Earlier you might have read that drones are being prepared to deliver newspapers or drones are getting ready to protect trains from being defaced. Here’a another buzzing news for you. Some researchers at the University of Southampton are building 3D printed drones which they believe would be able to hunt down drug-running boats at sea.
The drone that researchers at University of Southampton in the United Kingdom are making is called 2SEAS. The 2SEAS runs on gasoline engine. There are twin engines that give the drone speed and power. It has a wingspan more than twice than SULSA, the first 3-D printed drone, which was premiered in 2011. The wings are constructed out of carbon fiber.
The 2SEAS’s main body, the part that houses fuel, surveillance equipment, and engine mountings, is 3-D printed. There is a camera attached beneath the wing which is faced forward. The camera comes with some special sensors that can detect drugs. This drone will be able to fly six hours at a stretch along with a speed of 55 mph which is just fast enough to follow a smuggler’s speed boat.
At present, researchers are still working on this UAV and they believe by 2015, they would be able to make the drone ready for hunting down drug traffickers in Europe’s North Sea. On the other side, after completion of this UAV, the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands have shown interest in adopting this drone to patrol both the English Channel and the North Sea, or the two seas between them.
Here’s a video for you where you can watch 2SEAS flying.
Source: New Scientist