The aerospace and armament US giant Lockheed Martin has just completed, in cooperation with other industries in the electronics field, a test run on a communications program called CSD (Communications at Speed and Depth).
It is a telecommunication system that allows submarines of any class in service with the US Navy to stay under the water without needing to go back up to periscope level to communicate with other ships, planes or with the ground-based control center. Normally this is the moment of highest risk for submarines, which are more exposed to enemy fire or danger of being intercepted just when they come up to sea level.
The CSD, for which Lockheed Martin has been granted a $35 million contract, is made up of a series of floating buoys, which are launched by the submarine and are tethered to it via a cable. The buoys are equipped with antennas for telephone communication through the Iridium network, and for very high frequency radio transmission. The floating antennas receive incoming communications coming from the ground base via a satellite, and use the same connection to send signals back to the ground.
Another buoy turns acoustic signals into radio waves, allowing the submarine personnel to communicate with any airplanes stationing or passing above the sea.
Thanks to CSD, submarines will be constantly connected to the global telecommunication network, without having to face unwanted dangers when emerging. The continuous connection allows not only to minimize this kind of danger, but also to ensure a higher operational flexibility, so that a mission’s schedule can be changed instantly at any time, without having to wait for the next reemergence.