Textron Systems is pioneering a system for multiple individual unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to autonomously work together as coordinated sea trains, which collectively overcome individual vessel range limitations by exploiting wave reduction efficiencies. This autonomy engine is being provided to Applied Physical Sciences (APS), a General Dynamics company, for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Sea Train program.
“USVs autonomously collaborating to complete such a complex mission from end-to-end without any human interaction has never been done before,” said Sean Baity, Technical Director, Applied Technologies and Advanced Programs. “But solving tough, real-world robotic problems in difficult and dangerous environments is what we do at Textron Systems. And with our multi-domain unmanned technology experience, we’re up for the challenge. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with APS and DARPA to enable the intelligent motion of autonomous teams to achieve and do more.”
During the 18-month phase one of the program, Textron Systems is coding software to develop autonomy between the vessels and rigorously testing the capabilities by simulating various environmental conditions and sea states. In phase two, scale models will be built and tested over the course of an additional 18 months.
US Navy photo