zoom CCD or IR sensor. ScanEagle was designed with removable avionics bay and two expansion slots allowing seamless payload integration. Scan Eagle can easily provide high-bandwidth persistent communication linkage between UUV mobile nodes, maritime patrol aircraft (e.g. P-8A), surface ships, and submarines. UDNS Evolution Opportunities Since existing Boeing unmanned vehicle assets are well suited as UDNS mobile nodes, near term fleet UDNS experimentation is feasible. One candidate experiment would be a variant of battle space preparation. A notional CONOPS (Figure 0?1) might include an AN/BLQ-11 and an Echo Ranger, each configured with SECNET 801.11 RF communication and acoustic mine detection/classification payloads. The Echo Ranger would also be configured with a number of deployable acoustic sensors. Initially, the AN/BLQ-11 would be deployed in a littoral zone, while the Echo Ranger would be deployed in an adjacent deep ocean zone. A Scan Eagle would be maintained in high altitude orbit to provide Echo Ranger C2, mission tasking, mine detection/classification RF data uplink with an IRIDIUM OTH relay to a surface ship, submarine, or maritime patrol & reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA). AN/BLQ-11 and Echo Ranger could rendezvous underwater to exchange data and tasking assignments via ACOMM. After Echo Ranger completes the mine detection/classification task over its assigned area, it could be re-tasked by to transit toward shore and covertly deploy bottom-sitting or mobile sensors to provide an acoustic tripwire outside a harbor. Obviously, the key requirements identified previously for unmanned vehicles to support UDNS are important for this CONOPS to succeed. In particular, full autonomy, accurate navigation, and large payload capacity, and long endurance are critical. UUVs have the ability to be deployed clandestinely close-in or at a stand-off range from submarine, surface ship, or shore base. When deployed at stand-off range, the UUV has the ability to clandestinely enter a denied area carrying organic sensors or deployable sensors. The use of Scan Eagle or another UAV as a high-bandwidth OTH relay node is essential to minimize UUV time on surface, away from its main tasking. In the future, we envision that the Boeing P-8A Poseidon, with its wide spectrum of FORCEnet-compliant communication interfaces, will provide the ASW command and control to manage multiple unmanned vehicles, sensors, and communications associated with UDNS. The P-8A would deploy an airwww.seadiscovery.com launched UAV from a stand-off range to provide the relay node function for submarine/ship-deployed UUVs and associated sensors. We envision that the P-8A could also air-launch UUVs having an Mk50 form factor to augment UUVs launched from submarine and surface ship. The P8A provides conventional sonobuoy and ASW weapons (e.g. Mk54 torpedoes) to complete the UDNS ASW endgame. Scan Eagle coming in for a boat capture. Marine Technology Reporter 41
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