Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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50 unmanned systems inside June/July 2016 AIR, SEA, LAND DESIGN TREND The machine is "quasi-neutrally buoyant," Diez told a crowd at the 2016 XPONENTIAL confer- ence in New Orleans. "You can actually do a lot more operations underwater if you are neutrally buoyant; you can spin on all your axes." The prototype Naviator is small, but Diez says the device can be scaled down to micro-scale and up to nearly helicopter size. He told the XPONENTIAL crowd that, counterintuitively, large propellers seem to work better underwa- ter than smaller ones. The Naviator has not been tested in a body of water larger than a swimming pool, but Diez is confident the prototype will withstand scru- tiny. It's being demonstrated in open water in late June, and then Rutgers engineers will con- tinue to refine the prototypes. Even in choppy water, "we think we have the best method for [air-water] transition," Diez said. The ONR funded the research after seeing its potential for seeking out mines. "You should be able to deploy from some dis- tance, reach your destination and explore. One mine can stop a fleet," Diez said. Release the CRACUNS Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL) recently revealed its water-to-air drone, the Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Un- manned Nautical System, or CRACUNS. Built in just four months, the prototype is a submersible UAS that can be launched from a fixed position underwater. This enables the UAS to effectively operate both in the water and in the air. The Naviator (left) tips on its side to move through the water. Its eight propellers are controlled independently (below). Photos courtesy of (Left) Javier Diez and (Right) and DroneRafts, LLC "I THINK IN PEOPLE'S MINDS, air and water was not compatible. I think our accomplishment was to break that barrier." Javier Diez, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Rutgers

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