There’s a noted scene in the old movie “Battleship” in which the U.S. military uses data from sea monitors to target an alien enemy and blast it to smithereens.
Their monitors capture standard information such as sea surge, wave activity and the like, enabling them to detect a huge vessel. The sea waters are displaced, the monitor rises, the military observers see it and they launch their rockets.
However, military officials say they have no such ability to monitor in real-time maritime activity across the open waters of the oceans, says a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
On land, there is the so-called “Internet of Things,” an ever-growing field of smart devices that compile details on temperature, winds and many other conditions, including noise.
So the federal government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency says it is applying that technology to the seas.
The program, “Ocean of Things,” will try to raise the level of “maritime situational awareness” for “large ocean areas.”
The plan is to use “thousands of small, low-cost floats that could form a distributed sensor network,” the agency explained.
“Each smart float would contain a suite of commercially available sensors to collect environmental data – such as ocean temperature, sea state, and location – as well as activity data about commercial vessels, aircraft, and even maritime mammals moving through the area. The floats would transmit data periodically via satellite to a cloud network for storage and real-time analysis,” said DARPA.
The hope is that, in a cost-effective way, a series of monitors can be developed that will “see” ocean activity, record the data and make it available.
John Waterston, the program manager inside the federal agency’s Strategic Technology Office, explained why current technology isn’t adequate.