On 17-28 October 2016, NRV Alliance and CRV Leonardo both operated in the LCAS16 experiment.
LCAS stands for Littoral Continuous Active Sonar -- an experiment which was held in the Gulf of Taranto, Italy.
During LCAS16, scientists from the NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) tested technologies and software that had been developed at the Centre and by partner research institutions in NATO countries (and NATO partner countries) to study detection and tracking of objects in the marine environment. In particular, an autonomous collaborative ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) approach wasexperimented, including autonomous underwater and surface vehicles (AUVs and ASVs), with the Ocean Explorer AUV performing detections, and the Wave Glider - a wave-power operated unmanned surface vehicle -acting as a communications gateway. CMRE and the LCAS partners were also studying the effectiveness of lower-power continuous active sonar as compared to more traditional pulse active sonar.
Members of the Littoral Continuous Active Sonar Multinational-Joint Research Project (LCAS MN-JRP) with researchers from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Norway and the United States took part in the sea trial which thus represented a valuable shared opportunity to test cutting-edge ASW signal processing concepts. It was also an occasion to see how new advances in research and technology - such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) - can be applied to NATO missions in the future.
The LCAS16 experiment was conducted from and supported by the 93-metre NATO Research Vessel Alliance and the Coastal Research Vessel Leonardo, both operated by the Italian Navy. LCAS16 also marked the first mission for the newly appointed Commander Ettore Ronco, IT N Commanding Officer of NRV Alliance, and the first CMRE long sea trial for Commander Gianluca Montella, IT N Commanding Officer of CRV Leonardo.