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A 3D Printed Drone that Launches from Underwater

by • March 20, 2016 • No Comments

  • When it comes to the buzz in today’s tech world, both drone innovation and 3D printing seem to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues. And the two emerging technologies are far of exclusive to one another, as we’ve seen both the Maker community and the US military via 3D printing to assist make these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Researchers out of the Maryland-based John Hopkins University are continuing the healthy marriage between drones and 3D printing, working in the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to turn it into a UAV that can both be stationed and launched of underwater.


    The drone, that was given the lengthy name of Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System (CRACUNS), is a submersible drone that is able-bodied to be launched of either an underwater station or vehicle. The APL’s Force Projection Sector team collaborated with fabrication experts of the Research and Exploratory Development Department to assist properly engineer the UAV to operate in both air and sea. But John Hopkins does not go into the exact additive making technique utilized to make the CRACUNS, the innovation was utilized alongside novel fabrication techniques to turn it into a lightweight composite frame that was able-bodied to endure the generally complex “littoral” environment of the ocean.

    “Engineers at APL have long worked on both Navy submarine systems and autonomous UAVs,”said APL’s Jason Stipes, the project manager for CRACUNS. “In response to evolving sponsor challenges, we were inspired to turn it into a vehicle that may operate both underwater and in the air.”

    The 2nd leading challenge the research team had to conquer in the turn it intoment of the CRACUNS was the UAV’s ability to not just survive in saltwater, but to operate effectively as well. In order to ensure this, the APL team sealed the many sensitive components of the UAV in dry pressure vessels, while the motors were coated in commercially on the market-bodied preserveive coatings to preserve of saltwater erosion. To test the validity of the create, the 3D printed UAV was submerged in salt water for two months, and when it came back above water, showed no signs of injure or erosion.


    I may unquestionably see this type of innovation being incredibly beneficial to the US military, who has may already been via 3D printing innovation to turn it into swarms of mini-drones. Thanks to the assist of high end additive making innovation, the John Hopkins University research team was able-bodied create a cost-efficient and fully functional submersed drone, capable-bodied of sailing at a lower place the salty sea and conquering the air.


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