30 August 2005

Sub Related Notes

The Navy is always looking to develop new undersea sensor technology. Recently, they awarded several SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contracts for some non-traditional detection methods.

For example, how about trying to create detectors modeled after how sharks hunt - both for submarines and for people.

Or how about getting pulsed Low Frequency waves without having to rely on the mini-explosives used for IEER - and instead using a pulsed electrical signal?

SBIRs do not make it to full-on deployed systems very often. However, they do often explore interesting concepts that can be integrated in to other systems - which is really the point of these efforts. Of course, as I work with the more "traditional" detection systems, I predict total failure for these projects ;-)

Now that BRAC appears to have passed over the home of the sub fleet, people are looking down the road and renwing their worry about what else the future will bring, and not without cause.

The DOD's quadrennial review is due soon, and there is some question, especially after the shape of the DOD's original BRAC recommendation, as to how impartial the review will be, considering the strong personality of Secretary Rumsfeld. Possibly due to these concerns, the House Armed Services Committee is planning its own quadrennial review - something I was unaware of. Fascinating.

To file under "embarassed I didn't know this": The Navy has shut down its ELF transmitters. I wonder what system made ELF "replaceable by other communications technology"? Comms at speed and depth always seems to kick our butt - I would love to know what approach we are taking now.

Submarine funding may be at risk, but our potential threats are not in any danger of lessening. Our exhibit today: India.

Sure, they may be signing unprecedented treaties with us, but they are still building up their air and land forces.

Oh yeah, and their sea power, too. The truly concerning part of this tidbit is not just that India is acquiring some very capable subs, but that she will be building them in her shipyard in Bombay with French help - meaning that when they are all trained up by the French, the Indians can start pumping out Scorpene-variants as quick as she can manage, as well as using the knowledge gained from building these and apply it to their attempts to build their own nuke boats. The article mentions that there is concern from the Indian Navy that "its fleet, “particularly the submarine strike arm”, was de-commissioning vessels faster than it can acquire them." Looks like they are well on the way to rectifying that - too bad we can't take a lesson!

I mean, honestly, if a random journalist in North Carolina can figure it out, why can't the Navy upper command?


At 9/02/2005, Blogger Vigilis said...

PBS, Ironic that you highlight India. In Sept. 1st Financial Express, Mumbai, India:

Naval headquarters is worried that its fleet, “particularly the submarine strike arm”, was de-commissioning vessels faster than it can acquire them. “We have waited long, too long actually,” said the chief of naval staff, Admiral Arun Prakash, when asked about the proposal to acquire the Scorpene submarines.

If we are lucky, Cina's chief of naval staff will have to say that soon. - Molten Eagle

At 9/02/2005, Blogger Vigilis said...

PBS, Regarding recent ELF antenna decommissioning, a Gakona-type station seems one possibility.

Fascinating discussions of HAARP and ELF are available at Wikipedia (and other UNofficial sources). Based on physical observations and mathematics, inducing only one ampere out of the millions flowing in the natural electrojet appears adequate to generate a useful signal. Interesting question you asked! - Molten Eagle

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