US: Leidos has completed a total of 42 days of at-sea demonstrations of the prototype maritime autonomous system designed to control all of the maneuvering and mission functions of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV). Using a 32-foot work boat as a surrogate vessel, Leidos installed autonomy software and sensors to mimic the configuration intended for an eventual full-size ACTUV prototype.
Manned vessels are obliged to obey a set of navigation rules published by the International Maritime Organisation. Generally referred to as COLREGS (collision regulations), those rules determine in the event of an encounter between vessels, which vessel has the right of way (the ‘stand on’ vessel) and the appropriate behavior for both the ‘stand on’ and ‘give way’ vessel to avoid a collision. According to the company’s press release, the Leidos strategy to evaluate the prototype ACTUV autonomy system for COLREGS compliance includes both simulation and at-sea testing. The team has completed approximately 26,000 simulation runs of the system. Testing of COLREGS involves the ACTUV surrogate and one interfering vessel in a variety of meeting, crossing, overtaking and transit scenarios in both simulation and on the water test events.