It makes perfect sense for the Navy to have a drone that CAN fly and swim right? Well, that is exactly what the Naviator does!
At the Office of Naval Research’s annual Science and Technology Expo on Friday in Washington, D.C., a development team from Rutgers University demonstrated the unusual quadcopter, which can swim at depths of up to 10 meters, then seamlessly launch to the surface and soar into the air.
It carries a 360-degree waterproof camera, making it well-suited for security and bridge and ship inspections, among other missions. “Special ops have not told us exactly what they want. But we know for special ops, it’s all about speed and not being detected,” Contarino told Military.com. “So we’re building our system to be as fast as possible.”
While current prototypes are not much larger than a typical commercial quadcopter, Contarino said there are plans to build a six-foot-diameter model capable of carrying the 30-pound payload the Navywants for its mine countermeasure mission. That UAV will be able to operate in waves of three-to-five feet and in 30-mile-per-hour winds, he said. – DoDBuzz
Featured image of Marco Maia from Rutgers University operating the “Naviator,” the first unmanned hybrid aerial-aquatic vehicle to seamlessly transition from airborne to underwater operations and back again, during the Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. U.S. Navy/John F. Williams