In October 2020, Saildrone performed a successful 30-day proof-of-concept demonstration for the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to show how uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) could be used to provide persistent maritime domain awareness (MDA) at sea. Six saildrones were stationed in an operating area adjacent to Penguin Bank, west of Molokai, Hawaii.
The exercise highlighted specific real-world use cases for persistent MDA: general traffic monitoring, illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, search and patrol, and port security.
General traffic monitoring, with the USVs demonstrating various picket line formations, a range of detection types, and how detections are visualized.
Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing
Detection and tracking of vessels performing behaviors associated with IUU fishing, such as longline fishing at the edge of a restricted zone and turning off their automatic identification system (AIS), or going dark, while entering protected areas.
Search and Patrol
Search and patrol maneuvers demonstrating how the effective coverage area of fleets can be extended and the ability to find a dead-in-the-water target of interest.
Port monitoring and surveillance showing how the USVs can augment existing surveillance systems and detect suspicious behavior near critical infrastructure.