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Rockwell Developments Focus On Needs Of Next Century

Rockwell's Dolphin semisubmersible is on unmanned vehicle of use for remote minehunting, and for hydrographic research in the oceanographic community. The Dolphin is self-contained and uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology for autonomous navigation.

Rockwell announced that successful demonstrations by the U.S. Navy of the Remote Minehunting Operation Prototype (RMOP) have proven its Dolphin semisubmersible vehicle (pictured) offers a cost-effective, quickreaction robotic capability to conduct exploratory mine reconnaissance for both open and littoral environments.

The Program Executive Officer for Mine Warfare through the Naval Sea Systems Command issued, in February 1994, a Basic Ordering Agreement to Rockwell's Autonetics Electronic Systems Division. Under the agreement, Rockwell was tasked with the following upgrades to the Dolphin system: control radios; navigation and control using GPS; and command and control software. Also included in the agreement was the design, manufacture, integration and demonstration of a Dolphin keel winch system for deploying, retrieving and docking the bottom imaging sonar.

In addition to mine reconnaissance capabilities, Rockwell's Dolphin system can be applied to a variety of military and non-military applications, including electronic warfare, conducting hydrographic surveys of the sea floor, fish stock assessment, geophysical survey, offshore seismic sensor deployment, and characterizing the acoustic and optical properties of the ocean. The Dolphin systems, which use non-developmental item/commercial-off-the-shelf(NDI/COTS) mature products and proven technologies, are reportedly easily configured for a specific mission and can be deployed by road, rail, air or sea.

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