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The Weather is extremely difficult to forecast. It’s the reason that a day when your local weatherman says its going to be sunny sometimes turns out to be a rain storm. The problem is that there are too many variables influencing the outcome. Something as insignificant as a 1 degree change in the direction of the wind can bring about a hurricane and just the right amount of sun can hit the town with a thunderstorm. That’s chaos theory, and its one of the great unsolved problems in the universe. However, one way you can minimize error is to collect more volumes of data, and the US Navy seems to be working towards that.
Robotic submarines are the Navy’s idea for a solution to the weather prediction problem. The idea is to put dozens of submarines out in to the ocean to take readings of salinity and temperature and send them back to HQ and share it with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This build up of data will, in theory, allow them to predict the weather for the next 90 days.
These robotic submarines named “Slocum Gliders” will run on the Navy Ocean Forecast System software developed especially for this endeavour. The submarine “drones” will be able to dive to about 4000 feet and will number 150 till 2015. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has asked for $19 million in the 2015 budget especially for the submarine drones. There do seem to be ulterior motives behind this research. No one invests so much in submarines just to predict the weather.