An Experimental Approach To The Challenges Of Mission Planning For Collaborative Maritime Autonomy

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Jon Downes
Stephen Turnock
Son Hoang
Ben Pritchard


It is expected that a key part of a future with increasing use of maritime autonomous systems, will require collaborative and integrated approaches to working. How such approaches can be developed and tested was the focus of the Integrated Mission Management System 2019 (IMMS2019) project.  The immediate objective was to experimentally demonstrate the ability of a single mission management system to control a fleet of heterogeneous, multi-domain autonomous platforms whereby their collaborative mission could be planned, verified, and delivered.  To challenge the various spatial-temporal-energetic-communication-environmental constraints when operating such a fleet, real-world demonstration trials were carried out in Plymouth sound deployed from the Thales Maritime Autonomy Centre at Turnchapel Wharf.  The trials were focussed on providing essential information into how such collaborations can be best executed, alongside invaluable lessons as to how existing platforms need to enhance their interoperability and in particular, robustness of communications and mission plans.

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