Friday, January 20, 2017

2017-01-20: Autonomy Incubator Receives its First "Hive" UAV

Four six-foot wide "Hive" UAVs link together to make a "mother-center-ship" in the sky, cruising high over the water collecting ozone data and scattering hundreds of tiny CICADA gliders from a payload bay suspended underneath. On their way down, the gliders collect data and transmit it to a central computer on land before splashing down. A scene from the next Star Wars movie? Or maybe Twister? No– it's the sleek new iteration of the Ai's atmospheric science mission, and it's right in NASA Langley's backyard.

Zak Johns, The Hive's designer, and Ai Head, Dr. Danette Allen, celebrate with one of the UAVs.

The Ai has is teaming with LaRC's Science Directorate (SD) to be the first to collect in-situ atmospheric data at the transition between land and water. The Ozone Water-Land Environmental Transition Study (OWLETS) project will collect data at multiple locations across Hampton Roads, including the LaRC COA area near the Gantry (aka, the Back 40) and is planned for this summer.

Danette explains the CICADA glider to Tim Berkoff
Tim Berkoff and Guillaume Gronoff take photos of the Hive UAV
Zak Johns assembles the Hive UAV in the Ai

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