On target with Orion

ASV - Autonomous Surface Vehicles
Naval target drones
Industry / Vertical:
Homeland Security
Case Study Image

Based close to Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, ASV Ltd, part of international marine services group Global Fusion, provides rugged, reliable and effective unmanned systems using cutting-edge marine technology to customers in military, government and commercial organisations worldwide.


ASV wanted to create a cost-effective naval target boat which could be lightweight and easily deployed for use in naval gunnery training and weapons testing. The boat would be fast and highly manoeuvrable, with a rugged hull that could survive weapon fire and be easy to repair.

The boat would incorporate ASV’s proven control architecture, enabling it to be operated individually or as part of a target swarm. The control architecture demanded a radio modem that was both small and rugged enough to be accommodated within a ballistic-protected electronics enclosure, but also cost-effective, given that the boat might easily be destroyed.


ASV selected Wood & Douglas’ Orion radio data modem. The Orion’s compact, rugged diecast enclosure met the tight physical constraints which ASV had established, while providing the company with a flexible range of options for over-air protocol to ensure speed and data link integrity.

With selectable serial data and analogue input/output options, network addressing and frequency-programmable channels, the Orion provided ASV with a range of easy-to-use remote telemetry possibilities aboard the boat.

Depending on the RF module chosen, the Orion’s output of between 5mW to 2W was enough to provide connection over a long range while at sea, enabling safe operation and monitoring during live fire exercises.

Richard Daltry, Technical Manager at Autonomous Surface Vehicles Ltd, said, “When you are regularly firing on a boat your customer does not want it to be prohibitively expensive. Orion gave us all the connectivity we needed to support our control architecture, but importantly also proved to be a good value for money.”

ASV has deployed the Orion across a range of economical naval target drones and one-off configurations of unmanned surface vehicles. Rugged radio modem for marine deployment Cost-effective, even if destroyed Highly flexible for a range of applications in varied boats

Visit: www.asvglobal.com

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