As part of the simulated demonstrations activities foreseen in the frame of the OCEAN2020 project, a final demonstration of our partner Safran activities on UAV mission autonomy was held on Monday 15th of February at Eragny R&D centre. The goal of this demonstration was to illustrate the concept of autonomous behaviour of a long-endurance maritime UAV through a representative scenario of the Safran Patroller™ UAS. This innovative concept proposed by Safran, called “Smart Mission”, relies on the capability for the UAS to autonomously manage its surveillance mission according to the real-time tactical situation. Based on automatic processing of its on-board multisensor payload data (radar, EO/IR and AIS), the UAS is able to analyse the maritime situation, modify its flight plan to focus on suspicious ships and monitor its payload to optimize the acquisition of intelligence information on specific targets of interest.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, this demonstration event could physically and safely take place in Safran premises with attendance of EDA and Leonardo representatives. The concept was demonstrated in a real Patroller UAS Ground Control Station connected to the Patroller training simulator, which had been modified to accommodate specific maritime scenarios.
During this realistic demonstration, a typical surveillance mission was performed and allowed to showcase several functional capabilities, including automatic flight plan definition, multisensor fusion of target tracks, automatic target selection according to criteria defined by the operator, dynamic replanning and automatic control of the air vehicle and its payload according to the evolution of the maritime situation.
This successful demonstration milestone illustrates the beneficial role of OCEAN2020 project in the display of innovative concepts of UAS autonomous operations.