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Technical note | Simulation Trial Results for the Cooperative Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Demonstration (SA15)


A simulation trial was conducted to test the connectivity between the two heterogeneous software systems that were part of a cooperative Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Demonstration being undertaken by the Australian and Singaporean defence science agencies. Since the final demonstration trial was to be undertaken in Singapore, with no possibility of undertaking repeat trials, a risk management strategy was developed. This included, where possible, using the internet to simulate connectivity and communcation between the two nations' vehicles. The trial, which involved connecting the mission management systems of the two vehicles, and testing the High Level Protocol's functionality for the prescribed Mission, culminated in a successful demonstration of all relevant systems functioning together.

Executive Summary

Australian/Singapore Subsidiary Agreement 15 \COOPERATIVE AUV DEMONSTRATION" involved the development of Mission Management software to autonomously manage the vehicles for a trial. This software was used to maintain an overall Mission-level representation and to trigger vehicle-level behaviours in the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles participating in the mission.

Rapid development software techniques provided the ability to address changing requirements for the Mission Manager. This proved very effective in facilitating the preparations for the final demonstration.

From July to August 2008, a number of internet-based simulation trials were conducted to test the ability for the Singaporean Meredith Autonomous Underwater Vehicle and DSTO's Mullaya Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to communicate via an agreed protocol.

The simulation trial provided an important opportunity to test software integration and thus providing a more mature robust end product. This delivered significant benefits to the International Collaboration in terms of minimising risk, facilitating development of solutions to identified problems, and reducing the cost of the cooperative program.

For future similar trials, it is recommended that an equivalent simulation trial be conducted to de-risk trials by testing as much of the interconnectivity of the software systems as practicable. It is also recommended that more detailed simulations of the communication mediums also be trialled to help develop and test the robustness of the proposed solutions (especially in challenging domains like underwater).

Key information


Anthony Travers

Publication number


Publication type

Technical note

Publish Date

May 2012


Unclassified - public release


Unmanned Underwater Vehicles; Simulation; Trials