Virginia Tech bat research could make for better submarines, drones

economic-forecast-headerThe U.S. Navy has found that it pays to listen to Rolf Mueller carry on about his bat research. From unmanned aerial systems to undersea communications, practical applications flow from the team headed by Mueller, an associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Learning how bats navigate through dense thickets without crashing into each other could also help unmanned aircraft designers create better delivery vehicles, Mueller says.

Mueller’s work is supported in part by the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech as well as the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command, in Newport, Rhode Island.

Mueller and members of his graduate student team recently exhibited their research at an Outreach and International Affairssponsored technology showcase in Newport News.

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