The Flying Fish unmanned aerial vehicle UAV vehicle, takes off and flies over the waves at distances of tens to thousands of meters. Its wingspan is two meters. Equipped with GPS and later energy-harvesting solar cells, the UAV has the potential to expand the kinds of water-monitoring tasks currently limited by the expense of a ship or by the stationary nature of water buoys.
A fleet of such a craft could be sprinkled across an ocean region, each gathering data in its own designated search area. When a plane reaches the edge of its circle, it could take off, fly to the opposite side of the monitoring area, land, and begin taking measurements again.
"If you can only deploy it for a few hours, you need ship there anywhere. Solar power is the key to being able to drive your ship away," says the developer, Professor Ella Atkins of the University of Michigan.
And that can save money. According to Hanumant Singh, an associate scientist who specializes in underwater imaging and robotics at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Mass., a ship can cost $35,000 a day.
For more attend Electric Vehicles - Land Sea Air Europe 2011 which has now been renamed from Future of Electric Vehicles to reflect its unique covering of the whole subject.
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Electric Vehicle Materials Europe 2020 on 13 - 14 May 2020 at Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.