The Ministry of Defence has signed a license agreement with ASV Global allowing for the use of its Advanced Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) Capability technology.

The contract has been signed through Ploughshare Innovations, the technology transfer arm of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

The license is centered on Dstl’s Advanced USV Capability Project, due for completion in late 2017, which has developed an autonomous navigation system that enables USVs to operate safely at both high and low speeds.

With funding from Dstl, ASV Global has developed advanced marine autonomy software, recently showcased on the Tidal Thames with the Royal Navy.

This agreement allows ASV Global to expand the use of the software, the intellectual property of which lies with Dstl.

This licensing agreement will enable ASV Global to exploit this technology across its current product range which offers Autonomous Surface Vehicles for both military and commercial applications.

ASV Global’s Managing Director Dan Hook said: “Working with Dstl has enabled ASV Global to design and test advanced autonomous capabilities. This technology will enable ASV Global to access new market areas as well as continuing to solidify our position as the leading autonomous surface vehicle system supplier”.

While this software has obvious applications for the marine sector, Dstl’s Dr. Philip Smith, Ship Systems & Integrated Survivability Program Manager says it could be used elsewhere: “There is a need for more efficient platforms with greater automated systems across all domains – air, land and sea – so there are many potential routes for this software.”

Initially, ASV Global will integrate the software onto its ASView™ control system for a demonstration at the Unmanned Warrior event in the waters off Scotland in October, in which more than 40 autonomous systems are taking part.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) maximizes the impact of science and technology (S&T) for the defense and security of the UK, supplying sensitive and specialist S&T services for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and wider government.

Dstl is an Executive Agency of the MOD, run along commercial lines. It is one of the principal government organizations dedicated to S&T in the defense and security field, with three main sites at Porton Down, near Salisbury, Portsdown West, near Portsmouth, and Fort Halstead, near Sevenoaks.

Dstl works with a wide range of partners and suppliers in industry, in academia and overseas. Around 60% of MOD’s Science and Technology Programme is delivered by these external partners and suppliers.

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