There exist drones which are amphibious and can perform extremely well in both land as well as in water, this drone is a similar one. With the looks of a stealth aircraft, this drone can land on water to stop and recharge and once fueled up, it can take off vertically. The SUWAVE Aquatic Drone is a fixed-wing drone capable of hopping from one water body to another. Generally, fixed-wing drones come with their own challenges. Fixed-wing drones require a short runway to take-off along with a big-enough flat terrain and infrastructure support to precisely land but not the SUWAVE Aquatic drone.
Researches from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada designed this drone which can land on water and take-off vertically. This drone is meant for lake-to-lake travel. Generally, small RC sea-planes are used for this activity but they can hardly withstand strong currents, harsh landings and are often found capsized or damaged in the process. The vertical take-off mechanism in the SUWAVE was inspired by Mallard ducks which are known for their brilliant ability to take-off vertically from the water surface.
This aquatic drone uses lakes as its base and crash lands into them, recharges itself via solar panels and then lifts-off to continue its journey. A hinged propeller around its head helps the drone to take-off vertically. It generates thrust and points the body of the drone upward which gives the drone a head start by propelling it in the air and then it can fly away. The same mechanism is used to correct the wing position of the drone if it capsizes in water. Canada has 31,000 lakes, each larger than 3 sq. Kilometers. The SUWAVE (Sherbrooke University Water-Air VEhicle) drone can help effectively manage these water bodies as it can potentially be used for water sampling and monitoring.
The approach to landing the drone is simple. First, the 545g drone crash lands into any of the water body. The idea of crash landing a drone might seem futile but the SUWAVE aquatic drone is built for that purpose alone. The drone is designed in such a way that it faces a deceleration of only 15G as it falls into the lake. The waterproof drone floats on the surface owing to its large surface area and light weight.
Watch how the SUWAVE does vertical take-off :