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Raw video from inside the Goshen co, Wyoming tornado on June 5, 2009 from the TornadoVideos.net SRV Dominator. Wind data was collected as the tornado passed overhead. Note the video from the roof bubble cam, which shows our magnet amber light getting ripped from the roof!
The Storm Research Vehicle (SRV), a.k.a. The Dominator, is the ultimate storm chasing machine. The SRV was modified from last season's chase vehicle (2007 Chevy Tahoe) beginning in January 2009 with bulletproof sheet metal and transparent Lexan armor for protection against flying debris near tornadoes, as well as an external roll cage and NASCAR-style safety harnesses for the unlikely event of a vehicle roll.
The SRV will allow TornadoVideos.net to safely collect ground-breaking scientific data very close to strong tornadoes where few dare to venture. The goal of TornadoVideos.net is not to drive into a tornado, but to collect scientific data and high resolution video very near to the tornado core flow where the strongest winds reside. The severe weather research tools deployed by the SRV are a roof-mounted single-beam radar (Close-Range Vertical Radar - CLOVER), wind monitor on the roof, and last year's 300 lb tornado probe, which will be used to measure the intense horizontal and vertical winds inside and immediately around the tornado core flow.
A roof-mounted High Definition camera enclosed in a bullet-proof Lexan bubble will capture HD video of the fine-scale structure inside tornadoes, which can be aimed and focused from within the cockpit. In the event of winds exceeding 100 mph, the SRV has the ability to drop the entire armored frame to the ground with the flip of a switch though a state-of-the-art hydraulics system. When lowered to the ground, a rubber sheath around the base of the aerodynamic armor will prevent wind from flowing under the vehicle and causing a vehicle roll while collecting valuable data.
The ideal storm chase scenario for the TornadoVideos.net team would be to drive the SRV into the path of a strong slow-moving tornado, deploy the tornado probe in the path, then drive to the anticipated edge of the tornado core flow and drop the frame to the ground while recording vertical tornadic winds with CLOVER and horizontal winds with roof-mounted wind monitor and tornado probe.