- Reaction score
Lots of implications for NORAD/NATO--US Navy may have big plans to expand underwater Arctic surveillance capabilities, both on North American and European NATO side (good graphics, further links at original):
The Navy Is Building A Network Of Drone Submarines And Sensor Buoys In The Arctic
As competition in the Arctic heats up, the Navy is looking to drastically increase its awareness of what is going on up there.
he U.S. Navy has awarded the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution a contract worth more than $12 million to develop unmanned undersea vehicles and buoys, along with a networked communications and data sharing infrastructure to link them all together. The project is ostensibly focused on developing a overall system to support enhanced monitoring of environmental changes in the Arctic for scientific purposes. However, it’s not hard to see how this work could be at least a stepping stone to the creation of a wide-area persistent underwater surveillance system in this increasingly strategic region.
The Pentagon announced the award of the contract in a daily notice on Sept. 29, 2020. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is managing what is officially called the Arctic Mobile Observing System (AMOS), which is also described as an “Innovative Naval Prototype” effort. ONR’s secretive Netted Emulation of Multi-Element Signature (NEMESIS) electronic warfare program and its work on an electromagnetic railgun, which you can read about, respectively, here and here, are also an Innovative Naval Prototype projects.
“The work to be performed provides for the design, development, integration and testing of an acoustic navigation network, a distributed communication system, gateway buoy nodes and unmanned vehicle capabilities to support the Arctic Mobile Observing System,” according to the Pentagon’s contracting notice. Woods Hole’s work under this contract is expected to wrap up by the end of the 2024 Fiscal Year.
ONR envisions the AMOS prototype as consisting of various kinds of unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV), including fully-autonomous types, along with fixed sensors. All of this would be tied together through a series of communications and data sharing nodes, suspended underwater underneath buoys installed on the surface of the ice. “AMOS will be designed to persist/endure for 12 months, have a sensing footprint goal of 100 km [approximately 62 miles] from the central node and have 2-way Arctic communications (vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to node and node to shore),” according to an official project website…[read on]