Submarines: Super Sub Search Sensor Surfaces

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February1, 2007: American researchers at Georgia Tech, investigating how fish hear underwater, have developed a sensor that can detect the sound objects make while moving through the water, and what direction it's coming from. This will enable submarines to "hear" other submarines, or surface ships, moving. Fish use this acute sense of sound to detect prey, or predators. Submarines will use this ability in the same way, and for the same purpose. The new motion sensor is passive. It just listens, and does not give off any signals. The sensor has already been tested in a large indoor pool (25 by 34 feet, and 25 feet long). Next comes testing in the open sea, and tweaking the sensor, and its software, to the point where it can be deployed on subs, ships and buoys (dropped from helicopters and aircraft.) This will take a few years, at least. If the design of the new sensor, and its software, survive all the testing, and can be kept secret, the new technology will give American subs and ships a powerful edge in ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) for a decade or more (by which time most maritime nations will have figured out the technology and matched it.)

 


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