A COTS Approach to Data-at-Rest Encryption Onboard an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV)

A COTS Approach to DAR Encryption Onboard an UUV

A system developer contacted Curtiss-Wright to look for network-attached storage (NAS) device for an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). Due to the vehicle's size, weight, and power (SWaP) constraints, the NAS needed to be very small while providing the network services of a larger file server. This aggressive approach to SWaP would extend the UUV mission length by propelling less mass through the water, free up space for other sensing or computing equipment and enable the vehicle's power plant to last longer and go further.

Since the UUV could be lost during deployment, the developer and their end customer required that the classified data be protected to national standards. For data encryption, the choices included Type 1 devices or commercial encryption methods, but either solution must meet NSA approval.

Since Curtiss-Wright had already started the DTS1 IRAD development, the delivery schedule supported the developer's requirement for quick delivery of pre-production units. The early units were delivered and are currently successfully operating on-board the vehicle. Having performed a CC and CSfC Gap Analysis with Gossamer, Curtiss-Wright provided a low-risk certification roadmap to the developer, and in turn to their customer. This certified encryption approach enabled the developer to assure their customer that the data-at-rest would be protected in-vehicle loss, fulfilling a critical requirement for deployment approval by the end customer.