The Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (HAUV) was initially jointly developed by Bluefin Robotics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for ship hull inspection under Office of Naval Research (ONR) funding. In 2008, under PMSEOD’s “Explosive Ordnance Disposal Hull Unmanned Underwater Localization System” program (EOD HULS), Bluefin conducted a major vehicle redesign in order to improve the system’s performance and bring it up to the EOD HULS specification. The EOD HULS HAUV system consisting of two vehicles and topside / support equipment was delivered in October 2008. It underwent the Engineering Evaluation phase of the Requirement Compliance Test and Evaluation (RCT&E) of the EOD HULS acquisition program by the Government in December 2008 in San Diego California. It is currently undergoing User Operational Evaluation with the Navy’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 (MDSU-2) in Little Creek Virginia.More
Suzie’s hair gel is arriving in San Diego. But will a cheap and elusive mine or other explosive device give not just Suzie but the whole nation a lot more to worry about?
Threading her way through the channel of a congested San Diego harbor, the containership Devonshire Trader—stacked to the pilot house with shipping containers including Suzie’s Royal Paradise hair gel from New Zealand—is just moments away from the end of a routine, almost monotonous crossing of the Pacific. Without warning, a tower of seawater suddenly envelops both sides of the bow and a massive shudder passes down the length of the ship. With the deck under his feet rapidly taking on a foreboding list and reports of massive flooding in his ship’s forward compartments, the captain takes the only course of action he has left.
As the Coast Guard pieces together available facts, prudence requires initial treatment of the incident as a hostile act. With the possibility that a terrorist act has occurred in U.S. waters, the White House is informed. As investigators mull over the situation, the uncertainty of its cause disappears. Reports arrive that a cruise ship has been severely damaged by an underwater explosion in Seattle’s harbor and a petroleum tanker is burning in the Houston Ship Channel after a similar underwater event. Somehow, terrorists have pulled off coordinated attacks against U.S. ports and waterways––America’s soft underbelly. Coast Guard Captains of the Port quickly close all other ports and harbors from Maine to Guam to all but emergency traffic. Nothing else moves.More
A broad spectrum of nontraditional and asymmetric threats challenges U.S. maritime homeland security.1 The smuggling of drugs, arms, and people;vesselborne improvised explosive devices, like that used by terrorists against the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole in October 2002; proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-explosive weapons of mass destruction and disruption; piracy and organized crime; overexploitation of marine resources and the destruction of marine habitats; environmental attacks and trade disruption; political and religious extremism; mass migration flows; global health threats (e.g., the spread of infectious diseases like SARS and avian flu)— all these and more pose far-reaching dangers for American security interests at home and abroad. Under the cloak of legal activity, groups that would do us harm can enter the U.S. homeland anywhere along more than ninety-five thousand miles of coastlines and through some 360 ports from Maine to Guam.More