U.S. Navy Completes UUV Test

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The fast-attack submarine USS Scranton (SSN 756) successfully demonstrated homing and docking of an Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) system during at-sea testing in January 2006, UVOnline.com reported. The two UUVs used in the testing are a part of the AN/BLQ-11 Long Term Mine Reconnaissance System (LMRS), which was designed to enable submarines to conduct clandestine undersea surveys to locate mines. Repeated homing tests were conducted with slightly different configurations to assess the ability of a UUV to dock with a torpedo-tube-mounted recovery system. The final result was the first successful docking of the LMRS vehicle to a submerged submarine at-sea. The LMRS test demonstrated technologies possible from completely autonomous UUVs. Once launched, there are no wires connecting them to the submarine. The UUVs can monitor and control their position using sophisticated inertial navigation systems and GPS receivers. Forward and side scanning sonars enable obstacle avoidance, and communications are accomplished via acoustic and UHF satellite communications systems. Several critical lessons were learned during these tests, including management of the interaction that occurs when a UUV comes very close and then docks to a submerged submarine, the integration of UUV systems within the submarine and the performance of UUV acoustic communication and homing systems. (Source: UVOnline.com)

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