DARPA Issues RFI For Anti-Submarine Warfare Unmanned Vessel Programme

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:28 PM, March 31, 2015
  • 2480

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) programme.

The programme aims to develop a new unmanned surface vessel to independently track ultra-quiet diesel-electric submarines over thousands of miles, Shephard reported on Tuesday.

The RFI covers current technologies that could help ACTUV and future unmanned surface vessels perceive and classify nearby ships and other objects. This will help the programme comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs).

At present, ACTUV's system for vessel sensing is based on radar, which is less suitable for classifying the type of vessels being detected. The RFI aims to identify technologies that could help augment ACTUV's sensing and classifying capability and reduce reliance on radar as its primary sensor.

DARPA’s goal is to develop on-board systems to detect and track nearby surface vessels and potential navigation hazards, classify those objects' characteristics and provide input to ACTUV's autonomy software to facilitate correct COLREGs behaviour.

Scott Littlefield, programme manager, DARPA, said: 'We're looking for test-ready, multi-sensor approaches that push the boundaries of today's automated sensing systems for unmanned surface vessels.

'Enhancing the ability of these kinds of vessels to sense their environment in all weather and traffic conditions, day or night, would significantly advance our ability to conduct a range of military missions.'


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