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R. Costanzi, D. Fenucci, V. Manzari, et al.: "At-Sea NATO Operational Experimentation with Interoperable Underwater Assets Using Different Robotic Middlewares", Proceedings of NAV 2018: 19th International Conference on Ship & Maritime Research

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Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are offering new capabilities for a wide range of military and civilian applications. The interoperability of heterogeneous AUVs with different skills is critical to accomplish such complex tasks. Indeed, the proliferation of AUVs with their own mission control interface and communications protocol makes it difficult to operate them within operational experimentations, which requires joint management and coordination. This problem was approached in the preparation of the ASW-ODC17 (Anti Submarine Warfare - Operational Deployment of Concepts) sea trial, which, among its objectives, aimed to demonstrate the interoperability of an external AUV (the Folaga WAVE) within the CMRE heterogeneous robotic network during a NATO operational exercise in ASW. The different hardware and software architectures were integrated by configuring an asset of the CMRE network (a gateway buoy) to act as a bridge between the two robotic systems. All the AUVs were successfully operated during the joint NATO exercise through the same mission control station, unconcerned by differences in acoustic modems and robotic middleware.