Mitigation of USV Motions via Wave Sensing and Prediction

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-10-M-0278
Agency Tracking Number: N10A-036-0550
Amount: $99,336.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: N10A-T036
Solicitation Number: 2010.A
Small Business Information
3 Bridge St, Suite B100, Newton, MA, 02458
DUNS: 050459606
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Mrovillo
 President
 (617) 527-8600
 rmorvillo@vcinc.com
Business Contact
 Robert Morvillo
Title: President
Phone: (617) 527-8600
Email: rmorvillo@vcinc.com
Research Institution
 MIT
 Dick K.P. Yue
 Center of Ocean Engineering
Dept of Mech Engr, Rm 5-321
Cambridge, MA, 2139
 (617) 253-6823
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
A boat’s coxswain is adept at analyzing the wave environment, adjusting the craft’s propulsion system and control surfaces to mitigate its motions and reduce the chance of capsizing. There is a significant predictive component in the coxswain’s control decisions. Unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) lack the benefit of a highly trained coxswain reading and predicting oncoming waves - existing autonomous control systems are not aware of the wavefield, nor are they capable of combining near and far wave field information with current information about the craft in order to make adjustments to the propulsion system and control surfaces. This makes the USV susceptible to excessive shocks and motions, which may degrade mission performance, or capsizing. The proposed effort will develop a motion mitigation system including wave sensing and characterization, USV motion prediction, and vessel control for USVs. The system builds upon successful past and current research and development in using wave sensing data, advanced hydrodynamics for wave field reconstruction and vessel dynamics, and vessel control systems in improving steering and motion control of USVs in high sea states.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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