icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Stealthy underwater comms drone for nuclear subs tested in Russia

Stealthy underwater comms drone for nuclear subs tested in Russia
A novel robotic vehicle that includes a floating buoy and an underwater glider is being tested by the Russian military. The watercraft is a sensor and communication platform, which the Navy may find handy for submarine patrol missions.

Dubbed Fugu, the vehicle is an unusual combination. It has a floating part that looks like a surfboard, and an underwater part which serves as an engine for both of them.

The underwater part is a glider. It is a vehicle that changes its buoyancy to go up and down and uses fins to translate this seesaw-like motion into propulsion.

Underwater gliders have extremely high endurance because they require only a fraction of the energy that a more traditional AUV equipped with an electric motor does. The downside is that it is very slow.

Fugu is intended to be used as both a sensor platform and a communication relay, which would allow a submerged submarine to communicate via satellite link without surfacing and exposing it to the enemy, Mikhail Ryabtsov, head of the drone developer MAKO, told Izvestia newspaper.

“This is an autonomous robot with virtually indefinite endurance,” he said.

The batteries of the glider part of Fugu are recharged by solar panels mounted on the buoy part. The buoy carries satellite communication equipment and sensors to monitor weather and other environmental data. The glider provides propulsion, monitors the ocean with several sonars, and has an acoustic modem which exchanges signals with submarines.

The unmanned vehicle is currently undergoing trials at the Defense Ministry’s robotic research test center, the newspaper said.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts