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Monitoring Maritime Conditions with Unmanned Systems During Trident Warrior 2013

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Journal Article

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Naval Research Laboratory Stennis Space Center United States

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Before predicting future conditions in the maritime environment, we must sense what the ocean is doing now. Humans perceive the environment through our senses comparable perception is also becoming available in autonomous observing platforms. These can feel the warmth of the ocean, taste its saltiness, and see and hear changes in light and sound. Ocean forecasts are improved through the assimilation of these data our challenge is efficiently obtaining observations and using them in ways that have the greatest impact. NRL researchers teamed with other Navy and academic institutions to address this challenge under the aegis of Julys Trident Warrior 2013 TW13 exercise off the Virginia shore. TW13 hosted deployments of two types of unmanned ocean observing platforms undersea ocean gliders Slocum and Spray models to see, feel, and taste visibility, temperature, and salinity and surface wave gliders Sensor Hosting Autonomous Remote Craft or SHARC model that emit sounds and listen for reflected changes in response to ocean currents. Experiments tested how to guide, adapt, and use observations from these unmanned underwater UUV and surface USV vehicles. The observations were supplemented with traditional in situ and satellite measurements for assimilation into real-time forecasts of the maritime environment relevant for antisubmarine and mine warfare ASWMIW.

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