Dec 21, 2017
“We can be listening under the sea. We can be observing with cameras the surface of the ocean. We can be listening with electronic sensors for other electronic signatures, and then we can be transmitting them back. One can do that, but a fleet of these things can do so much more. If you had a number of these, for example, off the north of Australia, for a fraction of the cost of a ship, you could have these things out there 24/7, continuous coverage at low cost, and nobody in harm’s way.” Robert Dane, chief executive and founder of NSW business OCIUS Technology, joins the Defence Connect Podcast to discuss the potential for unmanned surface vessels (USVs) in the defence space and how the technology is continuing to expand to play a key role in filling capability gaps. Dane has taken his passion for the environment and recreational sailing and, together with the team at OCIUS and its 20-plus years of experience, created the Bluebottle USV – the ‘satellite of the sea’. The autonomous data gathering and communications platform offers a unique solar sail, continuous and wide coverage, reduced operational costs and harvests all the weather on the ocean; the sun, the wind and the waves so it can advance under all conditions and can remain at sea for months at a time. The Intel Environment Laureate and WWF Future Maker recipient takes us through the immense applications the technology can offer defence, its recent success demonstrating its incorporation of a Thales thin line array to allow the Bluebottle to engage in anti-submarine warfare and the USV’s potential to aid the Navy and Collins Class submarines before the Future Submarines come online.