Thursday, June 02, 2005

Virtual Periscope

In the future this could become a very rare sight.

USS Chicago at PD (Source: US Navy -PH1 Kevin Tierney)

This report by Robert Hamilton for the Navy League titled "New Looking Glass" documents two developments that could reduce the need to raise the periscope. The following excerpt summarizes those systems:

On surveillance missions, that compromises its stealth, because the mast generates a radar return and creates a wake. And even on routine missions, coming shallow to use the periscope runs the risk of a sub surfacing under a ship it missed on sonar.

But submarines could soon get new optics systems that provide far greater stealth and security by allowing them to look around from the depths and without a mast due to two innovative products being developed by a small California company. The Virtual Periscope, slated for sea trials aboard the USS Chicago this summer, would turn the surface of the ocean itself into a lens. The Low-Cost Expendable Sensor (LCES) is a small tethered camera that would bob to the surface and send images back. Both systems have been developed by Areté Associates of Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Arete' Associates website doesn't list the LCES systems put they seem to working on some interesting stuff.

These new optical systems would only augment the current periscope systems and are limited in range to about 3 miles. But the virtual periscope is good to a depth of 100 to 200 feet and the tethered camera can be launched through the 3" signal ejector.

Interesting I was able to find Navy Photo of the test platform at PD.

Now if only they could come up with a system that would enhance the signal processing abilities of JOODs as demonstrated in Rob's first post.


At 4:20 AM, Blogger PigBoatSailor said...


I have seen a software demo of the Virtual 'Scope. It is waaaaay cool. A little lens on the top of the sail looking up. By interpreting how the shadowing on the waves looks, it can give you a lookaround of the surface and silhouette of anything that might be up there. I had no idea it was developed enough to already start at sea demos. Sweet.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Lubber's Line said...

If the technology proves successful I think that even if all you can see a silhouettes it would help. Transiting to PD can at times be a risky evolution and I can't help but think that if Cmdr. Scott Waddle had such a system on the Greeneville the Ehime Maru would still be teaching Japanese kids how to fish.

At 1:55 AM, Blogger hanks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:57 AM, Blogger hanks said...

it's really cool technology.I want to see the software demo of the VP that PigBoatSailor metioned.Could you send the demo to my


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