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U.S. military wants to hide drones under the sea

CBS News – by JEREMY HSU

Hollywood films often show alien ships or giant monsters rising from the ocean depths to threaten humanity’s existence. The U.S. military envisions a more realistic scenario of hiding robotic drones, sensors or decoys on the ocean floor so that they can rise to the occasion when needed.

The idea of hiding sneaky spy technologies beneath the waves comes from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The agency described its Upward Falling Payloads program as an effort to hide underwater capsules that could be triggered remotely to activate, float to the surface and release their payloads of sensor buoys or even flying drones.

“The concealment of the sea also provides opportunity to surprise maritime targets from below, while its vastness provides opportunity to simultaneously operate across great distances,” DARPA said in a broad agency announcement on Jan. 11.

Earth’s oceans provide plenty of hiding places for robots to engage in some “cheap stealth” — about 50 percent of the oceans reach depths deeper than 2.5 miles. DARPA’s ideal payload would fit within a spherical capsule 17 inches in diameter or a cylinder about 5 inches in diameter and 36 inches in length.

The idea of deploying robots from beneath the waves has some precedent, given how the Navy has tested the launch of flying drones from a submarine’s trash chute. By comparison, the Upwards Falling Payloads effort faces the additional challenges of ensuring robotic technologies can hibernate for years under deep-ocean pressure and still obey instantly when the order comes down to activate.

DARPA emphasized that the new program is “specifically not a weapons program” and would have “non-lethal” intent. “But other countries may have a different opinion on the definition of “non-lethal” for robots or drones deployed to carry out surveillance or jam communications.”

The new program highlights the U.S. Navy’s turn to a growing swarm of robotic ships and flying drones that can supplement traditional warships and aircraft. Recent experiments have included firing missiles from robot boats, deploying drone helicopters such as the MQ-8 Fire Scout to help track pirates or smugglers, and testing the X-47 robot warplane from the deck of an aircraft carrier.

DARPA has also funded development of larger robot ships, such as a submarine hunter called the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel, which can stay out at sea for up to 90 days.

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You can follow TechNewsDaily Senior Writer Jeremy Hsu on Twitter@jeremyhsu. Follow TechNewsDaily on Twitter @TechNewsDaily. We’re also on Facebook Google+.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57564992/u.s-military-wants-to-

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9 Responses to U.S. military wants to hide drones under the sea

  1. John Q.Parvenu says:

    The “U.S. military wants to hide drones under the sea.” sez CBS…

    “Wants to?”

    The Pentagon is concealing many other things undersea and more still, underground — things far more lethal than WWII-tech drones.

    But the drones will provide a cover story….

    Below is a link to Rich Dolan’s informative presentation that makes the case for what he, quite properly, calls a “Breakaway Civilization.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIdIsODWzso

    — A brief written synopsis can be read here: http://www.afterdisclosure.com/2011/0/breakaway.html

    Cheers,

    JQP

    “Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied.” — Bismarck

  2. pete says:

    DARPA needs to start by working on how to turn bullshit into gold – then it can pay of the dept.

    how long do they think they can keep spending money they dont have and stiffing the public with the (interest bearing) dept!

  3. diggerdan says:

    Oh yea, a accident just waiting to happen. This DARPA crap reminds me of that article yesterday about that navy ship getting grounded on that coral reef. They said that the digital map was screwed up or something like that – just like them F`ers would say.

    • pete says:

      the map was fine, i suspect the gps & magnetic compass were off by about 30′

      HOWEVER, that does not excuse them from the fact that they should have been monitoring the area visually and watching sonar.
      what if they had been exactly where they thought they were but hit a submarine or small boat instead of a reef?

      it’s like me going for a drive with the windshield whitewashed using nothing but satnav & the force!

      • diggerdan says:

        Exactly my point pete. This time though they were luky and only hit a coral reef that took maybe millions or maybe just a few thousands of years to form. Anyway, like you said pete they realy should have been monitoring the area `cause they very well could have ran into one of them nuclear subs or something of the likes ya know.

  4. NC says:

    In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “I had a dream…..” followed by my words, “that I could go out in the middle of nowhere or in the middle of the ocean without being watched or tracked by the world government.” What a dream that would be.

  5. jaydi says:

    hmm underwater payloads, scattered all over the worlds oceans. deep underground bunkers with mach 2 bullet trains. sounds like preparations for a cataclysmic event like a meteor strike.

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