Martin Defense Group wins DARPA award for AUV

Article by Brandon Pearse |  

Honolulu, HI — 26 MAY 2020 — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Martin Defense Group a $5.5 million contract for Phase One of the Manta Ray program. This contract was awarded through a competitive bidding process after bids were solicited via an open Broad Agency Announcement in June 2019. The program funds research, development, and demonstration of critical technologies for a new class of long-duration, long-range, unmanned underwater vehicles capable of carrying large payloads.

The program’s goal is to advance the state of technology for this new class of underwater vehicle in the areas of novel energy management and harvesting; low-power, high-efficiency propulsion systems; efficient navigation, mission management, command, control and communications during long-duration deployments; and techniques to mitigate biofouling, corrosion, and other material degradation.

Artist’s concept of Manta Ray UUV. Image credit: DARPA Public Affairs.

“Martin Defense Group is thrilled to support DARPA in developing this novel class of undersea vehicles that are responsive to a critical need identified in the National Defense Strategy,” said Martin Kao, Martin Defense Group’s Chief Executive Officer. “This project complements our growing portfolio of R&D work on advanced power and energy systems, autonomy, and unmanned robotic vehicles for the undersea, surface, ground and air domains.” Key subcontractors on this program include the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington (APL-UW) in Seattle, WA which has expertise in unmanned underwater vehicle autonomy and controls; North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, NC which has expertise in underwater energy harvesting; and Systems & Technology Research (STR) in Arlington, VA, which has expertise in undersea systems operations, sensors, communications, and signal processing.

About Martin Defense Group

Martin Defense Group is a leading provider of innovative research and development services for the Department of Defense, NASA, and other government agencies. Historically a provider of naval architecture and modeling and simulation services, its portfolio has diversified to encompass digital twins, power and energy systems, unmanned vehicles, robotics, autonomy, AI/ML, data science, inflatables, composites, and additive manufacturing. Since its founding in Hawaii in 1979, Navatek has grown to open offices in Rhode Island, Maine, Virginia, Michigan, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.