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Home : Media : News
NEWS | Sept. 22, 2023

Carderock Hosts Visualization Workshop to Improve Unmanned Technology and Naval Assets

By NSWC Carderock Division

Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) Additive Manufacturing Technology Office (SEA 05T1) demonstrated sustainment technologies at the Visualization Workshop hosted by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Carderock Division in West Bethesda, Maryland, Sept. 12-14, 2023. The workshop explored commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) unmanned remote operated vehicles, along with imaging and modeling technologies to enable Navy assets to rapidly “see” above and below the water line, inside and outside of the hull.

Working on an expedited timeframe, SEA 05T1 worked with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, Montana State University’s MilTech, Partnership Intermediary, and the Kostas Research Institute at Northeastern University to research technologies that provide dynamic visualization of Navy assets at sea. Demonstrations were presented by Skydio, Cupix, RDI Technologies, Boston Dynamics, VideoRay, Deep Trekker, Eddyfi, Beast Code, Boston Engineering, Artec 3D, Source Graphics, Qii AI, and the University of Houston. Technology evaluation panelists and observers included representatives from the Ford-class Aircraft Carrier Sustainment Program, Penn State Applied Research Laboratory, NAVSEA, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC PAC), U.S. Coast Guard, and SEA 05T staff.

NSWC Carderock’s facilities enabled technology demonstrations to visualize below and above the waterline using unmanned aerial system and unmanned underwater vehicle, handheld scanners, and robotic tracked crawlers to capture photogrammetry data, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) scans, sonar data, and visual images. Assets targeted for visualization consisted of a fully submerged section of a prototype unmanned underwater vessel, a scaled-down floating ship hull and superstructure, and sections of a utility dry-dock in the facility’s basin. Software integrators were able to ingest the data and provide 3D renderings of the surface asset, LiDAR scans of Carderock facilities, and video data of the underwater model. The careful planning and attention to safety by Carderock engineers ensured that no equipment was damaged, no personnel were injured and the SEA 05T1 team and visitors were supported.

The Visualization Workshop led by Ben Ellis, NAVSEA 05T1, is the first in a technology validation cycle. The next event, which is scheduled at the end of January 2024, is to explore COTS expeditionary maintenance and repair technologies, followed by the Repair Technology Exercise (REPTX) Endurance – validating the applicability to Navy operations utilizing technologies from both workshops. Technologies previously under contract and the best technologies demonstrated at the Visualization Workshop, Expeditionary Maintenance and Repair Workshop, and REPTX Endurance will be invited to participate at a Fleet Exercise in the summer of 2024. An attending NIWC PAC representative commented, “I’m glad there are efforts like this to help move the needle.”

The event marked a significant step toward incorporating technology innovation to improve readiness management as part of the former NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Bill Galinis’ direction to build on our digital engineering capability. NRL commented that some of the technologies could revolutionize the inspection process. Although individual solutions will provide value, the Navy needs a suite of capabilities that rapidly produces the holistic image to affect the sustainment needs. The fleet will be able to efficiently sustain fleet readiness through events like these and promoting increased collaboration between companies.