The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been working on a new technology to create underwater data transmissions using drones.
The new technology could be a game changer for those trying to save their lives in an underwater environment, according to Dr. Thomas D. Gentry, president of the Institute for Data and Wireless Communications, or IDWM.
“We have the technology and we have the research capability to make this happen,” Gentry told CBS News.
“There are a lot of areas where the technology exists today that we haven’t really gotten to yet.”
Gentry is working with the Naval Research Laboratory and the U.K.-based research and development center DARPA on a project called NAVET, or Network Underwater Surveillance Technology.
The project is using a robotic underwater vehicle (ROV) to record underwater data.
The technology has the potential to help save lives in the ocean, as well as save people who have suffered brain injuries or have suffered cardiac arrest from an accidental drowning.
The drone technology could also have significant applications for disaster relief, Gentry said.
“If you can get a good-quality underwater video to help you communicate with the public, that’s one thing,” he said.
“But in this case, you can also get it to save people’s lives.”
The underwater data transmission system would use data from a sensor onboard the drone, as the ROV tracks the ocean surface.
This underwater data could be used by the drone’s onboard software to determine where the water is, how deep the water goes, or what the currents are.
The system could also be used to track underwater debris that could be washed up on shore, Genson said.
The NAVET team is looking for ways to develop a high-speed, low-cost underwater vehicle that could deliver data to a large number of sensors on the surface.
The team also is looking at ways to make the technology more affordable.
The ROV could be attached to the drone and used to monitor an area that was not visible to the Rov.
The technology could help people who suffer brain injuries, heart attacks, or other brain trauma, Gidesons research found.
The data transmission could also help people with disabilities and others who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“It’s a very simple technology that is very portable and inexpensive,” Gensons said.
To see how this technology could work in the water, click here.