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The Military Wireless Networking Science Technology

DARPA Wants To Seed the Ocean With Delayed-Action Robot Pods 67

Posted by timothy
from the mostly-for-spying dept.
coondoggie writes "This plan sounds a bit like a science fiction scenario where alien devices were planted in the ground thousands of years ago only to be awoken at some predetermined date to destroy the world. Only in this case it's the scientists at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency who want to develop a system of submersible pods that could reside in the world's oceans (presumably not in anyone's territorial waters) and be activated for any number of applications days, months or even years later."
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DARPA Wants To Seed the Ocean With Delayed-Action Robot Pods

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  • I make these (Score:1, Informative)

    by spiritplumber (1944222) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @05:40AM (#42566179)
    I make these (have been since 2010), are they buying? Who do I get in touch with?
  • WTF DARPA? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @06:09AM (#42566245)

    I don't get it.

    http://www.benthos.com/undersea-acoustic-release-modem-SMART-SM75.asp

    The article must be glossing over what makes this unique. Do they want a factor of 10 reduction in price? I've been working on the problem of cheap deep water electronics for nearly a decade so this is relevant to my interests(honestly who in the field of oceanography hasn't? Nobody wants to pay a ship to go un-fuck a $100 science project and mass production of gizmos is not the core competency of scientists in most cases).

    DARPA is essentially throwing up their hands at the problem of locomotion and saying it's cheaper from an energy standpoint to just pepper the ocean with lots of sensors than to transport a single sensor over lots of territory pushing water out of the way of its course. "Sensors" is a pretty broad catch-all for payload and can vary in price significantly, impacting the truth of that assertion.

    Changing batteries isn't cheap so disposable is desirable. Why not just embed a cell phone in a block of epoxy or polyurethane? It is cheaper to drop ballast than it is to displace 100ATM of water, so they might as well settle on a solenoid fired shear pin or electric door strike type mechanism. Syntactic foam and you can do the whole thing with a cheap prepaid, a pic processor, and a solar cell. Battery life scales with price so that is a matter of mission endurance priorities.

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