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I have an idea for sub technology – How viable is this…

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posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 10:48 AM
I don’t know why I was thinking about this, but I was and I came up with an idea.

First up, Autonomous subs (UUV’s) must be on the drawing boards, as I see this is easier than UAV’s. Well, if we take the people out of a sub that opens up a plethora of opportunities.

First up, if we rid ourselves of all the life support on a sub, Id bet you could reduce the size significantly. At least 50% Id wager.

Secondly, without the need for air, food, etc, the sub could remain submerged indefinitely. No humans requiring consumables. Rearming and maintenance would be it.

But the major “breakthrough” here would be something just not possible with humans at the controls. Without the need for air, there wouldn’t be any requirement for air spaces. What does this mean? Sonar would be useless detecting a UUV sub if you could remove the airspaces. Why not fill any cavities with a neutral, non corrosive, non conducting solution or fluid? Sound would pass right through the sub reflecting nothing back!! With the advent of fusion powered batteries and high output electric motors this thing could operate for years.

Of course new ways of controlling buoyancy would need to be figured out without air ballasts and a 1000 other tech challenges for sure. But the concept is not too far out to be designed.

So, imagine this: Sleek 100 foot long subs that pack the same firepower as the largest modern subs. Invisible to sonar of any kind and can remain submerged for a year or longer at a time. Imagine just “camping” these things on the ocean floor just inside international waters near a hostile country. Just leave them there until the time is right. Then you send out a message to become active and wham! They are on the spot instantly.

What do you think?

Almsot forgot: Depth would not be an issue as the pressure in the sub would be very close to outside the sub. These things could go DEEP.

[edit on 13-6-2005 by skippytjc]

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 10:51 AM
its possible but not yet practical, right now they are just doing small recon unmanned undersea probes for detecting mines, etc. maybe in the future if the American people and the U.S. Navy feel more comfortable to use UUVs to replace Seawolfs and Virginias and Los Angeles but the submariners will definitely go crazy over this proposal.

just like the fighter pilots goin crazy over the UAVs UCAVs replacing the manned aircraft which some say f-35 is the last one to be manned prior to UCAVs and so on.

[edit on 13-6-2005 by deltaboy]

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 10:55 AM
Some civilian recreational underwater subs have this thing where they don't use ballast tanks but they use small wings that turn at different angles depending if you want to go down or up. And I’m not a sub expert so I’m going to leave the assessment of your ideas to someone else.

They can have both they don't have to just have UUAV's for the Navy and just UAV's for the air force, both offer different capabilities.

[edit on 13-6-2005 by WestPoint23]

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 11:04 AM
one of the most advanced AUV's is called autosub. Although designed to conduct scientific experiments it has good autonoumous navigation and a long range and endurance. They even tried sailing under the icepack (last i heard they were having problems with this though).

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 11:15 AM
I do see some rather huge challenges with this in the area of remote control and commanding of underwater vehicules.

Especialy over the distances required for stealthy submarines at great depts.

Seawater is an absolutely crappy rf conductor, very low frequency signals would need to be used and extremely high powered signals would have to be used to go the distance and debth into water.

Also, sending a signal from above water to below water brings a whole flurry of problems with it, so massive antenna arrays would need to be built underwater.

A way to slightly limit part of these problems would be to use command ships or aircraft to get close to the subs location and transmit from there, but imho, that defeats the purpouse of the stealthy submarine.

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 11:44 AM
What do you guys think about the absense of air spaces rendering sonar useless? The only reason fish finders work is ebcause of the fish's air bladder. Remove that and you couldnt detect fish. Same logic here as well.

[edit on 13-6-2005 by skippytjc]

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 11:47 AM

Originally posted by skippytjc
What do you guys think about the absense of air spaces rendering sonar useless? The only reason fish finder work is ebcause of the fish's air bladder. Remove that and you couldnt detect fish. Same logic her as well.

One problem, sonar detects the small air around the sub, not the sub itself.

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 05:15 PM
You could use manned subs to get close enough to them and send the signal or send the UUAV its computer data about what to do next or where to go.

posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 07:25 PM
It is a very viable idea and one under exploration. I am sure however that the Navy is skeptical about it as they like to keep humans in the loop for certain of nuclear weapons.
Here is a suggestion since it is posted already on the web. Look up the word " Cutthroat test submarine". This is the name for a native red throated trout in the lakes and streams in the northwestern USA. What they have operating in the lakes out west is a one quarter scale unmanned submarine used as a test bed for new technologies. I have actually seen this test submarine prior to being shipped out to the lakes for operations. I was riding a bicycle around this yard when I spotted it and did a immediate about face. I did not immediately make sense out of it till I peeked inside and realized it was unmanned. It is a smart idea on someones part to design a test bed like this. Just a short quantum leap to the next stage you describe.

As to sonar tracking being a problem .I dont think so as the tiles placed on the surfaces of the hulls now days seem to have improved alot along with other features.

As to picking up rf signals for control and instructions...I dont think that is a problem either as boats for years now have had trailable antennas in the rf radio spectrum trailing as long as a couple of boat lengths behind them. Very similar to what you see on a model radio controlled airplane.
They already have large antenna networks in certain places on the globe burried in the ground capable of transmitting right through the core of the earth. Yes..huge power output..this is one of the complaints with this system. They speculate that it is affecting livestock etc..
This is a intresting concept...and I think for certain applications it will be viable in the future..but one in which the Navy will be slow to apply.

One more thing...that remote controlled boat that paperplane sourced the address for.. is very intresting. Not having humans onboard..negates the need for a sail. The boat is actually more torpedo shaped. I have often wondered why they didnt do that with a regular sized boat...eliminate the sail and have all the masts flush mounted. Seems like the boat would be overall faster. There are some other reasons why they like sails..but that is another story.

Keep a eye on this one in the technnological changes make this more viable...great post..Skippytjc.


posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 05:20 PM
You have 2 kinds of Sonar, active and passive, typically the latter is only used during the terminal homing phase of a torpedo's attack run, and almost never by the launching sub as it is literally a dead giveaway.

Active Sonar reflects off solid objects, passive sonar detects machinery noise, either way, air has nothing to do with it (except if we start talking about cavitation).

If you're suggesting that filling the submarine's internal air cavity with fluid would prevent sound transmission from the internal machinery components - well, fluid isn't a good sound insulator, otherwise Sonar wouldn't work at all

As for your idea in general, such a submarine would need AI to function effectively because a "remote controlled" craft would require real time communications with home base, and this simply isn't feasible for the required volume of data for a submarine travelling at depth, ELF just doesn't have the bandwidth.

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