Small Business Collaboration Demonstrates Port Security Technology In Port Hueneme


A team of Ion, SpotterRF and Marine Arresting Technologies use a drone to autonomously deploy a line that successfully slowed down the Navy target boat at the entrance to Hueneme Harbor during ANTX Coastal Trident 2021. ION / Dave Gentile

The Advanced Naval Technology Exercise – Coastal Trident 2021 Open House is taking place this week at the NavalX Fathomwerx Laboratory in the Port of Hueneme to examine innovative solutions for port and maritime security. Fathomwerx is a facility managed in partnership with Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme (NSWC PHD), Port of Hueneme, Economic Development Collaborative and Matter Labs.

According to Brendan Applegate of NSWC PHD, exercise director, Coastal Trident is an operations research program conducted to advance the state of the art in addressing threats to port and maritime security and to global forces operations. naval. “ANTX-Coastal Trident is not just a Navy exercise, but rather a ‘whole-of-government’ effort to bring together non-DoD federal, state and local government partners, as well as academia and industry to respond to threats and incidents maritime safety in port and coastal waters, “he said.” Coastal Trident combines scenario-based training, technical demonstration, field experiments and exercise activities, and involves the participation of over 150 public and private sector organizations. ”

Hybrid event

Although teams will be performing demonstrations throughout the week, the virtual ‘kick off’ event hosted via Zoom on September 22 provided an overview of the Coastal Trident program and featured presentations by operational stakeholders.

Participants representing stakeholders from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Naval Facilities Engineering and Research, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Department of Homeland Security and Naval Agility presented their perspectives. on science and technology (S&T), research and development (R&D) and combatant communities to communicate combatant ‘pull’, provide guidance and alignment for organizations, businesses and universities seeking to develop and improve their technical solutions.

The in-person ‘open house’ sessions on September 23 at the Fathomwerx facility focused on engagement between operational and technical stakeholders, with presentations on some of the project demonstrations being conducted at Hueneme Port and Fathomwerx. Solution providers also had the opportunity to follow shared technical needs during the first day, propose solutions and discuss collaborations for future ANTX-Coastal Trident projects.

Applegate said many small businesses participating in Coastal Trident do not have a proper understanding of the Navy and its operational requirements or which would benefit the most from their technologies.

“We have an environment where we can bring many organizations together to look at technologies from different angles, so there are more paths to success,” he said. We can introduce our participants to all the different parts, the companies that are developing the technology, the people who will be using it, the program offices that will help acquire it, and the people who will be part of the logistics and pipeline. sustainment. So the goal is to bring all of these people together in one form or another throughout the process. “

Coastal Trident leverages the facilities and capabilities of NSWC PHD and Ventura TechBridge to support high-speed learning and accelerate the development, assessment and identification of technology implementation to support forces naval engineering, maintenance and in-service support; fusion of sensor data, maritime communications and decision support; multispectral detection, augmented reality (AR) and virtual (VR) and digital engineering; and unmanned systems (UxS) applications and countermeasures.

This year, the exercise examines the operational and technical capabilities of port and maritime security organizations to counter asymmetric threats to the United States’ maritime transportation systems (MTS) and its associated personnel, operations and critical infrastructure.

A number of teams have been working on their projects for many months and can continue to build on the knowledge and experience gained from working together during ANTX.

“This event is the culmination of a lot of effort, but it’s only part of the picture. We have been running experiments since May. We have 55 different projects, with around 850 people from 160 different organizations, that are part of the program this year, ”Applegate said.

The team entangles the target

In a scenario at the port of Hueneme, for example, a team used a small unmanned vessel as a force multiplier to provide an initial response to a threat.

“Our team’s goal is to detect and engage a high speed pleasure craft entering a safe zone ‘on the plane’ without damaging the vessel or its occupants,” said Matthew Searle, director of the Tarpon’s Marine Arresting Technologies (MAT) technology. Springs, Florida. Our goal is to determine the tactics, techniques and procedures for using unmanned platforms to deploy non-kinetic effectors, including launch and recovery procedures, the ability to maneuver and deploy the payload, and to ” investigate whether the speed and stability of the platform are practical in a port environment.

SpotterRF of Provo, Utah, works with MAT, who uses their small radar to track targets and transmit information to the command and control center (C2) provided by Houston-based ION, which demonstrates a fusion and a effective data tracking and rapid data interceptions. -mobile targets.

During the actual demonstration at the entrance to Hueneme Harbor, the target – a Navy High-Speed ​​Maneuvering Surface Target (HSMST) boat – was detected by SpotterRF radar, queuing the system ION C2, who led the launch of the Theiss UAV. and sent him autonomously to deploy the MAT drug line in front of the HSMST, which entangled the boat’s propulsion and slowed it down, effectively giving security personnel time to respond and preventing or disrupting the intrusion .

The demonstration took place during thick intermittent fog at the entrance to the port. The radar was not only able to track the boat, but also differentiate the drone, seabirds, objects floating in the water and pedestrians on the shore, and track them all continuously.

For the demonstration, MAT fitted the UAV with a composite cartridge with a command-triggered life jacket air balloon to inflate an airbag that relieves the stop line in front of the vessel. The drone can be picked up and the system recharged for subsequent missions.

According to Ken Gardner, Business Development Manager for SpotterRF, the SpotterRF C550 Perimeter Surveillance Radar has a range of about 1.5 kilometers, weighs 3.5 pounds and is about the size of a laptop (although the company offers larger and smaller models) and multiple sensors. can work together to cover larger areas. It can be set up or taken down in minutes and is powered by normal 117 volt AC or a small 24 hour battery.

Dave Gentle of ION said the radar input has been introduced into the C2 system which uses ION’s Marlin platform technology to plan and execute UAV missions to autonomously deploy the line. stop and come back.

SpotterRF CEO Frank Cristophersen said the ANTX presented a valuable opportunity to assemble a team to collaborate and demonstrate a creative technology solution, with the Navy providing targets, instruments and observers to war centers and other organizations that would otherwise not be available to the individual. companies.