SIS & MARTAC Collaboration

As part of SIS's continuing effort to improve and advance its autonomous systems, SIS worked extensively with Maritime Tactical Systems, Inc. (MARTAC) and their Man-Portable Tactical Autonomous System (MANTAS) Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) to provide intelligent autonomous control to their vessels. SIS engineers collaborated with MARTAC engineers to design the control interface between the SIS Autonomy System (SAS) and the MANTAS USVs. All of this work was done remotely, with the SIS team working out of our Virginia Beach, Virginia offices and the MANTAS team and vessels operating out of the MARTAC offices in Satellite Beach, Florida.

Once the interface was designed and thoroughly tested in simulation, the team commenced to prove the on-water operations, with SAS operating from Virginia Beach with a remote IP connection to the MANTAS craft operating in Florida, a distance of over 650 miles. Following the launch and stationing of four MANTAS craft, by MARTAC, using local Mission Control Consoles, control of the four vessels was transferred to SAS, which then directed them to arrange themselves into a formation for transit to a series of waypoints. During the transit, SAS optimized the route of each MANTAS to achieve both relative formation positioning and the most efficient path to the waypoint.

There are multiple applications of this technology to the Port Security and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission sets, providing platforms that are constantly vigilant while keeping humans out of harm's way. This type of cooperative autonomous control is completely new and revolutionary, and it allows teams of robots to work together intelligently in the same manner as their human counterparts, allowing for task completion even when faced with varying environmental and physical challenges or barriers.

The above effort was self-funded as part of each company's efforts to provide proven technology to our customers.


Video Timeline:

0:20 - Three of the vessels are making their way into formation for the transit, the wake of the fourth vessel is at the top

0:30 - SAS Command and Control panel in Virginia Beach showing two of the MANTAS coming online

0:45 - The four MANTAS being controlled in their Florida operating area on the left with the MANTAS Local MCC Control shown on the right (with camera link to the vessel)

0:55 - Four MANTAS heading into formation

1:10 - Four MANTAS in formation enroute to turnpoint

1:30 - Four MANTAS at the final destination. It is noted that upon arrival, as the craft speed is reduced and the wake is no longer evident, the craft effectively disappear on the quadcopter camera.