Throughout history, warfare has driven our technological innovation. Today is no different, as the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are working on multiple next-gen solutions that would intrigue any Sci-Fi fan.
The S2ME2 ANTX 2017 (Ship-to-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technology Exercise) was held recently at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California. Along with the Naval Research and Development Establishment, S2ME2 ANTX also gathered representatives from various industries and academia.
During the event, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and other research centers associated with the Navy also demonstrated over 50 emerging technology innovations.
1. Mixed Reality: BEMR Lab
It’s not that new, however, as augmented reality has been used in practice since WWII. Some of these ideas have even inspired the greatest science fictions of our time. Case in point, the Japanese Zero fighters may have inspired the Tie-fighter from Star Wars.
Based in San Diego, California, the BEMR Lab (the Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality) is sponsored by the ONR and developed at the SSC Pacific (Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific). The BEMR program works to develop MR applications for the Navy and Marine Corps, including affordable virtual training, data analysis, and weapons systems simulation.
On a basic level, the BEMR lab allows soldiers to walk the streets of cities that they’ve never visited and the decks of ships upon which they’ve never embarked. With virtually no risk, these soldiers can study the battlefield intimately and ahead of time.
2. Mine Warfare Rapid Assessment
Mine warfare is integral to Naval warfare today as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries. Because gathering data for naval forces is even more problematic than for those on the ground, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles is of great potential.
The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are testing a small quadcopter for MIW RAC purposes (Mine Warfare Rapid Assessment Capability). Equipped with an ultra-sensitive magnetometer and sensors, the UAV would detect mines and send real-time data to naval forces.
3. Coalition Tactical Awareness and Response
Nowadays, it takes up to 24 hours to download and process a high-res satellite image then send reports to forces on the battlefield.The BEMR lab 'brings video games to the U.S. Navy.'Click To Tweet
The Navy’s CTAR system aims to do this in just 30 minutes. CTAR is a transportable analysis system that uses satellite imagery, pulled through a GATR antenna, to conduct surveillance of large areas of the battlefield and generate detailed intelligence reports that can be shared with allies.
These technologies and others that performed well at S2ME2 ANTX will be showcased again at Bold Alligator 2017 – the multinational event dedicated to amphibious exercises to be held next fall, led by U.S. Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command.