A systems engineering analysis of unmanned maritime systems for U.S. Coast Guard missions
Zorn, James B.
Chung, Timothy H.
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The U.S. Coast Guard is uniquely suited to utilize multi-mission unmanned maritime systems (UMS) to maintain its leading role in maritime safety, security and stewardship. Current UMS technological capabilities coupled with USCG mission needs motivate an analysis of proposed USCG UMS through a systems engineering methodology. This work begins by decomposing the capability needs for USCG UMS by developing a series of concepts of operations (CONOPS) in a “solution neutral” context. Following capabilities analysis, multi-mission commonalities help derive three USCG UMS alternatives: (1) Cutter-Based Tactical UUV, (2) Shore-Based Harbor/Coastal UUV/USV, and (3) Operational Offshore USV. These alternatives and their respective system architectures provide a design concept for near- to mid-term (5-10 year) acquisition. Finally, feasibility analysis reviews key system enablers (such as technology, capability, policy, and supportability and manpower) for the alternatives to justify a realistic integration timeline. Recommendations for technology investments, enhanced UMS partnerships, USCG unmanned system policies and organizational knowledge are provided to reduce delays and to accelerate delivery of needed capabilities to the field. This study lays the foundation for future strategic planning of USCG UMS (i.e., a USCG UMS Roadmap) while providing additional motivation for USCG unmanned systems in general.
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