Communicating with submarines under the surface of the water has always been tricky. How do you stay in contact without having to surface? The Navy believes that a form of text messaging may be the answer.
The system they are proposing dubbed "Deep Siren" works by deploying a communications buoy through the sub's trash chute. Once the submarine is far enough away, the buoy ascends to the surface and sends a message to the command center via satellite. When a connection has been established, it lowers an antenna deep into the water where "a transducer takes messages, translates them into acoustic energy and sends a pulse out through the water in an area greater than 50 nautical square miles." After a number of days, the buoy will either sink by itself or by the order of the command center. During the time that it is active however, hundreds of text messages can be transmitted.
So far, tests of the system have proven successful, but the ball is now in the Navy's court as far as funding and moving the project forward is concerned. If it does get approved, it is unsettling to think that a simple text message could set off WWIII. [National Defense via Danger Room]