GhostSwimmer: Navy Tests New Shark-Like Unmanned Underwater Vehicle

The U.S. Navy has recently completed tests on Boston Engineering's GhostSwimmer unmanned underwater vehicle at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEBLC-FS) in Norfolk, VA. GhostSwimmer was developed by the chief of naval operations' Rapid Innovation Cell project, Silent NEMO, which explores the possible uses for biomimetic underwater vehicles in the fleet. GhostSwimmer was designed to replicate the dynamics of biological fish to move more rapidly and accurately in challenging areas. Over the past several weeks, the tuna-sized device has been gathering data at JEBLC-FS on tides, currents, wakes, and weather conditions for the development of future tasks. At a length of approximately 5 feet and a weight of nearly 100 pounds, the GhostSwimmer vehicle can operate in water depths ranging from 10 inches to 300 feet. The robot is capable of operating autonomously for extended periods of time due to its long-lasting battery, but it can also be controlled via laptop with a 500-foot tether. Its bio-mimicry provides additional security during low-visibility intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.