Concept development of an unmanned, non-lethal, anti-piracy craft

The Beagle

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Abstract

Maritime piracy has been a problem for the last decades and peaked in 2010. This resulted in large investments in anti-piracy measures, but as piracy waned over the following years, so did the investments in anti-piracy measures. This could be an indication that the stage for maritime piracy has been reset. This report suggests a more efficient and cheaper approach to counteract maritime piracy on merchant vessels indefinitely.

SeaState5, the company at which this research is done, came up with the idea to combat pirate attacks on merchant vessels using a Fast Rescue Craft (FRC). Merchant vessels are obligated by law to carry an FRC; used for instance for man over board missions. SeaState5 focuses on developing an add-on plug and play system compatible with existing FRC. It turns these sole-purpose rescue craft into a multi-purpose craft, in this research referred to as the Beagle. This Beagle will serve both rescue and anti-piracy purposes. In this report the concept development of this add-on system is established.

This is done by developing a simulation in MATLAB and Simulink that mimics a pirate attack on a merchant vessel. During the pirate attack the Beagle uses a defense strategy to repel the pirates. A Beagle defense strategy is a combination of a non-lethal weapon and a set of parameters that define the trajectory of the Beagle. Different Beagle defense strategies are subjected to different pirate attack scenarios to find the most effective one.

The simulations resulted in a list of requirements for the Beagle. A check has been done to prove the feasibility of equipping an existing FRC with the add-on system meeting these requirements.