Water surface vehicle made of basalt fiber-reinforced plastic is developed in Germany

Water surface drone, unmanned surface vessels, unmanned surface vehicle, basalt-fiber reinforced plastic for marine application, Autonomous drone ship
Credit: alpha-sigma.eu

The unmanned water surface vehicle made of basalt fiber-reinforced plastic is designed for hydrographic surveys and other applications in harbors and inland waters.

Alpha Sigma from Zwickau (Germany) dressed Sonobot the water surface vehicle, in an elegant, modern bodywork using basalt composite.

Various lightweight construction techniques were used to achieve an optimal result. Basalt fiber-reinforced plastic in sandwich construction and foam resin were used,

describes the project Alpha Sigma.

Small autonomous water surface drone is developed mainly for hydrographic surveys. It carries a side-scan sonar, camera, differential GPS for high-accuracy cartography on board.

Hydro-jet thrusters and batteries are enclosed in a corrosion-free body, providing at least 10 hours of battery life.

Water surface drones are not uncommon now. They are used by hydrographs, surveyors, military, engineers, ecologists. When there are areas or conditions which manned vehicles cannot explore or the exploration is not economically reasonable, unmanned water surface drones come into play.

They are equipped with everything necessary for quick analysis of water composition in various places (search for leakage or spills), scanning of the bottom topography or engineering structures (dams, bridges, pipelines). They can accumulate information or transmit it wirelessly.

Water vehicles require lightweight composite materials that are able to resist corrosion when exposed to different water composition and temperature. Under these conditions, basalt-fiber composite is one of the best solutions because it combines excellent physical and chemical characteristics with reasonable cost.

Alpha Sigma GmbH aims to develop inexpensive and environmentally friendly fiber composite components based on basalt fiber, jute, hemp and linen fibers. But if necessary, the company’s specialists can work with fibers made of carbon, polyethylene, aramid or glass. They also offer customers the manufacturing of non-combustible fiber composite components with highly strength and heat resistance properties.

Alpha Sigma used basalt plastics to make a fire engine cabin and components for a new Bugatti Chiron automobile.

Translated by Olga Yurchenko

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