Unmanned surface vehicle

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A USV demonstration at Hampton, Virginia; January 2009
USV used in oceanographic research, June 2011

Unmanned surface vehicles (USV) or autonomous surface vehicles (ASV) are vehicles that operate on the surface of the water without a crew.

USVs are valuable in oceanography, as they are more capable than moored or drifting weather buoys, but far cheaper than the equivalent weather ships and research vessels,[1] and more flexible than commercial-ship contributions. Wave gliders, in particular, harness wave energy for primary propulsion[2] and, with solar cells to power their electronics, have months of marine persistence[3] for both academic [4][5] and naval applications. [6][7]

Military applications for USVs include powered seaborne targets. Operational USVs with offensive capability include the Israeli Protector USV.[8]

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