Autonomous Hull Inspection

Period of Performance: 09/19/2008 - 03/30/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

SET Assoc. Corp.
1005 N. Glebe Rd.Suite 400
Arlington, VA 22201
Principal Investigator


Ships and submarines require periodic inspections of their hulls for two reasons: in order to detect and locate potential threats to the ship as well as the identification and quantification of a variety of factors relating to the material condition of the ship. These include the existence of threats such as limpet mines, and the condition and fitness for service of both the freeboard and underwater hull paint system, the presence of corrosion and the condition of the antifouling coatings, and the running gear of the ship (propellers, rudders, shafts, struts, suctions and anodes). Threat detection and neutralization is a primary function of keeping the Navy fleet safe and ready to serve, and the acquisition of maintenance related information will assist maintenance planners, port engineers and type commanders in executing maintenance at the required periodicity and at the lowest possible cost. Our eventual goal is to develop and demonstrate a prototype autonomous hull inspection system for both force protection and maintenance evaluation. The objective of Phase I is to demonstrate the feasibility of such a system. This will include generation of a concept of operations projecting the capabilities of the system, detailed technical descriptions of major components and subsystems, descriptions of interface requirements, and concept drawings.