Navy researchers tap Draper Lab for enabling technologies in machine autonomy for unmanned undersea warfare

Jan. 25, 2024
Emphasis is on automated target detection and recognition, signal processing, advanced machine learning, and multi-vehicle collaborative autonomy.

ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. Navy unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) experts needed enabling technologies for specialized machine autonomy in future undersea vessels. They found their solution from the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass.

Officials of the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Va., announced a $23.7 million five-year contract to Draper earlier this month for the Full Spectrum Undersea Warfare Innovative Naval Prototype Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Autonomy and Simulation Development and Support effort.

Draper experts will develop specialized autonomy using a model-based systems engineering approach for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine autonomy in UUVs for tasks such as automated target detection and recognition, autonomous behaviors, signal processors, advanced machine learning techniques, and multi-vehicle collaborative autonomy.

This unmanned undersea vehicles project is part of the Long Range Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology. Draper will do the work in Cambridge, Mass., and should be finished by January 2029.

For more information contact Draper Laboratory online at, or the Office of Naval Research at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

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