Pre-design operational requirements for underwater drones
The purpose of this report, prepared at the behest of Panel 7 of the Defence Research Group at NATO headquarters in Brussels, is to listsome possible missions for unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) and providesome tentative pre-design operational requirements for those missions to facilitate a design feasibility study. Two basic hulls are posed. A small drone would be the size of a heavy-weight torpedo and can be carried and launched like a torpedo by an aircraft, a ship, or a submarine. A large drone for three missions requiring both high speed and long endurance is posed; one possibility is the gaseous-storagetoroidal (GST) design for hull and propulsion. Seventeen missions that could conceptually be performed by drones are listed, with a concept of operation and some pre-design specifications given for each. These missions are scattered throughout the naval tasks of surveillance, reconnaisance, environmental data gathering, minefield guiding, towed array support, jamming, battletailing, communications, mining, escorting, and attacking. The requirements are summarized in one matrix and the benefits to accrue in another matrix. Conclusions are given, the major one of which is that UUVs are 'mission-flexible': a relatively ubiquitous underwater drone is possible which can perform any one of several missions as required.
Riffenburgh, R. H.