NATO’s Next Generation Autonomous Systems In Action in the Ligurian Sea

By on Monday, October 27th, 2014

From 19 to 31 October 2014 CMRE research vessels are conducting a Collaborative Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) scientific experiment to advance autonomous ASW network technologies.

The COLLaborative Asw Behaviours-Next Generation Autonomous Systems 2014 (COLLAB-NGAS14) experiment, which includes the two research vessels owned by the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation, the NATO Research Vessel Alliance and the Coastal Research Vessel Leonardo, and one Italian submarine, is ongoing off the coast of La Spezia.

During COLLAB/NGAS14 scientists from CMRE are testing technologies and software that have been developed at the Centre and by partner research institutions in NATO countries to study detection and tracking of objects in the marine environment. CMRE is also hosting members of the Next Generation Autonomous Systems Joint Research Project from Italy, Norway, Canada, Germany, USA, and Great Britain.

CMRE is performing experimentation with an autonomous collaborative ASW network using autonomous underwater and surface vehicles (AUVs and ASVs), with the Ocean Explorer AUV performing detections, and the Wave Glider, a wave-power operated unmanned surface vehicle, acting as a communications gateway. The NGAS partners study autonomous detection and tracking using deployable bottom nodes.

This experiment represents a valuable opportunity for CMRE and its NGAS partners to test cutting-edge ASW systems against a realistic target. It is also an occasion to see how new advances in research and technology, such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and bottom sensors, can be applied to NATO missions in the future.

In the last three years, CMRE (formerly called NURC) has participated in national experimentation with the Italian Navy during GLINT-NGAS11 and COLLAB13, as well as participating in two NATO Proud Manta ASW exercises in Sicily and in recent national experimentation with the Portuguese Navy near Lisbon, demonstrating cutting edge autonomous ASW network technology.

The COLLAB/NGAS14 experiment is conducted from and supported by the 93-metre NATO Research Vessel ALLIANCE, the only ship jointly owned by all NATO nations. The Centre’s 29-metre Coastal Research Vessel Leonardo, operated by the Italian Navy, is also engaging in limited activities during the experiment.


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