Researchers from Atlantic University (FAU) in Florida and The U.S. Navy have developed robotic boats from which drones can be launched in order to protect U.S. coastal waters. Their goal was to create a system that can reliably and safely navigate the coast with a high level of precision and protection. The FAU will create a new software system that can help with detecting obstacles while allowing ships to serve as docking stations to power and launch these powerful drones.
One issue faced by researchers was developing a software system to help the ships get a clear image not just for detecting obstacles, but also for identifying friendly or enemy ships in the area. The software will also help in planning routes for various military missions. According to the Navy, these ships are the future of our weaponry and will be paramount in the development of naval operations.
The program is called the Strategic Roadmap for Unmanned Systems and started gaining traction in the Pentagon last year, although it has not been officially released. It was recently revealed that the Navy is developing and buying new drones to integrate into their arsenal for protection, tracking and for weaponry.
The research of drones being used as weapons goes far back in history to World War 2. It was back in 1930 that the term “drone” was created by Commander Delmar Fahrney who at the time was in charge of research while in the Navy. In 2014, the Navy experimented with drones in different ways they could be used to defend themselves during a fight.
Soon, the Navy will deploy a ship called The Sea Hunter. This robotic unmanned ship will navigate open waters and may be outfitted with ballistic missiles. Some speculate that they could hold 4-6 missiles and be spread across the waters to protect our country and allies which could provide an amazing military advantage. Although this is still undergoing research, the Navy is trying out several innovative software technologies including aerial drones. When it comes to being forward thinking, the US Navy is definitely in the lead.