Darpa is entering the second phase of its Unmanned Ship (Nomars) program, which aims to build a new unmanned surface ship that can operate for one year at sea. The next step will be to build and test the boat.
Darpa has announced that its autonomous boat program, Nomars (Manning Required Ship), has entered its second phase. The goal is to completely redesign ships to operate entirely without humans. Darpa plans to develop fleets of autonomous ships to enhance the US Navy.
The first stage was a concept selection and Serco was the winner. The British company developed DSX (Design Space Exploration), a software solution that can take into account various parameters to create a large number of ship designs. The results were then refined to arrive at a single proposal, called the Defiant.
The ship will last one year without maintenance
Defiant will be a Musv class (medium unmanned surface ship) 210 ton boat. The device must be able to operate permanently at sea without any crew, automatic replenishment and maintenance during long missions.
The Nomars program is based on the concept of “graceful breakdown”, in which the failure of an equipment does not cause the boat to stall, thanks to the redundancy of systems. The ship should be able to continue to fulfill its mission and travel at 15 knots after a year at sea.
The main components of the system will need to be modularized so that they can be easily replaced in yacht shipyards around the world. In the second phase, Serco will need to complete, build and pass rigorous tests before moving on to a three-month sea show.
First Image Credit: DARPA