The US Navy needed the requirement of certain underwater drones and during 1960, the US Navy started making use of underwater cameras and drones for retrieving their lost equipment and also exploring wrecks.
The wrecks of the Titanic were also discovered in 1985 through the effort of the US Navy where they have effectively used such drones under the water. The capabilities of such drones were drastically improved by then.
Today, various modern underwater drones are available that are far more advanced and more innovations are still continuing to make them much more effective to explore under the sea. Chasing-Innovation Technology is one of the leading underwater robot enterprises that is involved in integrating production, R & D, production, and sales of these drones.
A brief chronology of underwater drones
- 1950 – 1959: The first invention of underwater drones under the request of the US Navy.
- 1960 – 1969: An underwater drone was used for retrieving a lost nuclear bomb. Finally, the retrieval was done off the Spain coast and that remained secret for several years. Technology continued to advance during this period.
- 1970 – 1979: Commercial industries also started using them in earnest. From a wrecked submarine, underwater drones were used for saving a few crews. Demand for drones grew due to their ability and effectiveness to do things that no human could.
- 1980 – 1989: They could develop drones by taking help from the Navy that helped the discovery of the wrecks of the Bismarck and Titanic.
- 1990 – 1999: Many latest drones were developed.
- Post-2000: During this period, a massive boost was noticed to underwater drones. The basic reason for that was the new improvement of the battery technology.
As the energy storage method was improved, hence the construction of drones also improved. During this period, it became easy to deploy them with much smaller vessels. Drone usage is continuing to grow. Industries as well as various military missions all over the world are now using underwater drones.
How does it work?
Today’s underwater drones can be compared with a submarine and they can easily be called miniature submarines without crew. It will be very challenging to send any radio signals to these submarine drones. They are autonomous, use their onboard sensors for functioning. Another method can be a long tether that can allow for a connection direct between drone and ship.
Usually, an underwater drone would work by controlling its floating property so that it will not sink. Like any underwater vehicle, they also have crush depths and are designed for a different types of operating conditions. The motors that are used will push water and then allow the movement of the drone either by command or on its own.
Most of the underwater drones often use a line that will connect them towards the control room from where they will be operated. Operators will be able to manage the tilt, orientation, and elevation of the vehicle on a real-time basis, inside this control room. Cameras will act as eyes and will allow the operators to properly guide the drone towards its target.