AUV to signal the intruder that is being watched." Obviously much is being done to address the very difficult issue of locating an underwater or surface intruder, deterring them and ultimately omitting them in the case of military operations. It does change the scenarios in and around busy ports where cruise ships may be docked along side LNG tankers; where bridge foundations are sunk in busy harbor ways; where miles of gas pipelines run to shore or heavily trafficked tunnels lay 50 ft. below the seabed. All must be protected to the fullest extent possible topside and in the water. There is definitely room for technology advancements and that process has been accelerated with Department of Homeland Defense support and with a culture across disciplines to collaborate to share information and solutions for the safety of our troops abroad and for our ports here. Navy's Challenge: Defining the Littoral Battlespace One of the challenges facing the U.S. Navy's undersea defense missions is to improve all aspects of operations for the littoral battlefield and to provide tools that will enable and protect the war fighter to defend and attack effectively in the near shore environment. The switch from a deep ocean, 'bluewater' fighting force to the development of enhanced near shore capabilities was sparked by the end of the Cold War as the U.S. and its allies face an ever increasing number of near-shore threats. To complicate matters, the proliferation of accessible manned and unmanned submarines are -- more than ever -- roaming the world's waterways. Some nations and others are arming themselves to conduct coastwise surveillance to keep potential threats at bay. Part of these systems are smaller manned submarines that cannot run too long without surfacing. The U.S. Navy and its many collaborators have spent the last 40 years understanding the deep ocean systems that have enabled safe passage of our submariners and our marine forces. Work has included characterizing the depth of the ocean, the chemical constituents of the water, movement of the water via currents, mapping thermoclines, and measuring turbidity of the water due. The results of these efforts have advanced our understanding of how sound propagates through water so we can track our enemies using various acoustic listening devices. To thwart this threat to our allies and to our forces overseas the US Navy has been gathering much information and funding many initiatives to improve all aspects of what we know about the dynamics of the littoral area which encompasses water depths from the shallows to 200 ft. There are many, many obstacles to understanding this environment. To that end, the US Navy, in a Request for Information issued in Nov. 2006 outlines the areas that must be addressed in the near shore environment. They are asking industry, academia, the American public at large to consider making a contribution to the body of knowledge needed to enable the US Navy to achieve persistent Intelligent Preparation of the Environment (IPE). IPE consists of measuring various oceanographic parameters such as temperature, salinity, optical clarity, bathymetry and assimilating these data into various physics-based numerical models then getting these data to naval decision makers who can then make tactical decisions. The RFI specifically addresses the need for information about advances in glider, AUV, sensors, communication, navigation, tracking, satellites, RF, GPS and much more. They request information about how best to control multiple systems moving about the littoral zone remotely and how to integrate the data and process it so it can be used quickly by the war fighters. Launch and recovery systems that are deployed underwater, from shore and offshore are being solicited as are undersea docking systems for AUVs and gliders to attach themselves to until needed for a specific mission. All together, coordinated and controlled, specific parts of certain key coastlines can be constantly monitored. There is a need to obtain constant base line info on key harbors so when there is a threat, one can simply call up the most recent bathymetric survey and compare the data. The business opportunities are vast within this narrow research area. For more information on How to Do Business with the Office of Naval Research go to: www. http://www.onr.navy.mil/doing_business/ or http://www.onr.navy.mil/sci_tech/32/. www.seadiscovery.com Marine Technology Reporter 35
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