New toys for the military at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition -the Sharc - image

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New toys for the military at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition -the Sharc - image

Silent stealthy and slow. Benjamin, the autonomous underwater robot pictured here, has a Guinness World Record for crossing the Pacific Ocean. Starting from San Francisco in November 2011, it arrived in Australia in November 2012, and it did that without carrying any fuel.

Benjamin is powered entirely by solar panels. With carefully angled underwater wings taking advantage of the passive motion of the sea, it is a slow machine, traveling at about one knot, or 3 feet every 2 seconds. Speed isn't the point--endurance is. Already proven to be more than capable of spending a year at sea, the SHARC SV2 has plenty of room to carry sensors, letting it collect all sorts of important oceanic data that would be impractical or expensive to secure by other means. That's great for scientists.

What's it doing at a military expo? The sensors are neat, but it's the combination of sensors with an all-but-undetectable machine that the Navy is really interested in. Without engines or heat signatures, this machine runs quiet and it's almost invisible. All the while, it uses energy from its solar cells to collect and transmit whatever the sensors pick up.

More:

 http://www.popsci.com/techn...

sharc-sv2.jpg - 51.78kb
By netchicken: posted on 10-4-2013








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