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The US military might use marine organisms to detect ocean-bound threats

By Polycount ยท 4 replies
Feb 5, 2018
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  1. The world's many bodies of water hold plenty of dangers and not all of them are natural. According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the seas of the world offer endless opportunities for "adversaries of the United States [to] maneuver undetected."

    Keeping tabs on these difficult-to-detect threats is no small task but DARPA may have an unconventional solution - using "marine organisms" to detect and signal when "activities of interest" occur in key parts of the world's oceans.

    Put simply, this means DARPA may be looking to hook up fish with sensor systems to detect threats. This may sound like a joke at first but the organization is quite serious. DARPA's new Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors (PALS) program, led by Lori Adornato, will soon be studying "natural and modified" organisms to find out whether or not such a concept is possible.

    DARPA is particularly interested in using sea life to sense threats due to many marine organisms' existing ability to sense stimuli across electrical, magnetic, chemical and optical "domains."

    "Performer teams supporting DARPA will also have to develop hardware, software, and algorithms to translate organism behavior into actionable information and then communicate it to end users," DARPA's announcement reads. "The complete sensing systems must also discriminate between target vehicles and other sources of stimuli, such as debris and other marine organisms, to limit the number of false positives."

    If this technology does become a reality, it won't happen anytime soon. According to DARPA, the PALS program is planned to take place over four years and will require research contributions from biologists, chemists, mechanical engineers and physicists.

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,662   +2,418

  3. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 369   +183

    The sardines are on our side, but the anchovies are on theirs.

    I make jokes rather than cry and tear out my hair.
  4. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 567   +246

    So long and thanks for all the fish, Sir.
  5. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,178   +648

    This made the Tech "news"? It was a request for information, not even a contract or program of record. This was be like a post doc's initial thesis idea making the national news; no work has been done, its a 'what if' idea.

    Also, there is no such thing as 'undersea radar'. Its sonar, and operates completely differently from radar. "Traditional radar" has nothing to fear from this project.

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