MCM drone operation tested in Belgium
ECA Group has successfully demonstrated the capability to deploy its AUVs, USVs and ROVs simultaneously to perform parallel and collaborative detection to identification mine countermeasure (MCM) operations, the company announced on 23 June.
The demonstration, which took place in the North Sea, was conducted within the framework of the Belgian Navy evaluation of Unmanned Maritime Systems 2017.
From the Coastal Patrol Vessel (CPV Pollux) of the Belgian Navy, ECA Group deployed an unmanned MCM Integrated System (UMIS) composed of an A9-M AUV and an Inspector USV itself deploying two SeaScan MK2 ROVs.
At the same time, ECA’s long range AUV, the A27-M, was also operated from the same CPV.
Through its radio and acoustic communication links, ECA demonstrated its capability to operate in parallel with real-time cooperative actions, a large number of unmanned vehicles while maintaining operators aboard the CPV in a safe zone.
The first contact snapshots automatically generated by the Automatic Target Detection software embarked in the AUV A9-M relayed by the USV were received on the CPV.
The USV Inspector was immediately sent to the location of the shortlisted classified contacts to deploy the SeaScan inspection vehicle.
This ROV was remotely operated using the subsea optical fibre from the USV and the latter’s radio link to the operator aboard the CPV to carry out the final visual camera identification.
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