The Importance of Marine Autonomy


It may seem an unlikely topic for a military review, but the topic of Marine Autonomy is quickly gaining ground as technologies and strategies shift to operate in a more inclusive and democratic manner. Autonomous operations are emerging throughout the armed forces, and given current budgetary constraints and threats from other country it is clear that the United States Navy must evolve with this changing environment to remain fully prepared for any contingency. One aspect of this transformation is in how ships are operated. This is not only about boats operating in a single formation anymore, but also about how they can communicate and collaborate to conduct various operations, including coordination with other naval services and other surface ships.

The first element of military autonomy is in how the ships themselves operate. Under the new paradigm, ships now have a greater degree of autonomy during their operational missions. While smaller escort and patrol vessels are capable of operating independently from their mother ships, bigger ships such as aircraft carriers are able to operate as remote units. This enables them to perform a host of functions, including conducting operations in the Northern Pacific Ocean, without being visible to their mother ship or local allies. All told, a ship operating in a semi-autonomous mode can cover thousands of miles, while still performing all of its traditional duties. View here to get the marine Autonomous Vessels.

Alongside this increased functionality is a related development in how the Navy conducts its operations. Ships now routinely communicate with one another and can even use computers to allow them to jointly plan operations, allowing them to spread out different types of resources more evenly. While this sounds like a complicated task when taking into consideration how small each boat is relative to the size of the collective system, the end result is simple. With each ship carrying out its autonomous operation, the overall force continues to increase without requiring additional manpower or equipment.

The integration of these systems isn’t limited to the actual boats, however. autonomous technology is also finding its way into the ships’ hulls themselves. Currently, some ships have incorporated sensor systems so that they’re able to gather data on their environment. Once the data has been collated, the computer systems then allow for the making of different operational decisions. A ship might decide to alter course, alter speed or even stop for a while to gather more data.

These types of decisions are nearly perfect replicas of those made by human crews, further exacerbating the value of the marine autonomous system. It also makes it easier for operational decisions to be made at any time, which is especially helpful when dealing with emergency situations. Because of how easily autonomous boats and other boats can communicate with each other, it’s very possible for an emergency to affect several boats at once. Because of the increased lethality of some autonomous units, an emergency in which large numbers of boats are affected can be handled much more effectively than it would be under normal circumstances.

As time goes on, more uses for marine autonomy systems will become apparent. We already know that they’re useful for search and rescue operations and even commercial fishing fleets. As technology progresses, we may soon see them used in a variety of other fields, including military operations and even disaster response. As human beings continue to travel further into the ocean, there’s going to be a greater need for these types of operational capabilities and for more advanced underwater operations and sensors. Find out more about this topic here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_architecture.

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