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Showing posts from September 23, 2012

Future Naval Drone Power - Part II

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Unmanned naval systems are rapidly reaching the limitations of physics with regard to their endurance.  Current internal combustion and electrically powered systems have several drawbacks.  In addition to range/weight issues, liquid fuel engines make for noisy UAVs which can compromise missions in some circumstances, such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconaissance.  Electrically-powered UAVs are quiet, but batteries do not approach the energy contained within a similar weight of fossil fuel.  This article clearly explains the physical limitations of current battery technologies.  Modern lithium-ion batteries are problematic due to their propensity to catch fire and explode.  SOCOM's billion dollar Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) fire illustrated  why navies are not keen on carrying lithium-ion batteries at sea, especially undersea.  Clearly, alternative power technologies are in high demand.

Previously, we highlighted the use of ship-based lasers to power future UAS.  …

Still More IMCMEX 12 Unmanned Systems...

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As FIFTH Fleet's major mine countermeasures exercise continues, we learn "Task Group North" flagship USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) operating in the Persian Gulf isn't the only MCM mother ship. More than 1,000 miles to the South, USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) is hosting Royal Navy MCM ops in the Gulf of Aden.  Another interesting observation is that the Amercians, British, Dutch, and Kiwis are all deploying variants of the Hydroid REMUS UUV. Whether intentional or not, this systems compatiblity will ensure coalition operations and logistics support during any future mine warfare contingency occur more smoothly.