First self-guided voyage
An unmanned vessel has successfully completed a complex inshore voyage in the US.
US company Leidos has announced that the prototype maritime autonomy system for its Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) has completed its first self-guided voyage between Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The prototype system was installed on a 42ft workboat that served as a surrogate vessel to test sensor, manoeuvring and mission functions of the prototype ACTUV vessel, which seeks to develop an independently deployed, unmanned naval vessel that would operate under sparse remote supervisory control and safely follow the collision avoidance 'rules of the sea' or 'COLREGS'.
Controlled only by the autonomy system, and with only a navigational chart of the area loaded into its memory and inputs from its commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) radars, the surrogate vessel successfully sailed the complicated inshore environment of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
During its 35NM voyage, the maritime autonomy system functioned as designed - the boat avoided all obstacles, buoys, land, shoal water and other vessels in the area - all without any pre-planned waypoints or human intervention.
The company is currently constructing 'Sea Hunter', the first ACTUV prototype vessel, which is scheduled for launch in late 2015 to begin testing in the Columbia River.
Details from Leidos below . .