by Richard Tomkins
Pittsfield, Mass. (UPI) Jan 12, 2017
A small autonomous underwater vehicle for defense and commercial use in now available for purchase online from General Dynamics Mission Systems.
The new Bluefin SandShark weighs less than 11 pounds -- before adding a mission payload -- fits in a backpack, can swim up to five knots and dive down to 656 feet, the company said.
Its tail section houses the battery and system electronics, leaving most of the drone open for sensors and other mission critical payloads.
"Compared to other small AUVs, the Bluefin SandShark offers customers the most flexibility and diverse mission capabilities at a very affordable cost," said Carlo Zaffanella, vice president and general manager of Maritime and Strategic Systems for General Dynamics Mission Systems. "Depending on how it is configured, the Bluefin SandShark AUV can provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information for defense or harbor security missions, dive down to survey submerged structures or become a floating communications network node at sea."
The company said operating software of the Bluefin SandShark is compatible with most underwater vehicle autonomy suites, enabling operator flexibility for integration with existing underwater vehicle components and systems faster and more cost-effective.
The Bluefin SandShark payload section can be dry or free-flooded, based on the customer's needs.
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