New drones demonstrate innovative maritime applications at AUVSI 2014

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NRL's flying swimmer (Flimmer) is combining the characteristics of an unmanned undersea vehicle and a gliding aerial vehicle. This specific platform is designed to test the transition between free flight by conventional aerodynamic controls and underwater swimming, by utilising powered fins. Flying emplacement will enable the navy to rapidly deploy payloads from long distance, into cluttered and densely vegetated marine areas, where underwater movement would be slow or difficult. The technology would be suitable for operations in riverine or mangrove environment, posing significant challenge to conventional deployment techniques.

AUVSI 2014 Photo Report – all photos by Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update

It took the Rapid Composite's team about one month to design, develop, build and fly this unique 'flying boat' rotorcraft. The drone's capabilities are not less impressive. Propelled by three powerful electrical motors, this waterproof (IP65) is carried by a single person. Pre-flight preparation takes only few seconds. The drone carries carries a variety of payloads, internal and external, some are attached using a standard Picatinny rail. The drone can carry up to 20 pounds on a mission of 30 minutes, and, at the cost that Rapid could produce them, the Navy would even consider using these flying robots expendable.
It took the Rapid Composite’s team about one month to design, develop, build and fly this unique ‘flying boat’ rotorcraft. The drone’s capabilities are not less impressive. Propelled by three powerful electrical motors, this waterproof (IP65) is carried by a single person. Pre-flight preparation takes only only few seconds with no assembly required. The drone can carry a variety of payloads, internal and external; some are attached using a standard Picatinny rail. The drone can carry up to 20 pounds on a mission of 30 minutes, and, at the cost that Rapid could produce them, the Navy would even consider using these flying robots expendable.
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NRL’s flying swimmer (Flimmer) is combining the characteristics of an unmanned undersea vehicle and a gliding aerial vehicle. This specific platform is designed to test the transition between free flight by conventional aerodynamic controls and underwater swimming, by utilising powered fins. Flying emplacement will enable the navy to rapidly deploy payloads from long distance, into cluttered and densely vegetated marine areas, where underwater movement would be slow or difficult. The technology would be suitable for operations in riverine or mangrove environment, posing significant challenge to conventional deployment techniques.
The Stop Rotor UAV is tested by the Naval Research Laboratory to evaluate potential platforms that could rapidly deploy torpedo decoys as part of a surface fleet anti-submarine defense. The drone takes off vertically from the deck, than transitions to forward flight, powered by a tail rotor, by stopping the rotor and flipping one blade to form a wing. The complete process takes only one second.
The Stop Rotor UAV is tested by the Naval Research Laboratory to evaluate potential platforms that could rapidly deploy torpedo decoys as part of a surface fleet anti-submarine defense. The drone takes off vertically from the deck, than transitions to forward flight, powered by a tail rotor, by stopping the rotor and flipping one blade to form a wing. The complete process takes only one second. To date the stop Rotor UAV was tested in flight only in helicopter mode, while rotor transitions were demonstrated on the ground.
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This cruciform-winged experimental fuel-cell UAS (XFC UAS) was launched from a simulated submarine tube in December 2013, as part of a test by the Naval Research lab (NRL) demonstrating the feasibility to deploy an expendable UAV on a reconnaissance mission from a submerged submarine.
Another view of the XFC UAV.
Another view of the XFC UAV.
When folded, the XFC UAV  is stored in a canister that fits the submarine torpedo tube.
When folded, the XFC UAV is stored in a canister that fits the submarine torpedo tube.