Coordinated guidance strategy for multiple USVs during maritime interdiction operations
See, Hongze Alex
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In the past few decades, various emerging and increasing threats in the maritime domain have posed a great challenge to the Coast Guard worldwide. Currently, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) seeks to tackle this problem using unmanned technologies and applications. In particular, unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) seem to be a good solution contributing to successful maritime interdiction missions. The strategy would be to surround the target to restrict its further maneuver. In this case, a coordinated control of the intercept time and terminal angle attitude become the two main characteristics of the intercept mission. This thesis addresses exactly this problem. It uses a systems engineering approach to analyze the problem and comes up with the best solution, which happens to be a coordinated trajectory-shaping guidance strategy involving multiple USV pursuers. The corresponding algorithms were developed and tested for different engagement geometries through a series of computer simulations. Further verification was carried out using a three-dimensional dynamic robot simulator to study the different effects while implementing the developed algorithms on an onboard autopilot. Overall, this thesis proves that using USVs with the appropriate intercept guidance for maritime interdiction missions is a viable alternative/complement to the current operations involving only manned vessels.
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