The ocean is vast and very, very deep, which means that we still have a lot to learn when it comes to learning how to traverse it. This means that monitoring the ocean for threats can be a daunting task, and this is an issue that DARPA acknowledges. So much so that they are working on a new program that would tap into nature to do the monitoring for them.

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Dubbed the Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors (PALS) program, it is basically a concept which takes marine life to act as sensors of sorts to keep an eye out for potential threats from sea. Led by Lori Adornato, the researcher is quoted as saying, “The U.S. Navy’s current approach to detecting and monitoring underwater vehicles is hardware-centric and resource intensive. As a result, the capability is mostly used at the tactical level to protect high-value assets like aircraft carriers, and less so at the broader strategic level.”

“If we can tap into the innate sensing capabilities of living organisms that are ubiquitous in the oceans, we can extend our ability to track adversary activity and do so discreetly, on a persistent basis, and with enough precision to characterize the size and type of adversary vehicles.”

Note that this is actually not the first time that DARPA wants to turn rely on nature. Last year DARPA announced a program that would create plants that could act as biohazard sensors.

Filed in General >Military. Read more about Science.

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