How the Navy of the Future Will Find—And Destroy—Underwater Mines

You don't joke about mining important maritime trade routes—Iran did and nearly started WWIII. And while America's fleet of MH-53E Sea Dragons and Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships are still quite effective, they're getting really, really old. Both platforms entered service in the mid-1980s and are quickly… » 5/30/13 3:08pm 5/30/13 3:08pm

This Automated Land Mine Hunter Finds Its Explosive Quarry by Flailing…

Afghan roads routinely used by American forces are popular targets for IED mining—so much so that demining patrols have become routine. But what to do when an IED is discovered? Sure, you could send in an EOD officer to carefully (and slowly) defuse that IED at great risk to his life—hello, Hurt Locker!—or you could… » 12/20/12 1:20pm 12/20/12 1:20pm

How a Classic Deep Sea Robot will Sweep 98 Percent of the Ocean Floor

Over the course of 4,400 dives, Alvin has done just about everything. Its recovered lost nukes, explored the ruins of the HMS Titanic, and upturned our understanding of the deep sea with the discovery of hydrothermal vents bustling with unimaginable forms of life. But after 48 years of service, the venerable ROV is… » 9/17/12 11:30am 9/17/12 11:30am

Hunt for Titanic Was Cover for Secret Sunken Nuke Sub Dives

According to newly declassified info and the lead scientist himself, Dr. Bob Ballard, the successful search for the Titanic wreck was actually part of a secret hunt for two sunken cold war American nuclear submarines. The USS Thresher and USS Scorpion had both foundered in the 1960s, and the Navy needed to know what… » 5/26/08 1:00pm 5/26/08 1:00pm

How To Fix a Mysteriously Ruptured Undersea Cable

Not a week after two massive undersea telecom cables were snapped—according to BBC News, most likely due not to Godzilla but a single tanker "dragging its anchor along the sea bed"—and the repairs are well underway. But how in the hell do you repair a nine-layer steel-reinforced cable located deep beneath the surface… » 2/06/08 10:10am 2/06/08 10:10am