Sensor system for autonomous marine craft

Posted on 15 Feb 2019 and read 1806 times
Sensor system for autonomous marine craftPlymouth-based MSubs (, a leading manufacturer of military submersibles, has installed a ‘game-changing’ sensor system with connected artificial-intelligence (AI) machine learning technology around Plymouth Sound, as part of a ‘vision’ to turn the city into a centre of excellence for maritime autonomy operations.

The network of cameras, radar scanners and other sensors will provide situational awareness and communications for unmanned vehicles operating out of the city’s harbour — and those using the nearby ranges at sea.

Data from the network is being collected and analysed by machine learning programmes by the growing AI team at MSubs (with the assistance of Thales UK and a US-based partner in the field of machine learning and AI).

The results of this work will be used for the AI system that will navigate the Mayflower Autonomous Ship across the Atlantic to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower sailing in 1620.

Brett Phaneuf, MSubs managing director, said: “Although our initial interest was in the application of AI to assist the military, our burgeoning relationship with Thales and our US-based AI partner has opened our minds to the innumerable potential uses of AI.

"With the expanding data collection facilities that we have in Plymouth Sound, we are well placed to lead the development of this game-changing technology.”

In October 2018, Thales announced that it was opening a maritime autonomy centre in Plymouth — with the aim of building relationships with industry and academia in order to operate unmanned vessels out of Plymouth Sound.

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