US Navy develops UAV "Mothership" to build unmanned system future force

US Navy develops UAV

With the release of the US Navy's unmanned system strategy roadmap, the US Navy is speeding up its purchase and construction of UAVs and automated ships. Recently, the Navy and researchers at the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) have developed an automated ship that can launch air and underwater UAVs to protect US offshore waters and offshore assets.

1. The introduction of the project

In late May, the FAU engineering and Computer Science Institute received $1 million 250 thousand from the United States Navy Research Bureau (ONR) to support the development of independent offshore platforms for coastal monitoring, coastal survey, target tracking and protection of maritime assets related technologies. The project, for 5 years, aims to develop an unmanned surface ship as a "mother ship" of unmanned submergence and air UAV, so as to achieve multi-functional vehicles and multidisciplinary combat capabilities as a mobile coastal monitoring system. The project will work with the FAU's ongoing naval engineering education Federation project and the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City to carry out an underwater underwater vehicle (UUV) to detect underwater objects. The project will also focus on the development of a multi-functional vehicle system, which is able to navigate safely and reliably in offshore waters while performing designated tasks, and has a high degree of autonomy. The FAU researchers will develop new software tools to seek better perception and avoidance of collision capabilities, and allow the ship to "act as a stop" (the UAV "Mothership") to provide power for unmanned underwater vehicles and air UAVs. Relevant functions will also be developed to make the unmanned surface ship (USV) a relay station for power and data transmission between USV and UUV and air UAVs.

2, R & D background

(1) the Navy raises the attention to the unmanned system. The US Navy has identified some of the main advantages of unmanned systems in sea and underwater applications: its operating and maintenance costs are much lower than the manned platform, and their automated sensors can maintain a near constant perception and coverage of the environment; near continuous monitoring can also continue to collect data, thus helping to better understand the length of geography. Stage behavior patterns and trends; unmanned platforms are also expected to increase productivity; and most importantly, they can make human sailors and expensive manned platforms far away from danger.

(2) the Navy's efforts to promote the new vision of the unmanned system strategic roadmap. According to the vision of the naval development and acquisition of the strategic roadmap of the autonomous system (the Navy and the Marines seek to build a seamless integration of unmanned / unmanned future troops), the prototype cases such as the UAV "Mothership" will become more and more common in the future. The new navy map shows that the ability of the navy to use UAVs and autonomous robots must be much faster than the purchase of artificially operated aircraft, ships and warships. The Navy should get rid of the "platform - centered" model and envisage small, cheap robots that can be firmly connected and easily complete the new task configuration. A cross domain, distributed, netted, self-healing, highly surviving and cooperative communication network composed of people and unmanned nodes will make multi domain communication possible.

3. A review of the research and development of the unmanned Navy system

The Navy's research on unmanned weapons can be traced back to the study of flying munitions and torpedoes during World War I. At present, the navy is trying to incorporate more and more autonomy into exercises and activities. In 2014, a trial conducted by the Navy showed that a fleet of 13 autonomous autonomous ships could help defend a warship. The navy has also developed (and planned to deploy quickly) the "sea Hunter" unmanned yacht, which can carry out the autonomous navigation of the high seas while complying with the international maritime law, and can also be equipped with ballistic missiles. The equipment will greatly improve the naval operational capability. In addition, the navy is also testing a new type of continuously expanding air UAVs, such as a flyer UAVs "Norman" launched from the "Pinckney" destroyer in 2016; the other is a hybrid "flying dive" glider. The UAV can be launched from the plane, flying on the surface of the water, and diving into the water. The depth of 200 meters. The new version of the glider flight test will be held later this year, and the Navy research laboratory is expected to be fully demonstrated in 2019.

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