Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Novel Approach to Anti-Submarine Warfare - AUNs

Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) comprises all efforts to locate, track and destroy enemy submarines. Read Wikipedia's condensed ASW history and most likely you will learn of at least one technique that you never knew had been tried and is now outmoded. If you already knew what a Leigh light was, who used it and why it was abandoned the foregoing link is far too pedestrian for you.

The latest ASW concept, still under wraps and unprototyped, is expected to be a quantum leap over existing ASW techniques. M.E. guessess either the U.K. or U.S. is leading this novel effort, and Germany, Australia or Japan may also be involved. When and if successful, the newest concept could interface nicely with the just barely announced emphasis on UUVs equipped with acoustic vector sensors through 2020 for submarine tracking/trailing.

The latest concept involves a combination of nanotechnology and biomolecular chemistry. Once a
submerged submarine has been coated with an invisible attractant by simply traveling through a deposit place en route to somewhere predictable (e'g. homeport), the trap has been set.

Up to months later, when and if the submarine visits a so-called registration region, millions of nanoscale autonomous underwater robots would be attracted by the sub's invisible coating and attach chemically to its outer hull. When triggered by an unknown agent (SPECULATION: a blue laser beam up to 50m below the surface), the submarine hull will suddenly, and invisibly, biofluoresce. Presumably, the fluoresence would then be detected by some sensor, perhaps a satellite. What happens next? Once the submarine has been detected, familiar means would be utilized to identify, track or neutralize any threat.

How do the nanoscale autonomous underwater nanobots (AUNs) obtain and store power? Molecularly from reactions with stuff in the sea. How do they move? Well, M.E. readers may have inadvertently stumbled on that answer earlier.
During topical research another interesting link surfaced. As no relevant connection to it ever materialized, it was discarded for purposes of this posting.



At 12 July, 2008 12:53, Blogger Tom Goering said...

Interesting, how long would the stuff be active? Would currents not bring the stuff to other parts of the oceans and attaching itself to other subs? I few questions come to mind, before I ask a bunch more I better go read the link :)

At 13 July, 2008 19:20, Blogger Vigilis said...

Navycs, currently, only two months or so and that has not improved over the last year as I understand the status quo.

I possess no concrete details to either digest or passalong beyond what I posted.

At 13 July, 2008 22:16, Blogger Tom Goering said...

Still, amazing technology. "Run silent, run deep" may soon have to be replaced with "Run silent, run deep, run clean". Hull surfaces may require new materials - what a major evolution in sub design this type of tech may bring... Exciting and scary.


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