Unmanned systems continue to deliver new and enhanced battlefield capabilities to the warfighter. While the demand for unmanned systems continues unabated today, a number of factors will influence unmanned program development in the future. Three primary forces are driving the Department of Defense’s (DoD) approach in planning for and developing unmanned systems.
1. Combat operations in Southwest Asia have demonstrated the military utility of unmanned systems on today’s battlefields and have resulted in the expeditious integration of unmanned technologies into the joint force structure. However, the systems and technologies currently fielded to fulfill today’s urgent operational needs must be further
expanded (as described in this Roadmap) and appropriately integrated into Military Department programs of record (POR) to achieve the levels of effectiveness, efficiency, affordability, commonality, interoperability, integration, and other key parameters needed to meet future operational requirements.
2. Downward economic forces will continue to constrain Military Department budgets for the foreseeable future. Achieving affordable and cost-effective technical solutions is imperative in this fiscally constrained environment.
3. The changing national security environment poses unique challenges. A strategic shift in national security to the Asia-Pacific Theater presents different operational considerations based on environment and potential adversary capabilities that may require unmanned systems to operate in anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) areas where freedom to operate is contested. Similarly, any reallocation of unmanned assets to support other combatant commanders (CCDRs) entails its own set of unique challenges, which will likely require unmanned systems to operate in more complex environments involving weather, terrain, distance, and airspace while necessitating extensive coordination with allies and host nations.
The combination of these primary forces requires further innovative technical solutions that are effective yet affordable for program development. The purpose of this Roadmap is to articulate a vision and strategy for the continued development, production, test, training, operation, and sustainment of unmanned systems technology across DoD. This “Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap” establishes a technological vision for the next 25 years and outlines actions and technologies for DoD and industry to pursue to intelligently and affordably align with this vision.More
|Guidance for Developing Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS) Capability|
This guidance aims to inform the capability development of Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS), broadening beyond that currently being exploited by UAV into Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) and Underwater Surface Vehicles (USV). It covers likely attributes and tasks for MUS, and discusses some of the challenges in developing this capability.
An MUS is defined as an Unmanned System operating in the maritime environment (subsurface, surface, air) whose primary component is at least one unmanned vehicle. A UUV is defined as a self-propelled submersible whose operation is either fully autonomous (pre-programmed or real-time adaptive mission control) or under minimal supervisory control. They are further sub-divided in 4 vehicles classes (man-portable, Light Weight Vehicle (LWV) Heavy Weight Vehicle (HWV), Large Vehicle Class (LVC).
An USV is defined as a self-propelled surface vehicle whose operation is either fully autonomous (pre-programmed or real-time adaptive mission control) or under minimal supervisory control. They are further sub-divided in 4 vehicles classes (X-Class, Harbour Class, Snorkeler Class, Fleet Class).More
This document provides a DoD vision for the continuing development, fielding, and employment of unmanned systems technologies. Since publication of the last DoD Roadmap in 2009, the military Services have released individual Service roadmaps or related strategy documents. This roadmap defines a common vision, establishes the current state of unmanned systems in today’s force, and outlines a strategy for the common challenges that must be addressed to achieve the shared vision.
The challenges facing all military Services in the Department include:
1) Interoperability: To achieve the full potential of unmanned systems, these systems must operate seamlessly across the domains of air, ground, and maritime and also operateseamlessly with manned systems. Robust implementation of interoperability tenets will contribute to this goal while also offering the potential for significant life-cycle cost savings.
2) Autonomy: Today’s iteration of unmanned systems involves a high degree of human interaction. DoD must continue to pursue technologies and policies that introduce a higher degree of autonomy to reduce the manpower burden and reliance on full-time high-speed communications links while also reducing decision loop cycle time. The introduction of increased unmanned system autonomy must be mindful of affordability, operational utilities, technological developments, policy, public opinion, and their associated constraints.
3) Airspace Integration (AI): DoD must continue to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have routine access to the appropriate airspace needed within the National Airspace System (NAS) to meet training and operations requirements. Similar efforts must be leveraged for usage of international airspace.
4) Communications: Unmanned systems rely on communications for command and control (C2) and dissemination of information. DoD must continue to address frequency and bandwidth availability, link security, link ranges, and network infrastructure to ensure availability for operational/mission support of unmanned systems. Planning and budgeting for UAS Operations must take into account realistic assessments of projected SATCOM bandwidth, and the community must move toward onboard pre-processing to pass only critical information.
5) Training: An overall DoD strategy is needed to ensure continuation and Joint training requirements are in place against which training capabilities can be assessed. Such a strategy will improve basing decisions, training standardization, and has the potential to promote common courses resulting in improved training effectiveness and efficiency.
6) Propulsion and Power: The rapid development and deployment of unmanned systems has resulted in a corresponding increased demand for more efficient and logistically supportable sources for propulsion and power. In addition to improving system effectiveness, these improvements have the potential to significantly reduce life-cycle costs.
7) Manned-Unmanned (MUM) Teaming: Today’s force includes a diverse mix of manned and unmanned systems. To achieve the full potential of unmanned systems, DoD must continue to implement technologies and evolve tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) that improve the teaming of unmanned systems with the manned force.
This Roadmap leverages individual Service roadmaps and visions, and identifies challenges that might stand in the way of maturing those visions to a shared Joint vision. The vignettes provided at the beginning of the Roadmap give the reader a glimpse into potential unmanned systems capabilities. They do not serve as requirements—the individual Services will continue to identify requirements gaps and utilize the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) to determine which requirements to fund. The chapters that follow the vignettes identify core areas that are challenges for further growth in unmanned systems and chart out science,
technology, and policy paths that will enable unmanned systems to fulfill an expanding role in supporting the warfighter. Success in each of these areas is critical to achieve DoD’s shared vision and realize the full potential of unmanned systems at an affordable cost.
Current Staus of US Navy’a Unmmaned Maritime Systems Program Office PMS 406. Presented at the 17th Unmanned Untethered Submersible Technology Conference in Portsmouth NH on 22 August 2011.More
We’ve made good use of shallow water mine hunting systems in the vicinity of Iraq and the waterways there as we participated with our Iraqi friends in opening up the waterways and the harbors that are absolutely critical to their economic viability.
We’ve also used them extensively in underwater searches, for example a helicopter off the coast of San Diego. I also had the great pleasure of going to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and seeing the work that they’re doing there and how they used leading edge technology to find the flight data recorders from the Air France flight that disappeared in mid-ocean without any specific locating information. We were able to use those systems in that regard.
Then of course our oceanographic community is using gliders in very extensive ways that are increasing our awareness of the underwater battle space.
But even with all of that I think it’s true to say, and I won’t sugarcoat anything, that many of our unmanned systems still operate on the periphery of naval operations. Indeed, I would say many of all of the unmanned systems operate on the periphery of all of the operations which we conduct. They clearly are not optimally integrated into our ships, into our squadrons, and into our concepts of operation. But I think that the pace of development, the culture that we tend to have within the military, indeed within any large organization, and the need to this point are why we have not seen that optimal integration. Those are the three things that in my time in doing this I’ve seen as the impediments.
But I do believe as I alluded to earlier, that the growing anti-access area denial capabilities that we see coming on, the importance of the activity in the undersea domain will cause us to have to focus and to put more energy and more purpose into bringing the systems to bear because, quite frankly, we don’t have the time to let things languish along and find their way into our operations at a comfortable pace.
We also can’t allow the work that we do, the experimentation that we do, the research that we do with unmanned systems, to be viewed solely as an unmanned problem. That was one of the reasons, the main reason, indeed, why we pushed the early deployments of some of our systems. Because while we can go ahead and look at the technological needs that we need and look at how well does the system itself work, it is so important and so important to me that we get these systems in the hands of the operators so that they can blend them into the operations and into the environments and learn from that because there’s an operational level of learning that has to go on in addition to the technical level of learning.
I also believe that we don’t have time to treat how we think about and how we move information around as an afterthought to the system. That has to be part of the architecture which we envision and that we reimagine how these systems are going to play into the battle space. And from the outset, I have always believed that it’s not a question of unmanned systems and manned systems and how do we program for and buy and develop and research in those two individual lanes. For me it’s been an issue of looking at the battlespace in which we will operate and then looking at the optimal blend of manned and unmanned and how does each complement the other and not take away from the other. Those are the things that we have to think about.
So our approach has been one that has looked at unmanned systems that allows us to move forward with systems and concepts and ideas that have a great deal of commonality, but then that we can take some of that and tailor it off and perform a certain mission. Whether that’s in the Large Diameter Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV), the Persistent Littoral Undersea Surveillance System, and some of the air independent propulsion work that we’re doing, I think that that allows us to take some of those systems that have broad commonality, but then we can also parse them down into the needs that the operators may have.More
The Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Master Plan Update, chartered in December 2003 by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy and OPNAV N77 (Submarine Warfare Division), expands on the missions and technologies recommended in the Navy UUV Master Plan of April 2000. Using Sea Power 21 for guidance, nine Sub-Pillar capabilities were identified and prioritized:
To realize these capabilities, a number of programmatic recommendations were made: