U.S. Navy Testing a Variety of Unmanned Vehicles

160606-N-PF515-001 BALTIC SEA (June 6, 2016) Sailors attached to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two in Little Creek, Va., prepare to insert an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) into the Baltic Sea to search for underwater mines during BALTOPS 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class America A. Henry/ Released)

The Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office is testing as many unmanned vehicles as possible to gain insight into future uses of advanced marine vehicles for operations such as ship-to-shore maneuver, amphibious command and control, communications, amphibious information warfare and more.

For example, the Ship-to-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technology Exercise held in April 2017 showcased Navy and Marine Corps advances in unmanned technology.

Some of the technologies being tested by the Navy include: the Knifefish unmanned underwater vehicle, which will detect and classify buried mines and mine in high-clutter environments; the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV), which will pull a minesweeper in its role as the Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS); the Navy’s Large Displacement UUV (LDUUV) and Extra Large UUV (XLUUV); The Snakehead LDUUV; Orca XLUUV; and the ADARO small unmanned surface vehicle being tested by Naval Surface Warfare Center Combatant Craft, which is about three feet long.

Read more at USNI.

Wind and Solar System Offers Promise for Sustainable Eco Ships

The Aquarius Eco Ship uses the Aquarius MRE integrated wind and solar power system developed by Eco Marine Power to create a more sustainable shipping vessel with reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions. The Eco Ship concept includes an advanced integrated system of rigid sails, marine-grade solar panels, energy storage modules and marine computers that automatically position the rigid sails to make use of current weather conditions.

The concept can be applied to most ship sizes and types including bulkers, oil tankers, survey ships, passenger ferries, cruise ships, Ro-Ro ships, car carriers and unmanned surface vessels. Aquarius Eco Ship can also be fitted with other fuel saving measures such as an advanced electrical propulsion system, air lubrication, an optimized hull design and waste heat recovery technologies. Fuel cell technology could also be incorporated into the design.

Read more in the BBC feature story:
The Ships That Could Change the Seas Forever