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 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.”
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.
Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.