Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

First Advisor

Bahram Nassersharif


This project is separated into two parts: an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a corresponding capsule. The UAV will be stored in the capsule as the pair is released from underwater and floats to the surface where the capsule will autonomously open and discharge the drone. Following release, the UAV will fly up and record video surveillance of the surrounding area. Finally, the UAV will record the data onto a micro SD card inserted in the monitor that shows the camera’s live feed. The objective is to design, build, test, and finalize a UAV and capsule that meet NUWC’s, the customer, specifications as much as possible. The overarching design for this system consists of a cylindrical capsule with chambers for the drone, electronic controls, controlled air flow, and the tank of compressed air. An Arduino UNO is programmed to trigger the flow of air that pushes the drone out after a certain number of seconds. The UAV is a quadcopter whose arms spread open by a simple spring mechanism once ejected from the capsule but sits linearly while inside the capsule. The capsule has been manufactured from aluminum and the drone uses the Vortex 250 Pro as a base but has been modified to feature the required fold-able arms. Testing has shown that the capsule functions as expected. It floats to the surface, maintains a vertical position, and ejects the UAV after the programmed number of seconds. Testing has also shown that the UAV’s physical body also functions as expected in terms of its arms springing open when no longer constrained within the capsule. Photos and videos have been successfully recorded onto the monitor. The drone’s flight was not tested due to unforeseen and currently unresolved software issues. Overall, if the drone was capable of flight, the team would expect the system to work well as a whole.


Sponsor: Naval Undersea Warfare Center

Sponsor Representative: William Weiss