Unmanned undersea vehicle undergoes U.S. Navy trials of hardware, softwareNews
August 12, 2022
NEWPORT, R.I. A U.S. Navy team led by staff of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport demonstrated an end-to-end intelligence preparation of the operational environment (IPOE) mission with the Snakehead large displacement unmanned undersea vehicle (LDUUV) prototype.
During the trial, the modular Snakehead UUV conducted a long-distance ingress, performed a sonar survey box, and then proceeded back to the test facility, which the Navy called a new milestone in total sortie endurance.
U.S. Navy information shows that the reconfigurable, multimission Snakehead LDUUV is deployable from submarines and surface ships and enables users to supply guidance and control, navigation, situational awareness, propulsion, maneuvering, and sensors in support of the IPOE mission. The Navy also touts Snakehead's innovation in the areas of hull materials, lithium-ion battery certification, advanced sensors, and launch and recovery from both submarines and surface vessels.
To date, Snakehead has conducted 155 in-water sorties and logged more than 78 hours of runtime while using a government-owned and -controlled modular open system architecture to include vehicle controller software; autonomy software; and command, control, and communications software -- TopsideC3 -- for mission planning, operations, and analysis. According to the U.S. Navy, the Snakehead team has conducted as much as 190 hours of simulations using full-up vehicle hardware-in-the-loop and software-in-the-loop simulation tools, with the intent of ensuring the software operates as intended and that mission parameters are set correctly and confirmed by the vehicle.