Autonomous Watercraft Docking and Refueling Architecture (AWDRA)

Period of Performance: 11/24/2008 - 06/02/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Michigan Aerospace Corp.
1777 Highland Drive Suite B
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Principal Investigator


With the increased emphasis in recent years on expanding the Navy s capabilities in littoral battlespace, there has been an increasing demand for self-sustaining autonomous vehicle networks that can support this expansion. Manned refueling and servicing of surface vehicles is currently possible, but imposes a significant degree of risk on the crew; bringing the autonomous vehicles back to a host ship for refueling and replenishment takes time and effort away from the assigned mission. Michigan Aerospace Corporation proposes to leverage its extensive technical experience in the field of autonomous servicing systems to develop a common, robust, multi-platform-capable refueling system architecture. The Autonomous Watercraft Docking and Refueling Architecture (AWDRA) will provide for a compliant capture system that is used in a bow-to-stern rendezvous and docking operation between an automated surface tender and a target surface vehicle in need of replenishment while both vehicles are moving forward in up to Sea State 3 conditions.