28 Aug 2013, Oban -- Engineers at SAMS are closing in on a ship-launch, sea-recovery solution for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs).
RPAs are gaining popularity with scientists. As technology has advanced they have become cheaper and simpler, and are great for making measurements in places that were previously difficult, even impossible, to reach. But over-water surveying has posed other hurdles.
Carrying electronics and miniaturised sensors, loggers or cameras, RPA designers have been investigating ways to waterproof the equipment to make surveys at sea more possible and last week SAMS RPA Flight team had a breakthrough.
For the first time, the RPA team successfully launched the aircraft, landed it on water, recovered it and then re-launched it.
Electronics engineer Bernard Hagan said: “Electronics and water don’t mix, but over-water deployment is essential for SAMS research. Being able to land on water, recover and re-launch is a big deal and we’re another step closer to achieving the solution.”
Tomorrow Dr Phil Anderson, head of marine technology at SAMS, is at the MASTS Annual Science Meeting in Edinburgh to show our RPAs, QUEST 200 and the X8 waterplane.
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