SHARCs track live submarine
October’s Unmanned Warrior 2016 demonstration saw a live submarine detected, reported and tracked by a network of persistent USVs for the first time.
The USVs – Liquid Robotics’ Sensor Hosting Autonomous Remote Craft (SHARCs) – used advanced Boeing acoustic sensors in the live anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission off the coast of Northern Scotland.
The SHARCs successfully detected and tracked an advancing AUV and a manned diesel submarine, providing detailed and actionable intelligence to commanders through more than 100 automated contact reports. The demonstration proved the potential of using USVs to efficiently and autonomously conduct ASW missions and exchange data in real time.
Kory Mathews, vice president, autonomous systems for Boeing Defense, Space and Security, said: ‘The Boeing and Liquid Robotics team are redefining the state of the art for autonomous maritime warfare. Our work during Unmanned Warrior demonstrates without a doubt the practicality of using autonomous systems to provide real-time actionable intelligence to our warfighters.’
The two SHARC systems operated 24/7 in harsh conditions – in waves in excess of 6.6m and winds of more than 60kts. They also provided real-time data on the weather and ocean conditions critical to the safe operation of the Unmanned Warrior systems.
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