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The underwater drone market is opening up, from specific drones for extensive scientific research and commercial uses to military drones. Underwater drones are now being used by aquaculture, underwater pipes and infrastructure maintenance, seafloor and ocean life survey, environmental studies, ocean weather monitoring stations, and the shipping maintenance industry.
While current underwater drones can dive for hours and hit medium to low depths, the DIVE-LD drone developed by Anduril can go alone on missions for a remarkable total of 10 days, reaching full ocean depth diving up to 6,000 meters.
The dual-use platform, developed for defense and commercial uses, is tailor-made for littoral and deep-water survey, inspection, and ISR. According to the company, it is ideal for a variety of missions such as undersea battlespace intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, mine counter-warfare, anti-submarine warfare, seafloor mapping and more. It allows for rapid configurations to meet mission-specific needs.
The drone, shaped like a medium-sized submarine, is 3-D printed, a fact that contributes to the low manufacturing time and costs.
While the drone can be customized to execute anti-submarine warfare and undersea combat zone awareness, it can also be built for scientific purposes. It only takes just a few weeks, not months or years, to build a tailored version for each customer, and the drone does not require an off-shore ship for launch.
The 19 feet long and four feet wide drone can carry a three-tonne payload, according to screenrant.com.
The unique 3D printed outer-body technique is sided with a unique manufacturing method for the core internal components and the buoyancy systems that keep the drone afloat and steady.
The drone can be controlled via cellphone, tablets, computers, and even through immersive Virtual Reality commands.
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