The “Wire Flyer” Flies!

November 14th, 2013

We just returned from a week offshore of New England on the R/V Endeavor where the new “Wire Flyer” vehicle was successfully tested.  The vehicle was developed by Dr. Chris Roman of the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography as a means of collecting high-resolution profiles of seawater properties (CTD, O2, Fluorescence, etc) reaching depths up to 1,000 meters.

Todd has been the principle mechanical designer of the vehicle and its ancillary components for the past three years.   Aside from the vehicle, we developed a smart Clump weight and a custom over-boarding sheave with integrated docking-head.  The vehicle “flies” up and down a taut .322″ oceanographic cable by adjusting its wings while the ship moves at 2-4 knots through the water.  The Flyer is capable of a glide slope ratio of about 1:1, meaning it generates enough lift to move vertically at 2-4 knots while moving forward at the ship speed of 2-4 knots.  The Flyer is battery powered and aside from being able to communicate with it via acoustic modem, the vehicle operates autonomously.

 

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