Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has unveiled a new unmanned surface vessel (USV) in the US as a demonstrator for government and commercial applications
HII outfitted an 8.2-m Proteus USV with Sea Machines Robotics’ SM300 autonomy system to trial its autonomous operations off the coast of Panama City, Florida on 14 May. Proteus will be used to test and develop autonomy capabilities in different scenarios and applications.
“This marks a significant milestone in our commitment to advancing our unmanned systems capabilities and our continued partnership with Sea Machines to further develop USV solutions for our customers,” said HII technical solutions division’s president of the unmanned systems business group, Duane Fotheringham.
“Our Proteus USV performed exactly as expected with the SM300 system’s proven and safe autonomous capability.” During trials, Proteus USV demonstrated its collision avoidance capabilities in different missions, said Mr Fotheringham.
HII’s Proteus USV was equipped with commercial perception sensors including GPS, automatic identification system, depth transducer, radar and a camera enabling a 360° field of view.
In addition, HII deployed a SM300 system on a 15.5-m dive boat to demonstrate its obstacle avoidance capability and adherence to the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea.
“Our autonomy systems are built around core principles of capability, reliability and ease of use,” said Sea Machines chief executive Michael Johnson.
“This initial Proteus USV demonstration proved the SM300 system performs as promised, and we look forward to our continued partnership with HII supporting current and coming 21st century-operational requirements on water.”
HII intends to use the Proteus USV to continue development of autonomy capabilities and sensor fusion to support the evolving needs of government and commercial requirements.
An SM300 system can be outfitted to ocean-capable vessels to enable scalable autonomy, from remotely controlled to fully autonomous vessel operations.
HII announced its minority share investment in Sea Machines in July 2020.
Sea Machines has supplied SM300 and SM200 systems to vessels including tugs in the US.
Shipping companies such as Neste, Dorian LPG, P&O Maritime Logistics and PSA Marine will explain their investments in energy optimisation, voyage planning and internet of things during Riviera Maritime Media’s Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week, 24-27 May.