Target Practice at Sea

The Remote Controlled Target Boat (RCTB) is used in naval gunnery training, weapons testing and ship command and control assessments. These boats are autonomous and remotely controlled, and their use eliminates risks to personnel and equipment.

Lotus Wireless Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. has designed and implemented the Remote Control System for Target Boat operation and it was supplied to Indian Navy. The Remote Controlled Target Boat is a realistic target for gun firing exercises and it also plays a role in performance evaluation of the weapon system. SATELLINE-EASy Pro radio modems are used in the system for remote control operation.

RCTB has a GPS and a flux gate compass for navigation. It also has a programmable autopilot for setting up to 100 waypoints and steering the boats:

  • Per command from remote controller
  • Through prescribed waypoints according to the mission plan
  • to bring them back to a preset position in case of loss of command link with remote controller

Meeting the needs for RCTB

In this project, the challenges were establishing a communication link between the target boat and the ship’s control unit, remotely controlling and monitoring boat parameters and enabling navigation control from the ship. Also, the radio link must not interfere with other wireless communication links. These challenges were solved.

The Remote Control Station is located in the ship from where the RCTB is operated. The status information of the RCTB is available via telemetry: the relative position in bearing and range with respect to the control station, course and speed of RCTB, engine RPM and motion and fuel status.

The Control Unit in the RCTB is fully weather protected. The receiver station of the radio command link and other control system parts are housed in the boat, and they can be controlled both locally and remotely.

A Remote Terminal Unit is used to control steering, speed, and engine starting and stopping. The boat is controlled by radio link with the operation distance of up to 25km. The radio control is not affected by the radar, radio transmission or ships stationed within its operating range.