Researchers from North Carolina State University accept developed the aboriginal unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft that is able of traveling both through the air and beneath the baptize – transitioning afresh amid sky and sea. The EagleRay XAV, which was developed with allotment and abetment from Teledyne Scientific, holds affiance for use in applications such as tracking and celebratory wildlife.
“Maintaining aeriform surveillance can use a lot of energy,” says Warren Weisler, a Ph.D. apprentice at NC State who formed on the EagleRay project. “The EagleRay can conserve activity by spending some of its time in the water.
“For example, the EagleRay could clue a fast-moving pod of dolphins from the air, afresh absorb time dabbling in the baptize if the dolphins stop to booty advantage of a acceptable agriculture spot. The EagleRay could afresh resume flight aback the dolphins activate affective again.”
“The EagleRay could additionally rapidly move underwater sensors from area to location,” says William Stewart, addition NC State Ph.D. apprentice who formed on the project. “It could alike accomplish underwater ecology that best unmanned aeriform cartage can’t.
“For example, alarm alone works underwater. If you’re gluttonous a alarm target, the EagleRay could fly to a site, deluge to booty alarm readings, and afresh resume flight to booty readings elsewhere. Historically, an aircraft would accept to bead sonobuoys to aggregate alarm data.”
The activity started aback a aggregation of four NC State faculty, led by Matthew Bryant, an abettor assistant in NC State’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, won a ysis arrangement from Teledyne in 2014. Professors Kara Peters, Ashok Gopalarathnam, and Larry Silverberg served as co-principle board on the project. By bounce of 2016, Bryant’s aggregation had developed a absolutely anatomic ancestor – and they appear a cardboard on the assignment in 2017.
“A key point apropos the EagleRay architecture is that it is scalable – you can accomplish beyond or abate models as needed,” Stewart says. “It absolutely depends on the admeasurement of the adapted payload, how continued you’d charge it to operate, and so on.”
The accepted archetypal of EagleRay has a wingspan of 59 inches and is 55 inches long, belief in at 12.6 pounds. It has a dual-use propeller, powered by an electric motor, that propels it through both air and water.
“We’re currently developing a custom ambassador for the EagleRay,” Weisler says. “Existing controllers aren’t advised for a agent that transitions from air to sea and aback afresh – they’re advised to be one or the other, with no alteration stage.”
The advisers are additionally adorning a activating archetypal of the EagleRay, for use in simulations that can be acclimated for training purposes, to adumbrate achievement beneath assorted altitude and to clarify the agent design.
“This activity has been acutely arduous and rewarding,” Weisler says.
“Seeing it fly during acreage trials was exhilarating,” says Stewart.
The paper, “Testing and Characterization of a Fixed Wing Cross-Domain Unmanned Agent Operating in Aeriform and Underwater Environments,” is appear in the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering.
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More information: Warren Weisler et al. Testing and Characterization of a Fixed Wing Cross-Domain Unmanned Agent Operating in Aeriform and Underwater Environments, IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering (2017). DOI: 10.1109/JOE.2017.2742798
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