US: Leidos has begun construction on ACTUV (Autonomous Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) under a Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) programme for the design, development, and construction of a vessel originally conceived for an anti-submarine warfare mission. "ACTUV's advanced sensor technology should allow for continuous surveillance which, combined with the vessel architecture and design, is expected to provide autonomous safe navigation supporting Navy missions around the world," said John Fratamico, Leidos Group President. ACTUV carries other sensors and mission packages designed to allow it to conduct a variety of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and other alternate missions. With situational sensors that can ensure safe navigation, the ACTUV trimaran has electro optics, long range and short range radar.
"A cross-disciplinary Leidos team leveraged insights and innovation from across the organization to develop the concept of the autonomous unmanned vessel. It would help keep our troops out of harm's way and provide capability in more harsh environmental conditions for a longer period of time," added Fratamico.
Maritime and hydrodynamic engineers designed the platform, and scientists and experts designed autonomy for safe navigation, status and health reporting, and sensor control and processing. Analytics experts programmed the logic for identifying other vessels and predicting their behavior. Leidos received direction to start construction of the ACTUV from DARPA Programme Manager Scott Littlefield at the conclusion of a Production Readiness Review held in February. ACTUV is scheduled to be launched on the Columbia River in 2015.