an Abrams with the gun removed would do. The auger idea has a lot of merit. We'd prefer the idea of vision blocks and hardened external cameras on the turret to a dome, though. Aerodynamic fairings would be easy to add.   

       waugs: we know that instrumented systems do better than humas for data collection but that's not the point. This is for people who actually want to be literally in the eye of the storm.   

       A small partitioned-off area where the passenders could retreat to change their underwear at intervals might be useful ......
8th of 7, Sep 03 2002

       I'd like to see this tried. Instead of the tank being picked up, every pound of crap from the surrounding area is dumped on top of it. Plenty of mud slapped on the instruments, a TV/VCR combo plucked from a nearby house crashes onto the antennae array as if guided by the hands of the gods. This is swiftly followed by the rest of the house.   

       Hmmm. I'm in a spiteful mood today.
Jinbish, Sep 03 2002

       Jinbish, yeah buddy, bring it on, that's exactly what I'm talking about. The wipers are the key, they would have to be more than just robust. You could peddle the footage of a flying house to every TV station in the land. That movie Twister made a fortune playing make believe, this would be the real deal.
ty6, Sep 03 2002

       You could strap 3 TOTOs to the top of it and drive right in, then use what's left of the onboard equipment. Wipers won't stop a steel girder flying at 150 MPH..
Mr Burns, Sep 06 2002

       I don't need no damn Tornado Tank - just gimme the damn camera, and point me towards the tornado - ain't no wussy tor-
thumbwax, Sep 06 2002

       "He's coming around again"!
ty6, Sep 06 2002

thumbwax, Sep 06 2002

       That's some twister, thumbwax! there's even bits of shit flying over the top of your vowels!
pfperry, Sep 06 2002

thumbwax, Sep 06 2002

       ...àáâãäåæèéêëìíîï ùúûü&yacute;ÝÜÛÙÚÖÕ ÔÒÓÏÎÌÍËÊÉÈÅÄÃÂÁÀ öõôóòïîíìàáâãäåæëêéè...
thumbwax, Aug 28 2005

       Now *that* is dedication, [thumbwax]
sleeka, Aug 28 2005

       Baked. Saw this on Boing Boing just the other day. *see link*
Eugene, Aug 28 2005

       This seems the proper place to say it, are there any bakers in New Orleans, or Miss. that we know of? If so, please check in when you can.   

       The whole country is watching with great trepidation. Prayers, and may god intervene soon.
blissmiss, Aug 28 2005

       if the tank could shoot tornadoes that would be cool.
benfrost, Aug 29 2005

       ben, seriously, there are thousands of lives in danger. Could you for one moment be serious?   

       Are there bakers in the strike zone?
blissmiss, Aug 29 2005

       I agree ben, that would totally rock! Some kind of faster-than-light-speed nuclear explosion would probably take a tornado out, I'm thinking...
junglefish, Aug 30 2005

       Why not just use a huge mining truck.
Antegrity, Aug 30 2005

       Wait, [ben], a tank that could shoot to neutralise tornadoes or a tank that could shoot actual tornadoes?
pooduck, Sep 01 2005

       Tanks cost roughly $:   

       Leopard 2 - 8 million   

       T-90MS - 7.5 million   

       MBT-3000 - 5.5 million   

       T-84 - 4.8 million   

       Maybe borrow a battle damaged one and modify it. It won't need guns.
popbottle, Apr 01 2017

       A T-72 would do and are much cheaper; plenty available from former Eastern Bloc countries like Albania.   

       No, you wouldn't actually need a gun, but it's so much more fun if you do. Besides, it could be used to launch probes into the tornado funnel.   

       However, the problem remains of getting the vehicle into the tornado's path. The solution would probably be to preload several observation vehicles into Chinooks, which then drop their cargo ahead of the tornado's track. This would of course be extremely dangerous, but not nearly so bad once the vehicle is out of the helicopter.
8th of 7, Apr 01 2017

       The gun might be used to steer the tank while airborne, a method which I myself invented here on the halfbakery and which was shortly thereafter shown to be effective in the movie The A-Team.
bungston, Apr 01 2017


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