Unmanned Influence Sweep Systems demine sea mines from afar

robotsinsider-UISSIn 1950, during the start of the Korean War, South Korea, backed by the United Nations, rallied a fleet of Navy ships to North Korea. But there was one problem. North Korea had installed over 3,000 sea mines on its eastern coast, halting the United Nations’s armada, over 250 ships all in all. North Korea’s brilliant strategy worked. Today, more than 60 years after the mishap and in a bid to avoid the same mistake, the U.S. Navy has come up with a plan to deploy unmanned minesweeping systems on seas within five years.

Called UISS or Unmanned Influence Sweep System, these robot ships haul underwater systems that can trigger mines from afar. To make this possible, the system emits signals that mimic a passing ship, thereby tricking the mines to blow up. The Navy calls this strategy an “influence sweep.” The UISS, however, is just a piece of the big picture. Expected to join the robot ships are the Navy’s semi-autonomous mine-hunter called Knifefish, a 20-foot long torpedo-shaped system, as seen below.

robotsinsider-knifefish

Source: Popular Mechanics