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Charles River Analytics to Develop AI-Powered Navigational System for USV; Drew Housten Quoted

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Charles River Analytics has secured a contract from the U.S. Navy to develop an onboard artificial intelligence system designed to ensure navigation safety of uncrewed surface vehicles.

CRA said Tuesday it will build the Management of Intelligent Navigation for Condition-based Ocean Safe Transit platform to help USVs autonomously identify risks of exposure and adapt to their surroundings under the $600,000 contract award.

MIN-COST utilizes real-time sensor data and forecasting models to create behavior tables of recommended tactics and determine the most appropriate response to potential threats to the USV.

CRA will use the contract funds to integrate the optimization algorithms and behavior-based autonomy engine it developed during the first phase of the project into a full-scale prototype.

“MIN-COST’s adaptability and versatility make it a critical technology for the rapidly growing industry of uncrewed marine vehicles,” said Drew Housten, senior software engineer at CRA and principal investigator for the project.

Houston also envisions that Navy and commercial vessels will increase dependence on AI systems over the next 10 years.

”To navigate safely, these systems will need to make decisions autonomously when communication with human operators isn’t possible,” he said.