Launch and Recovery System (LARS)
Each Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) LARS has the capacity to carry 2 USV’s on a carousel and a third on a cradle on the LARS frame. It is designed to optimise deck space and is highly automated to assist with deployment and to ensure safety of the crew. The LARS is controlled by an operator either adjacent to the equipment or by a walkaround remote control unit.
The latching and release mechanisms used in the launch and recovery process of these vessels is an integral part of the design, ensuring a smooth and safe process for the vessel release and recapture.
How it works
The launch process usually occurs while the mothership is in motion. The Davit arms lifts the USV off the cradle and swings it outboard. At the same time the Painter Boom swings out with a tether connected to the USV. The tether keeps the USV stable alongside the main vessel, allowing the main lifting release mechanisms to be released. Once the USV is released, the tether disconnects.
During the recovery process, the USV is remotely piloted into position next to the main vessel. The Davit arms are swung outwards and the latching mechanisms are dropped down. These latching “bullets” engage with the USV and lock into position. With the use of 2 winches the USV is lifted out of the water, and placed back into the cradle by the Davit.
If more than 1 USV needs to be launched, the Davit can rotate 180° to collect the following USV from the carousel and it can further rotate to collect a further USV.
What is an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV)?
The vessel referred to as a USV, is a robotic craft that is equipped with state of the art sensors and navigational systems. It moves on a programmed route according to GPS co-ordinates. Due to the reduced size and increased maneuverability of the vessel, it has proven to be more fuel efficient and emits less CO2, making it more environmentally friendly.