Barron was awarded a Navy STTR contract to develop a hybrid vehicle that could operate both in air and underwater. The goal was to use air travel to rapidly reach a location and then dive underwater to engage submerged targets. Barron Associates designed and built AERODIVER, a collapsible heavy-lift quadcopter transport to carry a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) through the air, land and float on the water, and discharge the ROV to perform the underwater mission. When the dive mission is completed, the ROV is reeled back up to the transport and then flown to a new location.
The team designed and built the AERODIVER transport system and borrowed a mid-size ROV for integration. Phase I testing demonstrated successful aerial transport of the ROV, water landing, water takeoff, and underwater deployment of the ROV while maintaining a live video-data link to a remote operator. The total operating weight was 60-lbs.