Assigning Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) to mine detection operations
Diaz, J. Enrique Reyes
Dell, Robert F.
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In an era when mines are inexpensive and easily accessible, present mine detection and area reconnaissance capabilities are insufficient to enable unencumbered maneuver in the littoral regions. Unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) possess potential to provide tactical commanders with full understanding of the mine threat without risk to ships or personnel and without exposing intentions. By integrating an assortment of emerging capabilities, a system comprised of a variety of UUVs could address this mine threat. This thesis develops and implements the Mine Reconnaissance System Assessment (MiRSA) model, a mixed integer-linear program, to assign a mix of UUVs to search areas within a suspected minefield. Using unclassified UUV performance estimates, this thesis compares combinations of two Long-term Mine Reconnaissance System (LMRS) vehicles, six Remote Environmental Monitoring Units (REMUS) vehicles, and a notional Manta vehicle. For a 262 square nautical mile area in the Straits of Hormuz, MiRSA finds the two LMRS vehicles can complete a 95% confidence level search in 91 hours, the Manta vehicle can complete the search in 130 hours, and the two LMRS vehicles with Manta employed optimally together require only 52 hours. For an exhaustive search, times rise sharply: Manta operating alone requires 1,004 hours and optimal employment of the two LMRS, six REMUS, and Manta vehicles finish the search in 384 hours.
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