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Unmanned Vessel Provides Real-time Detection in Harbors and Ports

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Unmanned Vessel Provides Real-time Detection in
Harbors and Ports
Submerged debris and turbid water conditions can make it difficult
to assess threats to ports and harbors after catastrophic natural or
man-made disasters. It can take days or weeks to clear a port for
operations after a disaster.
To assist, the Center for Maritime, Island and Remote and Extreme
Environment Security (MIREES) at the University of Hawaii (UH), a
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology
(S&T) Center of Excellence, has worked with the U.S. Coast Guard
(USCG) and the State of Hawaii Harbors Division of the Department
of Transportation to develop the 
Unmanned Port Security Vessel
. The UPSV integrates multiple sensors for rapid inspection of
debris and water conditions in shallow water and port environments.
Cost-effective Technology that Supports
Multiple Missions
The low-cost, easily deployable UPSV can map and survey a port or
waterway and provide crucial information within minutes to hours,
rapidly identifying subsurface hazards. UPSV provides real-time,
actionable data that enables harbor managers to more efficiently
direct the use of maintenance personnel and commercial divers
to specific areas that need closer inspection. This minimizes boat
expenses and on-water personnel time.
USCG, harbor masters, and commercial port operators can use the
UPSV to conduct multiple missions including:

Routine subsurface surveys of ports and harbors, including
inspection of infrastructure above and below the water line

  Underwater change detection and threat assessments for piers,
pilings, and the harbor seafloor

  Post-disaster damage assessments for the recovery of
port operations 

UPSV Performance Capabilities

Automated or line-of-sight navigation via GPS-enabled, remote
command and control

  Quick disassembly/assembly for helicopter transport and rapid
deployment (one-hour breakdown and set-up time) by a two- to
three-person support team

  Multiple integrated sensors (e.g., high-resolution bathymetry
sonars, high-definition video, low-light and infrared cameras,
chemical sensors)

UPSV Physical and Performance Specifications

Twin-hull catamaran

  6.6 feet long, 5 feet wide, 160 pounds

  Top speed is 5 knots; six hours continuous survey at 3 knots

  220 pounds of additional payload capacity

  Real-time communication via 900 MHz wireless with a range of
more than 5 miles

  Hot-swappable propulsion batteries

Next Steps
UH and Battelle, a nonprofit research and development organization,
recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Through
this MOU, UH and Battelle are working to identify technology transition
pathways and commercialization opportunities for the UPSV.