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Office of Naval Research, University Partner to Build USV Platform for Coastal Security

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The U.S. Navy‘s Office of Naval Research will collaborate with Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science to develop an autonomous unmanned marine vehicle intended for coastal security operations.

FAU will conduct a five-year research project that aims to produce unmanned surface vehicles that would function as base ships for smaller unmanned underwater and aerial vehicles as part of a $1.25 million grant from ONR, the university said May 23.

Manhar Dhanak, an FAU professor, will lead a team to create tools for multi-sensor perception; collision avoidance; simultaneous localization and mapping; and improved low-level control in austere weather.

The university noted that a SLAM algorithm will offer a situational awareness world map designed to manage the USV’s navigation and route planning functions.

Dhanak’s team will consist of engineers, a post-doctoral associate and students from SeaTech - The Institute for Ocean and Systems Engineering under FAU’s Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering.

Resulting vehicles effort could aid in coastal surveillance operations and training for ocean engineering students, the university added.

The team will work with the university’s Naval Engineering Education Consortium program that uses UUVs to detect objects situated on the bottom of the ocean.

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