Different forms of security such as underwater surveillance are becoming much more important in maintaining the safety of the United States of America. Though there has been much progress made in advancing underwater surveillance and technology, there is still a necessity for improvement and innovation. Specialists in underwater surveillance feel that terrorist threats force the United States to seek new ways of heightening security. For instance, Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander, Vice Administrator Harvey Johnson states, Terrorists are always looking for ways to attack elements of our infrastructure to our economy and our freedom (Thomas). There have already been innovations that have proven to be extremely beneficial in advancing underwater surveillance. In regards to the Underwater Inspection System, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Smith, an electronics technician working under the Maritime Safety and Security Team elaborates that the Coast Guard has been lacking in this area for awhile Before we had this system, it was all about crews standing about lookout watches. We were really limited as to what we could see. Now, we can see very well in even cloudy or murky water (Thomas).
[...] In Tampa, a team of researchers recently dropped massive decoy bombs near bridge pilings and port docks” in order to test the effectiveness of two underwater robots in finding these decoys (Tampa Tribune). Fortunately, the robots were able to find the decoys, but questions are still arising of what the response procedures should be in an actual state of emergency. This experiment using water robots and decoy bomb was set up by a Silicon Valley based research corporation known as SRI. [...]
[...] These robots need a self-governing radar system that employs the use of tracking mechanisms such as sonar and echoes to find the exact location of these mines. Also, research to find more efficient energy sources must be completed so that the underwater robotics can run for longer durations of time without having a person have to recharge it. Another important aspect of these underwater robotics that need to be examined is their sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity is the “probability of correctly detecting/identifying a condition when it is present” (McGrath Intro 28). [...]
[...] The ability to mass produce these robots would allow the use of multiple robots during these searches for mines, which would allow the robots to cover more ground underwater in a shorter amount of time. Also, a and-forth pattern” may be efficient in fully examining the area for chemical agents and explosives, but this motion is somewhat time inefficient. Possibly, installing more sensors on the robots would allow them to move in a constant forward direction without losing their sensitivity in detecting possible threats. [...]
[...] The United States has dealt with many issues with the use of mines as a threat to homeland security. Research should be done to create radar that can detect these mines and pinpoint their exact locations. Ships should have a self- governing system that will automatically avoid these mines upon detection. From looking at historical events such as the Gulf War, it is apparent that mines have been used to threaten the national security and initiatives of the United States. For example, U.S. [...]
[...] It is important that we increase our security in underwater surveillance, so we can detect these mines before they cause significant damage to U.S. ships. As stated before, it will be necessary to create an underwater surveillance technology that is capable of operating unmanned for a sustained amount of time. This would allow the people who would normally be operating these underwater surveillance technologies to advocate their time to something more productive in advancing homeland security. It seems that it would be in the best interest of the United States to improve upon their security with regards to underwater surveillance. [...]
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