Unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) are controlled remotely- the controller does not need to be in or near the vehicle. Autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) however, are self-sufficient and once they have been deployed do not require any operator intervention.
USVs and ASVs can be utilised widely in the marine sector from research and environmental monitoring programmes to naval and defence applications. USVs have a relatively long lifespan and can be deployed in a wide range of challenging environments without risk to humans and could be used to take large and potentially hazardous loads. The benefits provided will likely result in an expansion in marine autonomous and unmanned systems across multiple marine disciplines.
Recently, there has also been a growing interest in the use of monitoring drones, programmed to follow commercial shipping traffic and measure pollution levels. This has increasing interest from naval institutes that want to invest in the development of vehicles for observation, logistics and warfare purposes.
This Special Interest Group will establish a functioning programme that looks at early stage research and technologies that can be used in defence, energy, and oceanography (US led) and in the skills needs for this emerging area (Europe led).