SSC Pacific
Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV)


The concept for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacifc (SSC Pacific) USV was rapid production of a low-cost reliable platform to develop technology for transition to other unmanned assets and programs. The USV platform was chosen for its low cost, ease of systems integration, low maintenance, and similarity in performance characteristics to operational USVs. The platform itself is not the focus of the program but simply a convenient host for the core USV technologies being developed that will then be transitioned to other USV efforts in the Navy.

The platform selected for this development effort is a SEADOO Challenger 2000 sport boat with a jet drive. The platform, configured as an unmanned vessel, is shown in Figure 1. Much of the technology and equipment that make up the basic components of the USV were transitioned directly from on-going unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) programs at SSC Pacific.

USV operating autonomously in open water
Figure 1. SSC Pacific USV operating autonomously in open water.

HM&E Modifications

  • Auxiliary Power
    • 145 amp 24VDC generator
    • 24V battery bank
    • 24/12VDC converter>/LI>
  • Actuators
    • Three Ultra-motion Smart linear actuators for steering, throttle and bucket
    • Actuator compartment splits the organic flexible control cables
    • Three distinct operating modes
      • Manual – fully mechanical linkage
      • Drive-by-wire – Helm controls connected to sensors to control actuators
      • Computer – tele-operation or waypoint navigation
  • Sensor and equipment tower
    • Large-diameter, thin-wall stainless steel
    • Supports radar, electronics box, stabilized sensor/camera platform and cameras
    • Antennas
  • Modular Electronic Bay
    • Three watertight enclosures
      • Power management
      • Communications
      • Navigation
    • Cooler Bay
      • 120VAC inverter
      • Radar processor
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Updated: 10/19/2011 10:21 AM EST   Published (1.0)