More Navy Intrigue Stuff….

From Michael Sellers

Elsewhere I’ve provided links to the articles from the NY Times on Ken Balcomb and the stranding of 17 whales and dolphins on Abaco and Grand Bahama in 2000 — an event which the Navy did eventually acknowledge was caused by Navy sonar.

Separately in my discussions with Ken Levasseur he talked about the fact that the Navy had developed acoustic weaponry designed to crush the hull of an enemy sub — and that this was based upon principles discovered via dolphin research. Sounded pretty sci-fi and I guess I was a little skeptical (no offense, Ken!), so I started doing some searching today and it looks like Ken was absolutely right.

First, I came across an article that caught my eye. It’s from “infomaticsonline”.

US Navy develops underwater acoustic weapon
Whales and dolphins seen running for the deeps

Iain Thomson, vnunet.com 04 May 2007

The US Navy has applied for a patent on a new form of weapon that uses sound to kill.

The system uses strong sonar pulses that travel through the water and create a phenomenon known as ‘acoustic remote cavitation’.

This is a large pressure bubble that causes shockwaves that can destroy things in its path.

“A method is disclosed of generating a predetermined field of cavitation around a remote target in an underwater environment,” the patent application states.

“The method includes identifying a remote target location, generating at least two acoustic beams from an underwater acoustic source, and controlling the generated acoustic beams to intersect with each other at the remote target location and thereby create a destructive cavitation field at the intersection of the beams.”

The blast range of the field is estimated at 100 metres and the patent claims an effective range of one kilometre.

The method sounds similar to existing thermobaric weapons which spray out a fine mist of fuel into the air before igniting and use the resulting air pressure blast to destroy the targets.

End of Story

So I did a little more cybersleuthing and went to a site that tracks Patent Applications, where I found the Navy’s application for patent on this item. Here’s what I came up with:

This is a link to the US Patent application by the US Navy entitled “Acoustic Remote Cavitation as a Destructive Device”. The abstract reads: “A method is disclosed of generating a predetermined field of cavitation around a remote target in an underwater environment. The method includes the steps of identifying a remote target location, generating at least two acoustic beams, each at a high power output, from an underwater acoustic source, and controlling the generated acoustic beams to intersect with each other at the remote target location and thereby create a destructive cavitation field at the intersection of the beams. The acoustic source and target can be located in unconfined underwater space and at a distance of at least 100 m apart.”

If you go to the link there are tabs that take you to the actual Patent Application, which was approved on April 17, 2007.

I went on for a few more minutes of surfing and came across Princeton study entitled: “Acoustic Weapons – A Prospective Assessment” which was also pretty eye-opening. It provides a pretty long list of acoustic weapons under development not only in the US but in the UK and elsewhere. Many of these are anti-personnel weapons — some designed to incapacitate (for example – one in particular was designed to try and deliver non-lethal doses of acoustic injury to help in riot control) and some are lethal.

Anyway — not sure whether or if any of this fits into anything that will come into play with Way of the Dolphin — but it is certainly thought provoking stuff……

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