Monday, October 2, 2023

MTR100: General Dynamics Mission Systems

Greg Trauthwein

General Dynamics Mission Systems

Quincy, Mass., President CEO: Chris Brady
No. of Employees: 13,400

General Dynamics Mission Systems is an innovator of open architecture and mission integration to meet the most demanding operational requirements on any platform in the multi-domain operational arenas – from the outer reaches of space to the sea floor. In 2016 General Dynamics acquired the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) provider, Bluefin Robotics, to extend the integration of high consequence solutions to the unmanned undersea space. The integration of Bluefin Robotics transitioned more than 20 years of UUV development and  sustainment experience into the larger General Dynamics portfolio. General Dynamics has focused continued investment and development of Bluefin Robotics products, developing leading edge UUV platforms across  multiple size-classes, sensor and payload integration, and the delivery of next-generation vehicles that explore, inform, and protect our assets and the environment.  The General Dynamics family of Bluefin Robotics products consists of autonomous UUVs and related technologies for defense, commercial and  scientific customers worldwide. We offer a full range of modular, free-flooded

UUV platforms and products, including more than 70 different sensors on more than 100 vehicles.  General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics uses a “system of systems” approach to  expand UUV capabilities from task-oriented to mission-based integrations. Its open-architecture approach uses the best available technology to deliver mission-ready products.

The Tech
In October 2018, General Dynamics Mission Systems launched the redesigned Bluefin-9, a two-man portable, small-class UUV to provide leading data quality and area  coverage rate (ACR) in an easy to operate, two-man portable solution. Featuring a full carbon fiber body, an integrated  suite of sensors, latest generation communications and navigational  components, and new onboard processing capabilities, the Bluefin-9 is  the professional’s tool to know what’s below. Bluefin-9’s integrated Sonardyne Solstice multi-aperture side scan sonar delivers a 200-meter swath range and ultra-high, along-track resolution of 0.15°. Advanced on-board data processing offers operators access to processed high resolution sonar and camera data that is ready for post-mission analysis, reducing time to action. The Bluefin-9 provides precise navigation (0.3% D.T. CEP 50) and accurate, geo-referenced data by incorporating a high-performance Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) and Inertial Navigation System (INS). The Bluefin-9 allows swapping of the 1.9 kWh battery and 1TB Removable Data Storage Module (RDSM) and redeployment in 30 minutes or less. The modular, free-flooded architecture eases in-field maintenance and minimizes operational down-time.  Designed for launch and recovery with Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) in mind, the Bluefin-9 can be deployed and recovered by operators over the gunnel in a matter of seconds.

Efforts to map the world’s oceans are ramping up, with new and emerging technologies leading the way.
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