Darpa is at it again
The research which has been nicknamed the “Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors” or simply (PALS) wants to know if they could take advantage of marine life adaptations like the plankton bioluminescent feature to increase their underwater surveillance. They plan on using these “living surveillance” systems to detect enemy submarines and vehicles.
According to Lori Adornato, manager of the PALS initiative “The PALS program was developed to leverage the great sensitivity that organisms have in the ocean to changes in their environment.” The initiative has also been reported to be backed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) which is the only agency that could ever back such tech.
I guess we all know of the conventional way of tracing or detecting moving vehicles or objects underwater, Sonar. The only downside of this is that the ping could also be detected by the adversaries.
Also, the sonar tech is very much expensive and gets corroded with time. At times it has to be at close proximity with the enemy vehicle for it to detect, that why underwater surveillance is mostly used to protect very high-valued assets.
But these marine animals are not expensive, they don’t get corroded and most importantly, they are self-powered. “This gives you a lot more flexibility in how you would observe things in the ocean,” says Adornato.
Also, you don’t have to go around the world installing and also thinking of how to replace these sensors, they are naturally available all around the world and gets replaced by previous ones. (it gonna be really effective)
There are only a few drawbacks to using living organisms, first DARPA is gonna have to install detectors that are gonna pick up these organisms behavior and relay them to the control center.
Another issue might be the understanding of these animals’ behavior.
DARPA has just granted a massive $45 million to five research organizations, so they could study a specific organism.
For example one of the research teams are gonna be studying the behavior of the goliath grouper, which have been known to make this low-frequency sound whenever something like maybe a diver approaches it. (Make sense)
The team also thinks the grouper fish make these “booms” whenever they detect underwater vehicles like drones and subs.
So with that they can tell when an enemy is approaching their territory without them seeing their surveillance tech.