Underwater Robotics and Policing Tech Considered

After 9/11, think tanks around the country got together to figure out how to protect our infrastructure and our country from future attacks. We tried to consider where the terrorists might try to hit us, and what methods they might use to attack. Indeed, I happen to run a think tank which operates online, and one of the things we were worried about is the incredible number of waterways that terrorists might have access to in order to get close to their destination to create a terrorist act.

There was an interesting article recently in the New York Times on December 5, 2011 titled; “Underwater Drones Giving More Eyes to Police Harbor Unit as Searches Grow,” by Al Baker, which stated that when President Obama was recently visiting:

“The NYC Police Harbor Unit & Secret Service went over locations sweeping for bombs, then cleared, and guarded. This underwater security shows an increasing reliance on a new tactical weapon for the police: an unmanned submersible drone, remote-operated vehicle, or ROV. The Police Harbor Unit has 6 of these underwater drones, similar to those in use by the United States military and by oil companies with offshore operations.”

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It is very smart and wise for police forces, and the federal government be thinking here. Our US Coast Guard, and U.S. Navy also work very hard to protect our ports and military bases, as well they should. Being able to know what is under the water is of supreme value. It will also help us find polluters, and potential sources of environmental contamination which might cause dead zones, and hurt aquatic life, and our ability to fish for food.

Being able to study underwater currents, check out underwater volcanoes, and keep surveillance on underwater pipelines, communication lines, and cooling systems for generation plants is extremely important. We need to protect our ports, our docks, and our cruise ship industry. Having pervasive surveillance underwater may sound a little paranoid, but you have to know that the terrorists are thinking here, so let’s not let our guard down, just because it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a large attack on our own soil.

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Our intelligence community has uncovered several plots in the past, and some of them have involved plots which include infiltration via waterways, and our coastlines. Let’s not forget we are at war with folks that wish to disrupt our civilization, cause economic chaos, and terrorize our population. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and the value of underwater autonomous vehicles, and the importance of the security of our nation. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on.


by Lance Winslow