March 25, 2015

Hunting Diesel Subs

From the UK Daily Mail:
The US Navy is set to unleash an army of 'ghost drones' to scour the coasts for enemy submarines. They hope to end the growing threat of quiet, diesel powered enemy submarines enters American waters undetected.

The robot boats will go to sea for us to three months at a time.

The project began in 2010, when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, announced that they were building a 132-foot autonomous boat to track quiet, diesel-powered submarines.

The program was dubbed Anti-submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel, or ACTUV.

In six weeks of tests along a 35-nautical mile stretch of water off of Mississippi earlier this year, testers at engineering company Leidos and DARPA put the ACTUV's systems through 100 different scenarios.

The test boat was able to tail a target boat at 1 kilometer's distance, something military bosses say is a major step forward.
More at DARPA and here.

I wonder how easy it is to detect and destroy these 'ghost drones'? Are they capable of evasion or self defense? It sounds like the technology is not mature and will take a bit more development before it is truly mission capable.


Doom said...

Planes are much better at locating. It looks more like a toy, or an attempt at automating something that just doesn't do well automated. Diesels shouldn't be difficult to find and track anyway, they have to surface, or thereabouts, for air. It's their major failing. They can snorkel, last I knew, from about periscope depth, but that isn't good for engines or crews over the long haul, and takes longer as well.

I'm doubting everything out of this government right now. There are only dubious reasons for this device. Well, and more government debt, which is being bought by the self-same government.

I think about self-driving cars. Then I think about bugs, hackers, and even flaws in the processing. Imagine if the thing was programmed to pull over and stop after an accident. No imagine that being used to rob, rape, etc. Of course, I'm not sure most drivers would notice, being glued to their "smartphones".

Sleepy blathering, but... It's in there.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...


Kid said...

Sig, This is classified. Else I'd fill you in.

Kid said...

Doom, the last thing I'd want in this world is a self driving car.

Doom said...


Well, that's the second to the last thing I would want. In the field of tech anyway. The last thing I would want is an automated military, even without the notion of artificial super(or even sub) intelligence. But... yeah... no to bureaucratic driving.

Kid said...

And what if these ghost drones become self-aware and attack US instead?