Unmanned Systems News

USV Operations Enhanced by Radar Technology & Display Software

Published: 31 Mar 2021 by

Cambridge Pixel, a developer of radar display, tracking and recording sub-systems, is supplying its SPx Server technology and Maritime Display Framework (MDF) software to hi-tech USV provider SEA-KIT to enhance the operation of its Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs).

The first of the 12-metre SEA-KIT X class USVs built for Fugro, utilising Cambridge Pixel’s SPxServer technology, is currently being prepared for project work in Australia and will feature remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) launch-and-recovery systems and station-keeping capabilities. The vessel will be used to conduct completely uncrewed ROV pipeline inspections in up to 400m water depth on Australia’s North West Shelf.

SEA-KIT engineers required trusted and customisable digital technology to relay radar and situational awareness information from its remotely operated USVs to a Remote-Control Centre. In order to deliver a timely and detailed situational report back to the control centre, all information collected from the multiple networked array of sensors and data gathering equipment onboard, needed to be rapidly relayed to the operator efficiently.

SEA-KIT selected Cambridge Pixel’s SPx Server technology due to its bandwidth management tools, data processing and filtering tools, and because the software could be easily integrated with SEA-KIT’s GSAVI package and situational awareness software.

Cambridge Pixel’s software components allow the SEA-KIT USVs to operate effectively even in very low bandwidth situations, such as when out at sea in harsh weather and have been implemented in mission-critical applications by companies such as BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Saab Sensis.

Director of technology at SEA-KIT, Peter Walker said: “Cambridge Pixel’s radar interface technology is known in the industry as being a robust and trusted system with customisable, and powerful features. We selected their products because we are committed to ensuring that SEA-KIT’s vessels are at the cutting edge of the USV market’s technology requirements. Their technical support team has been highly responsive to our needs and it has been great working with them on this latest vessel.”

SEA-KIT is also using Cambridge Pixel’s Maritime Display Framework (MDF) software at its Remote-Control Centre to display the radar picture on screen as it would be shown onboard a normal vessel. The MDF software can receive radar video from a variety of maritime radar sensors including Furuno, Hensoldt, JRC, Koden, Raymarine, Raytheon, Simrad, Sperry and Terma, with control of the radar supported for certain models.

David Johnson, CEO at Cambridge Pixel, said: “We are thrilled to be supplying our SPx Server technology and MDF software to enhance the situational awareness of SEA-KIT’s latest X class uncrewed surface vessels. Our radar expertise and software modules for radar acquisition, processing, distribution, target tracking and display make us a good technology partner for innovative USV developers like SEA-KIT.”

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