DARPA Taps Martin Defense for Manta Ray UUV Software and Energy Harvesting System

ExecutiveBiz.com reported that Martin Defense Group has been awarded a $54.8 million contract to develop control software and an energy harvesting module for DARPA’s long-range Manta Ray unmanned underwater vessel (UUV). The effort is part of the second developmental phase of DARPA’s Manta Ray UUV program, which began in 2020. The program seeks to demonstrate payload-capable UUVs that can operate on long-duration, long-range missions in ocean environments. Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Martin Defense Group, LLC (formerly Navatek, LLC), and Metron, Inc. are prime contractors. Two of the firms, Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation and Martin Defense Group, LLC, will continue development of fully-integrated demonstration vehicles, while Metron, Inc., will advance progress on a novel energy harvesting subsystem.

The Manta Ray program plans to advance key technologies including, but not limited to:
-Novel energy management techniques for UUV operations and undersea energy harvesting techniques at operationally relevant depths;
-Low-power, high efficiency undersea propulsion systems;
-New low-power means of underwater detection and classification of hazards or counter detection threats;
-Mission management approaches for extended durations while accounting for dynamic maritime environments;
-Unique approaches for leveraging existing maritime data sets and exploiting novel maritime parameters for high-efficiency navigation and/or Command, control, and communications (C3); and
-New approaches to mitigate biofouling, corrosion, and other material degradation for long duration missions.
For more information on the Manta Ray program, please see: https://www.darpa.mil/program/manta-ray. Artist concept illustrations courtesy of DARPA and participating firms.

Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with this report, the background for which appeared in their  # 21 - 25 - 8 OCTOBER 2021 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).

David distributes the USN, a free, comprehensive newsletter in PDF format every week or two, as well as serial news flashes, from which this NREF news update was sourced. To be included in his distribution, simply send David a subscribe request to davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com.