DISSUB Exercise

NRP Gago Coutinho and Lauv-Noptilus-2 (courtesy of NATO CMRE).

The DISSUB (stands for Distressed Submarine) exercise is focused on the usage of underwater digital communications (STANG4748 also known as JANUS) for support in submarine SMER (Submarine Escape and Rescue) operations. It’s a joint exercise between the NATO CMRE, LSTS and the PT Navy. This exercise in REP dates back to REP17 edition, and has been developed and experimented over the last editions. The main goal for LSTS is to further integrate the use of the AUVs during the searching phase of a distressed submarine.

DISSUB Scenario
 DISSUB scenario (courtesy of NATO CMRE).

The exercise outline goes as follows:

  • After a hypothetical emergency is declared, a JANUS enabled underwater telephone onboard the NRP Submarine starts sinding periodically JANUS messages with estimated position and relevant vital data of persons and environment.
  • The JANUS packets will be picked up by the Wave Glider and forwarded to the AUVs operating in the area.
  • The AUVs are used to triangulate and confirm the position of the distressed submarine to reduce the error on the sent location.
  • The AUVs receiving the distress data will trigger a searching behavior navigating towards and around the submarine.

On the 19th of September the DISSUB exercise was executed and we were able to successfully receive a distress signal from the NRP Submarine, triangulate its position under 10min, with the search patterns automatically generated onboard the AUV. Under one hour the Submarine was captured under the sidescan images taken during the AUV survey.

We consider this year’s DISSUB exercise a success, as we fulfilled all the technological challenges and also learned what we can improve for next year.

NRP Tridente and Wave Glider
NRP Tridente on the left and Wave Glider on the right


On top - NRP Gago Coutinho and Lauv-Noptilus-2  (courtesy of the Portuguese Navy).


by Maria Costa and Paulo Dias