PORTUGAL – The Robotic Experimentation Prototyping Augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems Exercise 2023 is taking place between the 11th and 29th of September at the Portuguese Navy’s Operational Experimentation Centre in Tróia and Sesimbra Navy facilities. The NATO Maritime Geospatial, Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre of Excellence directly supports the Portuguese Navy during this exercise, playing a leadership role in the coordination of the Rapid Environmental Assessment and leading the Rapid Environmental Assessment Working Group on partner equipment and sensors.
The Robotic Experimentation Prototyping Augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems Exercise is designed to enable, on an annual basis, large-scale experimentation that allows operational communities to work together with academia and industry to develop and test operational concepts, requirements and technological advances. Furthermore, the exercise seeks to improve doctrine and tactics in C3 (Command, Control, and Communications) and enhance procedures on the employment of Maritime Unmanned Systems in Multi-Domain Operations.
The NATO Maritime Geospatial, Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre of Excellence has a significant role in supporting this exercise, leveraging its subject matter expertise to provide nuanced guidance on Maritime Unmanned Systems. The Centre assures the coordination of the collection, processing, and dissemination of environmental data, optimizes the employment of different Maritime Unmanned Systems and contributes to the enhanced Recognized Environmental Picture. Additionally, the Centre also spearheads the Rapid Environmental Assessment and corresponding Working Group, which supports any military or non-military activity based rapid environmental context through the monitoring, exploration, and reconnaissance of the maritime battlefield environment.
An important part of the exercise, the Rapid Environmental Assessment contributes to the common understanding of the operational environment by collecting, processing, and disseminating meteorological, oceanographic, and geospatial data and products to improve operational effectiveness through enhanced situational awareness and decision-making. The Assessment provides the valuable lessons learned report from the exercise by evaluating procedures, investigating new technologies, and recommending areas for improvement.
For this year’s exercise, the Rapid Environmental Assessment plan has seeks to solve the following challenges: explore new technologies to survey very-shallow water littoral areas (Topo-bathymetric Lidar/multispectral sensing); explore processing techniques to exploit underwater Glider’s data collection into 3-Dimensional ocean structure models; and explore geographical, meteorological, and oceanographic information dissemination solutions into operational community.
The Robotic Experimentation Prototyping Augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems Exercise 2023 provides an excellent opportunity to test and exercise all stages of the Rapid Environmental Assessment process. This experimental process includes the integration of new technology, the exploration of environmental battlefield reconnaissance strategies and the development of new information dissemination solutions. The Centre’s collaboration with Allied and Partner nations in this exercise demonstrates the commitment of NATO’s Centres of Excellence to continually promote concept development and experimentation and training doctrines across the Alliance ecosystem.