DARPA aims to create submarine-tracking unmanned surface vessel

NASHUA, N.H., 21 Aug 2012. In this week's Military & Aerospace Electronics report, Skyler Frink discusses DARPA's anti-submarine warfare continuous trail unmanned vessel program.

Transcript: This is the Military & Aerospace Electronics report, I'm Skyler Frink.

By 2016 the ocean may be patrolled by a fleet of unmanned surface vessels designed to track diesel electric submarines.

DARPA has awarded contracts for the final phases of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel program, a program aimed at creating surface vessels that can operate autonomously while tracking submarines.

The program, which calls for a system that can operate for months at a time while being sparsely supervised remotely, will have to comply with strict maritime laws and conventions for safe navigation in addition to being able to deal with intelligent adversaries under the surface.

The program itself is very ambitious, demonstrating a very high amount of faith in the ability of programmers to develop algorithms that will allow an unmanned vessel to not only navigate the open seas, but also to square off with submarine captains who don't want to be found or followed.

This project could very well pave the way for more advanced autonomous vehicles in the air, on the ground and under water as well.

For the Military & Aerospace Electronics report, I'm Skyler Frink.


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