Showing posts from December 16, 2012

SAIC Reveals New Details on ASW Drone

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has released an updated promotional video on the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV), a DARPA Tactical Technology Office project to develop an autonomous surface vehicle. ACTUV is specifically designed to conduct long duration autonomous tracking missions against diesel submarines.
The video reveals some interesting new details on the awkwardly-acronymed vessel. The computer-generated vignette shows ACTUV working in conjunction with other platforms to track and prosecute submarines using onboard sensors. These include a mid-frequency active/passive sonar mounted in a pod under the vessel's keel, two high frequency active sonars for localization, and a total-field magnetometer array along the ACTUV's hull for close-in tracking. A very high frequency sonar will then use acoustic imaging to classify the sub. Also interesting are the other possible missions ACTUV could conduct which include:…

Drones of the Navy SEALs

The mystique of Navy SEALs has been heavily celebrated in the media and films due to recent real world exploits.  Yet Naval Special Warfare (NSW) sailors have been heavily engaged in combat operations for more than eleven consecutive years.  Warfare is still a decidely human endeavor, and America's naval special warriors are quick to embrace the truth that "humans are more important than hardware." Nevertheless, today's SEALs, Special Warfare Combat Crewmen, and other supporting personnel in the NSW community have benefited greatly from technology, which increasingly includes unmanned systems.

Two primary realizations within the NSW community drove the rapid introduction of UAVs for combat operations in Southwest and Central Asia.  The first realization was that even the best shooters in the world were ineffective if they were unable to locate their targets.  Simply, UAVs are a force multiplier for SEALs and enable an exponential increase in their ability to find, fix…