Semi-Autonomous, Reliable, Safe Recovery of the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) in Various Sea States.
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-041
Topic Title: Semi-Autonomous, Reliable, Safe Recovery of the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) in Various Sea States.
Proposal No.: N131-041-0387
Firm: Advanced Optical Systems, Inc.
6767 Old Madison Pike
Suite 410
Huntsville, Alabama 35806
Contact: John Ashe
Phone: (256) 971-0036
Web Site:
Abstract: To improve the at sea recovery of the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV), the Advanced Optical Systems (AOS) has teamed with Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC) to deliver a solution employing passive optical sensors capable of detecting 6DoF position with accuracies surpassing the human eye. The sensors are a key component of the proposed Autonomous Vehicle Recovery System (AVRS) that will provide rapid position and rate information and/or commands to ship control systems in response to motion between the RMMV and the capture spine. The AOS team's solution will also provide control messages to the Twin Boom Extendable Crane (TBEC) and the Remote Operator Panel (ROP). The added controls will generate position and rate messages for use by the TBEC control system to simultaneously manipulate up to eleven tag-lines attached to the recovery capture spine and RMMV. Removing the inherent human latencies from the current system and implementing controls of the ROP improves recovery by decreasing the time needed to align the capture spine with the RMMV receiver. Recovery of the RMMV is safer for personnel and equipment, therefore ship missions are not delayed due to long recovery sea details.
Benefits: The AVRS will be modular and will be based on hardware and software that are proven through other similar modes of operation. Specifically, automating RMMV recovery will immediately reap the following:  Improved mission readiness with decreased recovery mode time  Decreased unsuccessful capture spine engagements with fewer physical blows to the vessel  Decreased RMMV maintenance resulting in higher OPTEMPO  Diminished hardware cycles resulting in decreased commands to the winches  Dramatic reduction of operator strain with key recovery responsibilities focusing on safety monitoring AVRS is modular and scalable. It will have applications across the DoD for recovery of unmanned systems. The AVRS system could be added to a flight deck for recovery of inbound UAS. As the use of commercial unmanned systems increases, end game recovery requirements will increase. Additionally, an unobtrusive passive system will easily adapt to the civilian industry.