Dr. Joseph J. Cione, Lead Meteorologist for Emerging Technologies at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory received his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Meteorology with a concentration in Physical Oceanography at North Carolina State University. Cione is currently on a multi-year detail at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
In 2005, Dr. Cione, in conjunction with NASA and Aerosonde Corporation collaborators, conducted the first successful unmanned aerial system (UAS) flight into the core of a mature tropical cyclone (Ophelia). In November of 2007, this same team conducted a record duration (17.5h), minimum altitude (82m) UAS mission directly into the center of Hurricane Noel. Near-surface wind measurements were reported to NOAA’s NHC in real time, enabling these critical data to be used in subsequent public forecasts and warnings. Related to these achievements, Cione received the United States Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award in April of 2010.
Cione has continued to lead efforts designed to test, implement and transition promising new technology from research into operations through his leadership of the NEOTAC group comprised of civilian, military, academic and private sector partners. In September of 2022, Cione and Team members successfully conducted an sUAS mission into Major Hurricane Ian, setting sUAS records for duration, communication range and measured wind speed.