Providing For Homeland Security During The United States

1496 Words Dec 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Providing for homeland security in the United States requires protection from a diverse set of threats. One prominent avenue of attack is via maritime routes, yet the nature of the coastal marine space makes it extremely difficult to detect and intercept smuggling vessels. Many sensing technologies exist for detection of seacraft, but there are few options for deployment of these sensors. Currently, such sensors are deployed on various manned vessels, tethered buoys, and aircraft. Development and testing of purpose built anti-submarine systems such as DARPA’s ASW Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) (more colorfully known as the “ghost hunter”), is underway but suffers from high cost.
The coastal marine space surrounding the United States is vast. Poor access to supporting resources such as fuel or communications, means manned patrol vessels face challenges with monitoring resolution, mission endurance, crew comfort, and information relay. A combination of low cost autonomous vessels and buoys, both at the surface and underwater, can help mitigate these issues. However, existing systems have varying capabilities that make each suited to particular types of tasks.
Background
While smuggling via watercraft goes back thousands of years, only recently have smugglers used submarine and low radar profile watercraft. The interception of the first submarine smuggling narcotics in 2006 proved that intruding vessels are a real threat. Since that first detection, many more similar…
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