The Next Frontier for Defense Drones may be the World’s Oceans

“Blue Tech for the maritime defense sector feels like where Clean Tech was a decade ago,” said Greg Murphy, executive director of The Maritime Alliance, a San Diego trade group for the Blue Tech industry. “There is momentum. The Navy is increasingly using autonomous systems, and the large defense contractors are starting to buy up smaller Blue Tech companies that are developing systems.”      

Navy Plans “Simpler Truck” for its Unmanned CounterMine Mission

The U.S. Navy still plans to hunt for maritime mines using autonomous craft but the service likely will attack the problem from a different angle, says Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations.

U.S. Navy to Rely on Boeing and Lockheed Martin to develop Extra Large AUV

The US Navy has awarded defence companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin contracts to develop a large submersible dubbed the Orca Extra-Large Unmanned Underwater vehicle (XLUUV). This contract will have the two companies develop all the required data for the project. Lockheed Martin has been given $43.2m (£32.7m) and Boeing $42.3m to design their own versions of Orca. One of them will win the contract and deliver five prototypes to the Navy for testing by 2020, says the report.

US Navy Creates Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron

The establishment of the Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron (UUVRON) 1, was announced and shows “the Navy’s commitment to the future of unmanned systems and undersea combat” US Navy Creates Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron

U.S. Navy Racing to Test & Field Unmanned Maritime Vehicles

The Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office is testing as many unmanned vehicles – both programs of record and prototypes alike – as fast as it can to learn lessons and field systems to the fleet. In this article, Capt. Jon Rucker, the unmanned maritime systems program manager (PMS 406) within the Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships said he’s pushed to develop unmanned maritime systems and integrate them into how the Navy operates. Navy Racing to Test, Field Unmanned Maritime Vehicles for Future Ships

Lockheed Martin Venture Unit Invests in Underwater Drone Company Ocean Aero

Lockheed’s technology investment unit, Lockheed Martin Ventures, announced Friday that it is backing a San Diego-based company called Ocean Aero, which makes various classes of seafaring drones, termed unmanned underwater vehicles, or UUV’s. The size and terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the venture unit typically makes investments of between $1 million and $5 million.

Industry M&A – L3 Acquires Adaptive Methods

L3 Technologies has acquired undersea technology manufacturer Adaptive Methods to further build a portfolio in the unmanned and anti-submarine warfare domains. Terms of the transaction completed on Sept. 8 were undisclosed. Adaptive Methods will join L3’s sensor systems segment and will be renamed L3 Adaptive Methods. This is L3’s third acquisition in the last five months of a company with a footprint in the unmanned undersea market. L3 purchased drone maker OceanServer in April and added battery and energy technology company Open Water Power in May.    

Drones & Robots are Taking over Industrial Inspection

Avitas Systems, a Boston-based GE subsidiary, is taking advantage of advances in AI which allow them to use drones and robots to autonomously inspect pipelines, power lines, and transportation systems. The company is using off-the-shelf machine-learning technology from Nvidia to guide the checkups, and to automatically identify anomalies in the data collected.

AWI Retrieves Its Underwater Robot After Year Long Mission

Deep-sea researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have recovered the underwater robot Tramper, which had been taking measurements at a depth of 2435 metres for nearly 60 weeks – the first long-term mission involving a crawler under the Arctic sea ice. AWI Retrieves Its Underwater Robot After Year-Long Mission

AUV Finds Long Lost USS Indianapolis

A team piloting Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s research vessel, the R/V Petrel, has found the wreck of the USS Indianapolis at the bottom of the Philippine Sea. The USS Indianapolis played an important role in WWII history, including the delivery of parts for the atomic bombs that would eventually drop on Japan. Its wreck has remained elusive despite multiple expeditions over the past 72 years. The Petrel relied on an autonomous underwater vehicle that could dive roughly 18,000 feet below the water and hunt about 600 square miles using sonar and bathymetry.

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