DARPA seeks advanced underwater communications


DARPA is looking for a new generation of underwater communications.

Networked undersea surveillance and weapons systems that do not require cables have been long sought after, according to DARPA's request for proposals.

"In the last decade, the deployment of air and space RF and electro-optical based communication systems has made pervasive, worldwide, wide-band, networked communications a reality for both commercial and military systems. To fully integrate military undersea platforms and systems and enhance their tactical effectiveness, DARPA seeks solutions extending that connectivity infrastructure to the undersea environment.," the RFP reads.

Among the capabilities sought by DARPA are:

  • Third-party weapons targeting and release authorization for forward-deployed undersea platforms and systems.
  • Broadcast of real-time, high-bandwidth situational awareness data from air and space networks to undersea platforms
  • Transmission of undersea sensor and platform situational awareness and sensor data to tactical air and space networks
  • Undersea networking infrastructure to support wide-area operations with mobile and fixed platforms, sensors and systems, such as submarines operating unmanned underwater craft, all while networked with tactical and strategic space and networks.
  • Autonomous network-enabled sensor processing, such as distributed passive and active sonars.
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