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Aqua-Quad - Hybrid Mobile Vehicle for Persistent Surface and Underwater Exploration

The Naval Postgraduate School has developed and patented a prototype hybrid vehicle that integrates features and capabilities of a drifting sonobuoy and a multirotor vertical take-off and landing UAV. As such, Aqua-Quad integrates a multicopter UAV with a tethered underwater vector sensor, environmentally hardened electronics, communication links for local (MANET) and global reach (Iridium), and a solar recharge system. A current application of the autonomous system is for detection, classification, and underwater target motion estimation using self-contained electronics and algorithms, for extended periods of time. The Aqua-Quads are intelligent, mobile, collaborative platforms that ride on ocean currents and fly over significant distances when required by the mission. Flight is triggered to enable rapid repositioning for underwater target tracking, collision avoidance, and communication with neighboring vehicles.
Patent Number: 
US 9,321,529
Technology Type(s): 
Aerospace
Patent Status: 
Active
Patent Issue Date: 
April 26, 2106
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