VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy completed tests on the GhostSwimmer unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEBLC-FS), Dec. 11.
GhostSwimmer is the latest in a series of science-fiction-turned-reality projects developed by the chief of naval operations' Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC) project, Silent NEMO. Silent NEMO is an experiment that explores the possible uses for biomimetic, unmanned underwater vehicles in the fleet.
Over the past several weeks, Boston Engineering's tuna-sized device has been gathering data at JEBLC-FS on tides, varied currents, wakes, and weather conditions for the development of future tasks. "GhostSwimmer will allow the Navy to have success during more types of missions while keeping divers and Sailors safe," said Michael Rufo, director of Boston Engineering's Advanced Systems Group.
The GhostSwimmer was developed to resemble the shape and mimic the swimming style of a large fish. At a length of approximately 5 feet and a weight of nearly 100 pounds, the GhostSwimmer vehicle can operate in water depths ranging from 10 inches to 300 feet. "It swims just like a fish does by oscillating its tail fin back and forth," said Rufo. "The unit is a combination of unmanned systems engineering and unique propulsion and control capabilities."