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DHS, Partners Continue Autonomous Marine Vessel Evaluation

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Triton Autonomous Vehicle
Triton Autonomous Vehicle

A cross-sector evaluation team led by the Department of Homeland Security’s science and technology (DHS S&T) directorate expects to continue testing Ocean Aero-built autonomous marine vessels for the rest of summer.

The acceptance trials are part of a collaborative effort among eight organizations to demonstrate unmanned surface and underwater vehicles powered by solar or wind energy for maritime border security and law enforcement missions, DHS S&T said Wednesday.

Efforts are underway at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Marine Research Center to evaluate the navigation, surface and diving capabilities of six Triton vessels.

S&T collaborates with USM, Ocean Aero, Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs, the Naval Research Laboratory, the Pennsylvania State University’s Applied Research Laboratory and the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute in the testing program.

Ocean Aero developed the Triton system under a multimillion-dollar agreement with the directorate and delivered the first vessel to USM MRC in November 2020.

The directorate noted that offshore tests in Gulfport will continue into the early fall once NRL and ARL equip the watercraft with sensors.