Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Artificial brain of US Navy 'terminator' submarine drone thinks like a soldier

The U.S. Navy has developed a submarine drone whose advanced artificial intelligence (AI) mimics the way a human brain thinks, making it better at finding and destroying enemy submarines and ships on its own.

21 April 2015

The Pentagon believes this smart machine will revolutionize the way the United States fights its wars in whatever part of the world from now on.
The AI in this yellow colored submarine drone prototype is patterned after the way a human brain thinks. This machine is "not just algorithms," said Chief of Naval Research Rear Admiral Mathias Winter, but also understands neural networks "and how we make decisions."
This drone with the ungainly name of "Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle" (LDUUV) is the end product of a project that teaches military machines autonomous behavior (or acting independently without human commands).
The LDUUV has an advanced "memory mapping" capability that makes for faster retrieval of data and other capabilities similar to how a person's brain works.
The prototype LDUUV can remain underwater for 30 days but its successors might stay underwater for decades. It will eventually be armed with torpedoes, among other weapons.
 "We are pursuing weeks, months, years," said Admiral Winter. "I'll stop short of decades."
The drone will also be able to carry supplies but destroying enemy ships will remain its primary mission.
The U.S. Navy, however, envisions increasing the lethality of the LDUUV, which is as large as a railroad boxcar (about 50 feet long), to become a "submarine aircraft carrier" that launches hordes of smaller mini aerial drones to attack enemy targets.
This concept will build on the Navy's current LOCUST -- or Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology -- which is a collection of mini-drones that move as one intelligent swarm to accomplish its mission.
The Navy's plan it to unleash swarms of mini aerial drones to attack and overwhelm enemy forces, starting with 10 drones and increasing its size depending on the mission.
The Office of Naval Research's Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Innovative Naval Prototype (LDUUV INP) program will develop a large unmanned submersible able to conduct missions longer than 70 days in open ocean and littoral seas.
LDUUV will be launched from a pier or a variety of platforms, including the Littoral Combat Ship. The craft's missions will include ISR, acoustic surveillance, Anti-submarine Warfare, mine counter-measures and offensive operations.
The vehicle's manufacturing and development phase will begin in 2015 with testing planned for 2018.  According to the Navy's ISR Capabilities Division, LDUUV will reach initial operating capability as a squadron by 2020 and full rate production by 2025.
The LDUUV prototype is scheduled to be tested in 2016 with a cruise from San Francisco to San Diego.

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