Sensing and Control Technology to Assist in Vehicle Launch and Recovery
Navy SBIR FY2014.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2014.1
Topic No.: N141-061
Topic Title: Sensing and Control Technology to Assist in Vehicle Launch and Recovery
Proposal No.: N141-061-0472
Firm: Arete Associates
P.O. Box 2607
Winnetka, California 91396-2607
Contact: Lonnie Calmes
Phone: (520) 770-6066
Web Site:
Abstract: Areté Associates proposes an end-to-end solution to the challenge of at-sea launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vessels that incorporates the future state of the vessel into a robust crane control loop. By fielding an ocean penetrating, eye-safe LIDAR system on the recovery ship, the state of the vessel and the spectrum of the ocean waves in a field of regard around the vessel will be measured simultaneously at high resolution and frequency. Using the measured ocean-wave spectrum, the future position of the vessel will be predicted. Both the measured state and the predicted future state of the vessel will be incorporated into a crane control loop, that also comprehends the ship state and crane state, to both update the positioning of the crane and potentially send updates to the vessel. Since the future state of the vessel is included in the control loop, the sensitivity of the system to ocean-wave-induced fluctuations will be vastly reduced, especially at high sea state. Using Ocean Simulator software, a detailed radiometric LIDAR model, and control loop models, Areté will simulate the launch and recovery of at-sea vessels and establish a proof-of-concept of our approach for sea states 1-6.
Benefits: Commercialization of this technology is defined as successful transition as a spiral technology upgrade to an acquisition program. Areté will work closely with the Subject Matter Expert (SME) and the acquisition agencies throughout the program to assure that the system is designed to meet the needs of the users. The goal is to improve launch and recovery time, reduce risk of damage to vehicles, and risk to sailors with ocean environments up to sea state 6. Areté's goal is to produce a robust approach to launch and recovery that leverages the existing launch and recovery infrastructure with the addition of a ship board active LIDAR sensor which will provide ocean dynamics and vehicle position. Success of this Phase I and future Phase II efforts will allow the opportunity to bring improvements to the commercial sensing and control technology for vehicle recovery and launch as a potential Phase III commercialization effort.