Next Generation WAVE GLIDER: Liquid Robotics’ Mission Enabler

2018 Surface Navy Association Day 1 (January 9) Conference Report

Mönch US correspondent Marty Kauchak is attending the 2018 Surface Navy Association 30th Annual National Symposium in Arlington, Virginia, USA. He files this end-of-day report with highlights from the exhibition floor and conference rooms.

It’s been a fast-paced and busy year for Liquid Robotics, a Boeing company, according to Don Jagoe, Senior Director for Business Development in the Sales for US National Security division at Liquid Robotics. While it has been just more than one year (December 2016) since Liquid Robotics became part of the Boeing family, the company continues to advance its efforts to provide the US Navy and other maritime customers with highly refined autonomous solutions for common missions. “These would include anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures and ISR. Those sorts of core missions that the navy does, we strongly believe, will be increasingly done by unmanned systems, for a variety of reasons – cost, manning levels and others. The navy is going to have to increasingly rely on unmanned systems. And beyond that, there are some things unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) do particularly well. And there are some things in the atmosphere that UAVs do particularly well,” Mr. Jagoe noted.

To meet this maritime domain challenge, Liquid Robotics provides a long duration, highly persistent presence on the surface that can “talk” to both UUVs and UAVs. “That gives us the ability to be not just cross-domain, but an enabler,” the industry expert added. Liquid Robotics’ enabler to support enhanced maritime missions, available for delegates to view at the Boeing booth (#1111), is the Next Generation WAVE GLIDER.

Mr. Jagoe, providing insights from the perspective of a retired US Navy captain, offered that, “beyond being a physical platform, a ‘truck’ if you will, the Next Generation WAVE GLIDER is a highly sophisticated computing environment as well. Onboard is a Tegra (Nvidia) processor, and software to both run the platform and run the sensors, and enable communications both on- and off-board the vehicle. We put a lot of effort beyond just the platform, into the enabling technologies that make the platform work – software for instance.”

Three communities – defence, oil and gas, and scientific-academic – look to load Liquid Robotics’ Next Generation WAVE GLIDER with their different, specific sensors. “We have hosted about 55 sensors, I believe, that have been integrated into the vehicle – depending on what the customer needs. This is expanding all the time,” he concluded.


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