More Than "Brains" Being Wasted Here...
(Intel Source: NOSI) My head hurts after reading this article on possible future unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs):
"One of many elements in the Navy’s new master plan for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) is a concept for a large mini-sub — 10 tons or more — that could be launched from the new class of SSGN cruise-missile submarines or the planned Littoral Combat Ship and carry dozens of smaller UUVs closer to a target.
"For example, an SSGN would dispatch a mother-mini into the middle of a minefield that has been mapped by a specialized unmanned vehicle. The mother sub would deploy smaller UUVs to neutralize each mine on the map.
"The Navy also envisions underwater vehicles of the future capable of missions lasting longer than 30 days, and the development of a “brain-based controller,” which would be based on the motor control system in animal brains, enabling unmanned subs to deal with vagaries of the underwater environment such as turbulence or obstacles in their paths."
They could also program it to have monkeys fly out of its butt. Seriously, in today's budget environment, we'll be lucky to get a new class of UUV that lasts even 30 hours, let alone 30 days, in the next 20 years.
"There are still significant technical challenges to be overcome, particularly in the areas of energy storage, communications and autonomous control, but the Navy and its partners have efforts under way to address those shortcomings."
Those are the only problems you have to address? Aren't those kind of, like, all the important areas in UUV design? It's fun to dream, though...
Update 2325 18 July: I've thought a little about what I wrote here, and I admit I was being a little bit of a Gloomy Gus; I'd just read another article about what an abortion the Advanced SEAL Delivery System had become, and figured that anything having to do with UUVs would meet the same fate. However, I have to admit that the Navy did a good job getting the SSGN project going, and it seems to have worked fine, so maybe there is a future for this program -- as long as they get the money -- which I doubt they will.