Floating cables for Internet connection submarines
2001/10/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria
Engineers from the U.S. Navy have devised a system that allows submarines to use the Internet. It is a floating antenna that, despite being covered by the waves of the sea, is able to send and receive radio signals.
The submarines continue to use floating cables to communicate over the radio, but use very low wave frequencies, so the speed of data and voice transmission is slower than any home modem. When they have to transmit a lot of information, the submarines must surface in order to use some satellite, plane or terrestrial apparatus. But it is clear that this operation can be very dangerous.
The antenna, designed by scientists from the Navy, looks like a sausage rope. In total it connects 12 antenna elements, allowing each element to have a stable signal and reducing background noise. When some elements are submerged, others are out. Therefore, the signal can leave and enter.
However, the connection of signals coming from the set of small antennas is not easy. Each element moves up and down, so the signals are not received at the same time and it is difficult to combine them properly.
Faced with this problem, MIT Lincoln engineers have designed a computer program whose operation is in secret. Nor has the maximum achievable depth been reported. However, it seems that the first trials with prototypes have been successful. Soon, all U.S. submarines are expected to have this new antenna.