DARPA builds No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS)

DARPA builds No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS)
DARPA builds No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS)

The U.S. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA invests in unmanned surface vessels. The Agency announced that it is moving into Phase 2 of the No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS) program. DARPA seeks to build and demonstrate a new medium unmanned surface vessel (MUSV) that can go to sea and perform missions with reliability and availability while carrying a significant payload. The vessel will accomplish its mission all year round without human touch. The Agency selected Serco Inc.’s design to move forward after Phase 1.



NOMARS approached ship design from the ground up, insisting that there will never be a human on board the vessel while it is at sea, including during underway replenishment (UNREP) events. NOMARS opened up the design space to novel ship configurations and capabilities that could never be considered for crewed vessels by eliminating all constraints and requirements associated with humans. As a result, the vessel will not be only autonomous during its mission. It will be self-sufficient during logistic support. 
DARPA builds No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS)

NOMARS is also pushing the envelope in terms of ship reliability. NOMARS required new approaches for power generation, propulsion, machinery line-up, and control schemes to ensure continuous functionality throughout an extended mission in all weather, temperature, and sea states because there is no crew on board to perform maintenance.
DARPA builds No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS)

The first of its kind, Defiant. The 210-metric-ton MUSV-class ship is designed to maximize performance, dependability, and maintenance efficiency while carrying a significant payload at tactically valuable ranges. By combining distributed hybrid power generation, podded propulsors, and high-capacity batteries, the goal is to achieve ultra-reliability. NOMARS’s core philosophy is to meet complete system requirements at speeds of at least 15 knots after one year at sea. The primary system components of the chosen design are modularised, allowing repairs to be performed using equipment commonly found in yacht yards worldwide. This maintenance philosophy promotes quick turnaround, allowing ships to spend most of their lives at sea performing missions.