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UUVs rise to the surface

July 1, 2012 via - Military and Aerospace Electronics

Unmanned underwater vehicles are becoming feasible for a wide variety of applications, from autonomous ship hull inspection to oil and gas exploration, while military leaders are developing UUVs for long-endurance underwater intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) in the past have been niche machines used for research and specific pre-programmed tasks. The difficulties of building and operating these submersibles made them less useful than their airborne and land-bound kin. With technology constantly moving forward, however, UUVs are expanding into the mainstream with the ability to complete a wider variety of missions than their research-specific predecessors.

UUVs face a unique challenge that other unmanned vehicles do not: the ocean. This is a corrosive environment in which high pressure often can be present. Marine animals as small as microorganisms and as large as whales can interfere with operation. In the ocean, communications are virtually non-existent, and ruggedizing these underwater craft, without exception, means they must be either waterproof, airtight, or both. As a result, UUVs need to be largely autonomous, able to withstand the rigors of the marine environment, and be among the most power-efficient vehicles designed.

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Author:Skyler Frink
Publisher:Military and Aerospace Electronics
Citation:frink S, Special Report: UUvs rise to the surface, Military and Aerospace Electronics, July 1 2012
Date Published:July 1, 2012
External Link:http://www.militaryaerospace.com/articles/print/volume-23/issue-07/special-report/uuvs-rise-to-the-surface.html
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