skip to main content

L3 ASV, Dstl complete autonomous recce missions at ‘Autonomous Warrior'

Autonomous maritime systems house L3 ASV has revealed testing of an experimental unmanned craft fitted out with advanced autonomous navigation as part of the ‘Autonomous Warrior 18’ showcase event in Jervis Bay, Australia.

MAST-9 was tested as part of ‘Autonomous Warrior 18’. (L3 ASV)

MAST-9 was tested as part of ‘Autonomous Warrior 18’. (L3 ASV)

Tested in support of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the 9 m Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed craft, known as MAST-9, was tasked to perform a series of reconnaissance, interdiction, and patrol missions.

Designed and built by L3 ASV, MAST-9 used radar to provide situational awareness, making it possible to detect and avoid other vessels accordingly. The vessel operated in fully autonomous mode, including COLREG-aware collision avoidance, navigating the waterways at speeds of up to 40 kt for over 80 hours, across the two-week event. This aggregated to a distance of 1,380 km covered.

According to L3 ASV, the MAST-9 system completed about 100 tasks commanded from the Maritime Autonomous Platform Exploitation (MAPLE) command-and-control system. MAPLE is a Dstl project designed to demonstrate and de-risk the integration of multiple unmanned systems into future UK Royal Navy combat systems.

“Operational status and payload feedback were communicated to and from MAPLE using ASView, L3 ASV’s proprietary autonomous control system,” said the company, adding, “Using an optical and infrared camera, MAST-9 demonstrated high-speed inspection capability. The ASView control system allowed the remote mission commanders to track and follow target vessels for interdiction tasks.”

MAST-9 successfully executed seven different task types comprising loiter, shadow, interdict, survey, patrol, target tracking, and inspection during ‘Autonomous Warrior 18’. While manned vessels were forced to return to harbour at times owing to inclement weather, MAST-9 was able to continue persistent inspection and tracking at range, particularly in challenging environmental conditions.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...