Low Cost Platform; Surface Navigation Capability; Pitch/Yaw Control by Hydro-jet; Buoyancy change (glider); Transportable by car; Payload Versatility; High Maneuverability and Hovering; Surface Communications; Designed for Cluster Work
Diameter: 155 mm
Length from: 2000 mm
Weight in air: 31 kg
Energy Storage: NiMh Batteries 12 Volt 45 Ah
Speed: 2 knots (up to 4 knots if required)
Control: pitch/yaw thruster, movable ballast, active buoyancy control
Endurance: 6 hours at max speed
Maneuverability: any bearing and trim with no active surfaces
Gliding Scope: 0 – 50 m
Max depth: 80 m (underwater navigation)
Software: Windows Command and control interface
Communication: 2.4 GHz radio Link when surface
Originally designed for applications related with environmental monitoring, the current version, with its renewed design, allows also missions concerning inspection and security activities, thanks to its greater maneuverability, empowered operative autonomy, and ease of integration of different kinds of payload modules.
One of the main distinctive feature of FOLAGA is its high maneuverability, making it a hybrid vehicle, characterized by actuation mechanisms similar to those of oceanographic gliders and of self-propelled AUVs, together with hovering capability typical of ROVs.
The motion in the surge direction is obtained through propulsion jet-pumps at the vehicle stern, while steering in the surge–sway plane is obtained through two power jet-pumps at the vehicle bow, transversal to the surge direction.
Vehicle diving is obtained by a combination of buoyancy and attitude change.
Buoyancy is controlled through a ballast chamber, in which water can be injected or ejected, while attitude is controlled through the internal displacement of the battery pack.
The combined use of buoyancy and attitude change allows the vehicles to dive in several different ways: from vertical dive with 0° pitch (preferred diving mode for oceanographic data profiling), to combined attitude change and surge propulsion (keeping the vehicle neutrally buoyant), to combined attitude and buoyancy change (with or without propulsion).
FOLAGA can host different kind of sensors and the integration of a mission payload is very simple and effective thanks to the vehicle modular design. The hull is indeed constituted by two independent modules, each one neutrally buoyant and balanced, which can be opened for hosting any custom or COTS device, once encapsulated in additional neutral and balanced payload modules.