Waterproof drone nominated for innovation prize

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 27, 2019
water drone
The RMIT waterproof drone

A waterproof drone designed by RMIT University engineers in conjunction with Defence Science & Technology (DST) Group has been nominated for a National Defence Innovation Award at the airshow.

Known as Black Kite, it represents a successful “world first” drone for maritime applications. The air vehicle is waterproof and can land and takeoff on water in low swells and in “all-weather conditions.”

RMIT water drone
RMIT water drone

RMIT University’s project lead, Dr Abdulghani Mohamed said the system “would enhance abilities to investigate or meet incoming vessels or divers. Sending a drone to perform this task is quicker and safer than sending people into potential danger – also easier as it completes the mission with high levels of autonomy.”

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That autonomy includes taking off, intercepting and tracking targets, returning to base and landing. It has an operating range of up to three kilometres with a three kilogram payload. Planned payloads include a wide range of sensors and onboard speaker and mic system for two-way communication with vessels.

The drone is on display during the airshow.

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