Aerial Aquatic Ordnance Removal Vehicle (AEQUOR-V)

Period of Performance: 07/11/2016 - 05/10/2017


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.
9950 Wakeman Drive Array
Manassas, VA 20110
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Purdue University
Young Hall
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Institution POC


With Project AEQUOR-V Aurora, in partnership with Purdue University, proposes to complete the conceptual design of a hybrid unmanned air/underwater vehicle (HUA/UV) capable of transitioning repeatedly between aerial and underwater operations in a single mission, operating in water depths up to 40 ft, and carrying a significant payload. To accomplish this goal, Aurora will build on design experience and flight test data in place from its previous two HUA/UV vehicle development projects. Aurora sees the transitional stages from water-to-air and air-to-water as the key high-risk design points for this vehicle configuration, especially the water-to-air transition. A novel propulsion architecture is proposed which combines an electric motor for aerial and underwater cruise with a secondary thruster to perform the water-to-air breaching maneuver. The propulsion lab at Purdue University will analyze several different vehicle propulsion systems to determine which gives the most effective system-level performance, while Aurora will investigate air-to-water transitqion methods and other options in the vehicle trade space. The vehicle design will be neutrally buoyant, with common surfaces used for control both in the air and in the water. The outcome of this Phase 1 study will be a flight demonstrator conceptual design, mission CONOPs, and test plan.