General Dynamics' mission systems business unit demonstrated its autonomous underwater vehicles at the U.S. Navy's Annual Naval Technology Exercises held in August at the service branch's Narragansett Bay test facility in Newport, Rhode Island.
The company said Friday a Bluefin-21 AUV deployed two Bluefin SandShark micro-AUVs to perform target imagery transmission and data collection simulations in one of the mission scenarios at the ANTX event.
The two Bluefin SandSharks worked to communicate with a Blackwing unmanned aircraft system, which transmitted the data back to a submarine's combat control platform in order to facilitate execution of additional missions.
General Dynamics Mission Systems also demonstrated acoustic sensor payloads from both academia and industry on the Bluefin-21 AUV.
Tracy Howard, a senior manager for AUVs at General Dynamics Mission Systems, said the company's demonstrations at the ANTX event sought to showcase unmanned vehicles' functionalities across aerial and underwater domains.
The Bluefin-21 AUV is a modular system designed to carry various sensor payloads and perform multiple missions, such as mine countermeasures, offshore survey, unexploded ordnance, search and salvage as well as exploration missions.
Bluefin SandShark is a small underwater drone that is built on open-source software and works to perform mine countermeasures, imaging, sea-floor mapping as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.