From his unassuming office nestled between robotics and space systems labs at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Research Associate Professor Kevin Jones, along with Professor Isaac Kaminer and Research Associate Professor Vladimir Dobrokhodov, are pushing the limits of what is possible in the realm of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engineering and development.
Several of their most intriguing concepts – such as the Tactical Long Endurance Unmanned Air System (TaLEUAS), and their Air Mobile Buoy Platform – seek to fill operational gaps by placing advanced, endurance-focused and renewable-energy powered aircraft into the sky.
The TaLEUAS tethered hex-rotor aircraft, for example, will be capable of extremely long-endurance operations, and can work in conjunction with sister aircraft to perform missions with very little human command and control.
“I want it to be a ‘back-packable’ system that can stay up for days or months autonomously. Humans interact with it, but do not control the aircraft,” said Jones, a member of NPS’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.