Sea Technology

APR 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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32 st / April 2017 platform capabilities) for real-time, cued-handoff, single-sortie mission engagements. In these cases, swarm mission architecture and coordinat- ed mission behaviors are required for mission success. Swarm multi-UUV concepts are enabled by collabora- tive mission autonomy software op- erating in a "backseat driver" mode in conjunction with onboard vehicle management systems. Examples of swarm applications for maritime UUVs include: the CADRE (Cooperative Au- tonomy for Distributed Reconnaissance and Exploration) system funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) involving multiple UUVs and USVs coordinating on large- area clearance and over-the-horizon communications reachback; the PLUSNet (Persistent Littoral Undersea Sur- vey Network) program sponsored by ONR consisting of a large heterogeneous collection of vehicles and assets for persistent monitoring of littorals; and the DARPA DASH (Distributed Agile Submarine Hunting) program originally conceptualized as a large distributed collection of mobile UUV nodes with the capability to collectively monitor and track submerged targets over wide ocean areas. A key discriminator for swarm concepts is the require- ment for the human mission operator to plan, monitor and control the entire swarm as a single system at the mission objective or mission tasking level. This is in fundamental contrast to legacy unmanned vehicle systems where each platform is separately controlled, sequenced and moni- tored as multiple, individual UUVs. Swarm mission control capability requires scalability of two key UUV software components. One is the swarm mission planning and control software. Integrated into the topside mission control station, this software supports pre-mission multivehicle planning and configuration. In- mission, the software supports monitoring, command and control, swarm mission effectiveness assessment and re- ger geographical distances and larger areas, it becomes imperative to consider coordinated, autonomous multive- hicle operations in order to meet mission costs, distance/ area coverage, task concurrency, mission effectiveness and execution time constraints. Swarm Missions Coordinated, multivehicle mission architectures and concepts are generally referred to as swarm mission ap- plications. Typical benefits of swarm missions include a dramatic scaling up of mission performance by concur- rent operations over larger areas of operation, reduction in mission execution times, or combination thereof. De- pending on the swarm mission, anticipated mission per- formance improvements will generally scale linearly with the number of UUVs, sensors or payloads employed. Fur- thermore, multivehicle swarm architectures also provide unique benefits to certain missions, such as the ability to use multiple sensors in multi-static sensing for wide- baseline sensor correlation, or coordinated operation of heterogeneous platforms (different payloads, sensors or (Top) Mission autonomy software elements required to sup- port swarming mission applications. (Bottom) Onboard swarm autonomy controller manages tactical behaviors and coordi- nates among swarm vehicles via a distributed CROP database

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