General Dynamics Sub Drone to Report Mine Data

Site: Navy.mil

The Navy debuted plans Monday for its mine sweeping systems, featuring drone supplements and the capability to swim 16 hours at a time, Wired reports. 

The General Dynamics-built Knifefish submarine drones are expected to be ready for deployment in 2015 and will be used to find buried mines. 

The 19-foot Knifefish submarine will launch from the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, which Wired reports is built to stay close to the shoreline.

The new underwater drones will have programmed instructions for where to search, will collect data on mines and store up to 12 terabytes of data.

Capt. Dwayne Ashton, the Navy’s program manager for unmanned maritime systems, said the systems will use low-frequency wideband frequencies in order to detect mines.

According to Ashton, the system will be able to fingerprint objects, instead of requiring sailors to spend hours analyzing data and cataloguing the mine type.  

The submarine drone will store the data and transmit it upon return to the LCS ship. 

Ashton said the Navy does not need real-time data reporting yet.

However, the Navy plans to re-evaluate that need following the first Knifefish missions, according to Wired. 

Navy-funded scientists recently developed an unmanned seawater-powered submarine drone, which resembles a jellyfish that could be used to conduct spy missions. 

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