Dubbed the GhostSwimmer, the UUV uses biomimicry and “is the latest in a series of science-fiction-turned-reality projects” according to the Navy report issued Friday.
The first GhostSwimmer tests led to the successful gathering of data on tides, currents, wakes, and weather.
The GhostSwimmer is 5 feet (about 1.5 meters) long and weighs 100 pounds (45 kilograms). It can dive to depths of 300 feet (91 meters) and can operate autonomously or be tied to a tether in order to transfer data to the operator.
The UUV mimics the movement of a large fish, which makes it difficult to detect. The GhostSwimmer is part of the US Navy's Silent NEMO project, an experimental effort to use biomimicry for underwater vehicles.
Photo:AP/US Navy, John F. Williams