It might look like you could ride the waves with Liquid Robotics’ SHARC, but don’t try to hang ten off this board – it moves at only three knots. Instead, the device, produced by Boeing partner Liquid Robotics at their Sunnyvale, Calif. facility, is an ocean-based unmanned vehicle used for observation, data collection and monitoring.
The SHARC connects intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities provided by Boeing assets ranging from satellites, manned aircraft, UAVs like the ScanEagle and sub-surface crafts, providing broad-area, continuous maritime surveillance. In 2014, Boeing and Liquid Robotics signed a multi-year agreement to enhance the unmanned marine vessel’s capabilities. Ultimately, the collaboration will develop total integrated solutions for anti-submarine warfare and other maritime defense applications, offering the customer communications and sensing from seabed to space.
The SHARC is the militarized version of Liquid Robotics’ Wave Glider system that uses both wave power and solar energy to propel the craft through challenging ocean conditions. This makes it ideally suited to operate in high currents, hurricanes and other weather conditions in which using a manned vehicle would be unsafe or otherwise not possible.
This video shows how SHARCs maneuver through ocean waters to provide this “seabed to space” information connection.