A team from the Naval Postgraduate School has developed a quadcopter that can fly in the air and swim underwater.
Military researchers have called their brainchild Aqua-Quad. The device is able to take off from any body of water and stay underwater for some time. Moreover this drone has equipment for tracking submarines.
Being equipped with solar batteries distributed around four propeller disks, the drone can stay on the water 23 hours a day, and fly one hour a day.
Developers also took care of Aqua-Quad structure reliability since it would work in a complex mid ocean environment. During a storm drone would remain on the water. However, the device has weaknesses: salt and algae may damage some elements; in particular they may have a detrimental effect on solar cells.
Aqua-Quad is not the first drone in air-to-surface class. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have presented their unmanned aerial vehicle Cracuns. It is able to stay underwater for several months waiting for the operator's command.
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