Navatek is a world leader in helping customers take a concept to product, lending assistance every step of the way. Our agility ensures that we deliver research and development quickly. We lead innovation in modeling, simulation, design, and construction of novel systems for the Department of Defense and other partners.
Vigorous performance prediction and prototype field testing results in a wide-range of innovative concepts across multiple domains – land, sea, and air. Our software expertise allows us to rapidly design and model, from idea to prototype demonstration, complex mechanical systems in relevant environment.
Ships, Small Craft, and Unmanned Vehicles
Navatek has a strong heritage designing cutting-edge marine vehicles that draw upon our world-class and multi-disciplinary engineering expertise spanning naval architecture, marine, mechanical, and systems engineering. Navatek has all the capability needed to design, analyze, prototype and test novel marine vehicles for customers in the Department of Defense and commercial sectors. Our expertise spans high-performance small craft, naval surface combatants, and unmanned vehicles – both surface and undersea (USVs and UUVs). Navatek repeatedly develops vehicles to meet demanding specifications and achieve never-before-seen capability. Our capabilities also include the design of launch, recovery, recharging, and refueling technology for sustaining unmanned systems from legacy host platforms and autonomous sustainment.
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
Navatek’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS) division can provide a full range of research and engineering services including airframe design, controls, payload and sensor integration. Consistent with Navatek’s culture of rapid innovation, our UAS division is capable of prototype UAS construction and flight testing. We maintain strong relationships to the Special Operations community where Navatek provides integration of novel sensors and payloads on existing UAS airframes to meet unique mission requirements.
Unmanned Amphibious and Ground Vehicles
Navatek is uniquely positioned to provide system design, integration, and testing for amphibious vehicles that can operate in challenging littoral conditions. Our engineers design vehicles capable of transiting through surf and rugged shoreline conditions to seamlessly connect between ships operating at stand-off distances at sea and maneuver forces inland.
Modeling & Simulation
Our ability to rapidly prototype advanced systems is powered by industry-leading modeling and simulation expertise. Navatek engineers use virtual environments, physics-based simulations, and high-performance computing to explore a broad trade space for novel systems and validate performance specifications. Modeling and simulation enable Navatek’s culture and process of rapid prototyping and innovation.
Large-scale Rapid Prototyping & Test
Rapidly developing from an idea to a prototype or demonstrator in relevant environments is core to our business and culture. Every Navatek facility has fabrication and experimentation capacity for marine, ground, and aerial systems prototyping. We also frequently work with a network of partner shipyards and test sites to achieve ambitious program schedules.
We develop digital twins of systems and subsystems on DoD platforms, for hull structural health monitoring, self-healing autonomous machinery, and smart electrical grids. Our unique understanding of artificial intelligence and machine learning is applied to the development of efficient and accurate virtual worlds. Methods to test and train unmanned systems in all domains ensures resiliency of these technologies and systems.
Autonomy Development Unmanned Systems
Navatek develops autonomy solutions for aerial, ground, amphibious, surface, and undersea vehicles in dynamic and uncertain environments. Our core expertise involves cognitive systems approaches for A.I.-based autonomy that enables the vehicle to perform higher-level reasoning and adapt to unexpected events. This contrasts with the state of most of today’s unmanned systems that follow scripted missions that require intense operator cognitive workload to program. Navatek autonomy research aims to invert the unmanned vehicle-operator paradigm by embedding greater intelligence and reasoning on the vehicle, thereby enabling one operator to manage multiple unmanned vehicles. By inverting that paradigm, unmanned systems become true force multipliers.
Industry 4.0, Digital Twin, and the Industrial Internet of Things
Industry 4.0, also known as the Industrial Internet of Things, is revolutionizing how nearly every commercial industry is achieving increased automation and resiliency with ‘smart’ machines that can monitor themselves and correct issues without human intervention. Navatek is collaborating with the Office of Naval Research and a network of universities to develop resilient, autonomous machinery for Navy ships that will reduce manning, lower lifecycle cost, and increase long duration operation of the hull, mechanical, and electrical (HM&E) systems that ships depend on to function. Digital Twins are key enabling technology in Navatek’s approach to creating ‘smart’ ship HM&E systems.
Certification & Trust
A significant barrier to wider adoption of autonomous systems for military applications is a lack of operator trust and rigorous methods to validate that autonomous systems will perform as intended. Navatek researchers are on the cutting-edge of methods for certifying autonomous system performance in dynamic environments and when subjected to novel or unpredicted conditions. Our researchers are solving fundamental challenges of how one can adequately test a system when exhaustive testing is either impractical or provably intractable.
COVID-19, Pandemic Response
Navatek and our university partners are developing artificial intelligence modeling and simulation software specific to Navy ships, platforms, and facilities to discover and predict the spread of infectious diseases as they emerge by mining personnel data in a cyber-secure environment and act as an early warning system ensuring that ship and fleet commanders have foreknowledge of the coming contagion and its expected impacts. Focusing on the Navy-specific problem set presents an opportunity to develop a real solution to containing the spread at the level of a US Navy ship and ashore facility, addressing a current gap in disease modeling, which currently focuses on macro-level geographic areas. The variables within a ship, for example, are limited and can be controlled. There are potentially reduced privacy concerns for active duty sailors and marines versus the general public. This Navy-specific contagion-spread model will enable Navy planners to run “what if” scenarios to evaluate are likely to be proposed as a result from the DoD’s assessment of the Navy’s response
Navatek is a forward-looking cybersecurity organization led by industry experts. Navatek’s cyber security and critical infrastructure protection expertise within the private sector and the intelligence community coupled with its design and development experience in cyber-physical systems (including advanced power systems design, industrial control, and autonomous unmanned systems) make it uniquely positioned to solve some of the nation’s most difficult cyber security challenges.
Energy Systems Security
Navatek engineers are collaborating with government and a network of top universities to develop techniques and capabilities to protect next generation power and energy systems for navy combatants.
Manufacturing Systems Security
As commercial industry is achieving increased automation in manufacturing processes, these systems that were once disconnected are now becoming part of a networked system of systems. Navatek is partnering with government and academia to develop a framework and capabilities to protect Industrial Internet of Things use within Naval manufacturing and shipbuilding applications.
Autonomous Unmanned Systems Security
As unmanned systems become increasingly intelligent and less reliant on operator control, the impact of cyber security attacks on these platforms increases exponentially. Navatek’s expertise in securing embedded systems, autonomy, and building mission capable systems allow it to develop autonomous systems that are safe, secure, and resilient to cyber-attack.
Electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for small craft, amphibious vehicles, and unmanned aircraft is a new frontier for Navatek’s model and simulation, control systems, and power electronics. Innovative propulsion concepts rely on energy efficient platforms and harvesting concepts for general system electrification. Using advance power architecture and power management enables long-duration operations for a variety of military and commercial applications.
Hybrid and All-Electric Propulsion Systems
Navatek engineers are collaborating with the Office of Naval Research to develop hybrid and all-electric propulsion systems for Navy craft that maximize energy efficiency and reduce the vessel’s signatures, making them safer for the warfighter to operate in contested environments. Navatek is also performing research to advance the maturity of next-generation integrated power and energy systems (IPES) for Navy combatants that can adaptively route power from a ship’s propulsion system to meet the demands of directed energy weapons.
Navatek is at the forefront of developing technology that can harvest energy from the ocean environment to power nearby installations or recharge unmanned vehicles, keeping them on station and performing their mission longer. Previous and ongoing work includes harvesting from the sun, waves, and ocean currents. Our capabilities in this area span system design, power takeoff mechanism design, energy feasibility analysis, and prototyping construction.
Systems Engineering and Integration for Advanced Power Architectures
The electrification of military vehicles is steadily increasing as more mission systems and payload require electrical power, energy efficiency, and resiliency. Navatek power systems and electrical engineering experts are collaborating with the Navy and Army to design new architectures for compact and resilient power systems with applications for integration.
Power management controls for long-duration USV operations
The Navy is on a path to acquiring medium and large unmanned surface vessels that are expected to operate in the open ocean for long periods. Navatek power systems researchers are tackling a core limitation of these USVs – how to maintain stable electrical power for 30 days or more without human intervention. Our experts are researching new power management controls and redundant power architectures with the goal of providing these ships with resilient electrical power.
Navatek is the only producer of Berry Amendment-compliant Drop-Stitch fabric. This fabric combined with unique coating processes creates novel inflatable technologies. Studying and applying inflatables – supplemented with lightweight composites structures – opens a new frontier of applications for hybrid structures. And our software that predicts the strength behavior of these hybrid structures allows them to be used in high-performance applications.
Expandable structures and inflatables
Navatek engineers expandable and inflatable structures with low size and weight (‘SWaP’). They offer compact transport and storage, and a predictable shape and strength when deployed, making them an ideal technology for expeditionary applications where space and weight are at a premium. One of our core technologies is ‘drop stitch’ inflatable textiles, which enables Navatek to design inflatable structures with tight tolerances on shape and strength. Navatek rapidly prototypes and tests large expandable structures using drop stitch composite textiles, using a company-owned loom capable of limited-production runs of custom textile that is ideally suited for research & development efforts.
Navatek’s multi-disciplinary engineering team includes subject matter experts in structural design and analysis. Navatek routinely uses a variety of commercially available finite element analysis (FEA) software to evaluate trade-offs and optimize structures spanning ships, vehicle chassis, and airframes. Our expertise go beyond static stress-strain type of analyses, and include custom-built proprietary software to solve for the dynamic (time-domain) deformations of structures subject to the action of wave and air flow, coupled thermal effects, and hydro-elastic effects needed to predict the performance of cutting-edge military systems with high confidence. Navatek has also collaborated with Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Newport, to develop a first-of-kind, validated FEA capability for drop stitch textiles and other inflatable structures.
Additive manufacturing & large-scale 3D printing
Navatek is pushing the boundaries of what is possible to 3D print. Together with the University of Maine, Navatek 3D printed the entirety of a 25 foot planing hull suitable for immediate outfitting – the largest structure ever 3D printed at the time. Navatek is continuing to pioneer advanced manufacturing techniques blending 3D printing with new materials, composite designs, and printing processes to create even larger and stronger structures, with the capability to embed sensors and distributed systems – electrical power, cooling, and more – during the printing process.
Navatek is using existing capability in expandable structures and inflatables to forge a path in soft robotics. Using our knowledge of system integration and materials, Navatek is exploring the use of soft robotics for UUV Launch and Recovery applications. To continue to push the boundaries, Navatek is pursuing research in technologies that will help grow the next generation of soft robotic applications.