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Saab targets unmanned maritime market with Autonomous Ocean Core control system

Saab has developed the Autonomous Ocean Core to provide foundational capabilities for unmanned vessels, enabling customers to integrate additional functionality as desired. (Saab)

Saab is developing a new autonomy capability for small- and medium-sized vessels. The Autonomous Ocean Core (AOC) is designed to provide baseline autonomy, including vessel control, upon which an operator can build whatever additional capabilities they desire, Emil Jonze, chief engineer for AOC, told journalists at the Saab Kockums shipyard in Karlskrona in southern Sweden on 14 May.

The central control system is designed to be integrated with any vessel for military and civilian missions on or below the sea. An operator enters the parameters of the host vessel into the vessel motion control function to enable unmanned operation, according to the Saab website. The system is designed to conduct missions out of the box, whether an operator integrates additional functionality or not, Jonze said.

The system is designed to provide control throughout a mission, including safely departing and arriving at a pier, operating in a mission area, and coming alongside other vessels. It is intended to provide basic vessel capabilities for operators focused on other functionalities. Another goal is to ensure a good user experience with a safe and easy-to-use interface, Jonze said.

The AOC features an open architecture, enabling plug-and-play payload integration. It also enables software development kits (SDKs) that take advantage of the existing core capacities, including safety functions, to support the development of new capabilities, he said. The safety functions include protection from external forces that may try to seize control, Jonze said. Saab's capability packages and third-party functionalities can also be integrated.

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