SUMMARY: ViDAR is proving to be an extremely effective tool for helping to protect naval forces at sea. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with ViDAR payloads have proven their value during exercises with the Royal Navy.
PROBLEM: Protecting seaborne assets from other seaborne threats remains a priority for naval forces around the world. Small craft represent a new type of threat due to their compact size which can make them difficult to detect. New technologies must be implemented to help protect ships, boats, and submarines from attack via other small vessels.
SOLUTION: A Insitu ScanEagle UAV with a Sentient ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging) payload consistently demonstrated its ability to autonomously detect small objects on the surface of the ocean and over a wide coverage area.
The UAV package flew a combined 55 hours of operations over the course of the exercise detecting a range of targets including rubber boats and personal watercraft out past 5 NM, naval vessels at 10 NM, Fast Attack Craft (FAC) beyond 13 NM, and a freighter beyond 30 NM.
Detection of the FAC provided the naval Captain 30 minutes of advanced notice before the attack, and looks to be a game changer for naval force protection