AUVSI: Toyon Pescadaero is designed for air and sea

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Toyon Research (booth 1041) is developing a UAV capable of both flying and floating.

The twin-engined Pescadaero is intended to be assembled quickly, launched into the air by hand, and then land on a body of water, such as river, says Toyon analyst Eric Sandoz.

The system will carry two sensor payloads, a sonar weighing up to 1kg in its belly, and a camera housing in its nose.

The original idea behind the type was to have a system capable of landing on a stream or river, and then floating downstream surveying the bottom with its sonar. Upon spotting obstacles such as rocks or rapids, the operator could use the propellers to take off and fly past them.

Sandoz says the Pescadaero is intended for civilian purposes, but readily admits that the type could have military applications in riverine, littoral, and open sea environments. A landing force, for example, could deploy the Pescadaero to a landing beach to survey the bottom.

The system is still very early in its development. Sandoz says a first flight is only likely in the next three or four months.

"We're still trying to optimise the design," he says.