HomeMilitaryDARPA releases wish list for underwater vehicle launcher
August 23, 2013
DARPA releases wish list for underwater vehicle launcher
Earlier this month, DARPA hosted a “Proposer’s Day” at Johns Hopkins University to share details of its futuristic Hydra program with companies who might be in a position to help make it a reality. The goal of Hydra is to create an unmanned undersea system that can rapidly deploy unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles worldwide. Pretty cool.
In theory, the system would complement the Navy’s ships and submarines through undersea network of ready-to-deploy assets (ergo the reason it’s named after a multi-headed creature from Greek mythology). According to Scott Littlefield, DARPA program manager, such an unmanned technology infrastructure below the surface of the ocean could relieve some of the resource strain caused when today’s budget austerity runs up against security challenges including natural disasters, piracy, ungoverned states and more.
Yesterday, DARPA posted the Broad Agency Announcement on Hydra, which outlines exactly what types of proposals it is seeking. You can download here.
In it, DARPA calls for innovative solutions for a modular enclosure, air vehicle payload, undersea payload as well as overall system concepts of operation and supporting technologies. Proposals are due by Oct. 22.
Hydra is obviously in its very earliest stages, but it does shed light on the direction the U.S. Department of Defense sees unmanned systems going, and as expected they will play an increasingly large role in future operations.
Mike Davin is passionate about business and robotics. In addition to editing The Business of Robotics, he is on the advisory board for the Robotics Alley Conference & Expo. He also serves on the executive committee of AUVSI Twin Cities as communications chair. Before he covered robots, he was senior editor of Boating Industry magazine as well as online editor of its sister publication, Powersports Business.