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Old 05-09-2016, 06:54   #16
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
Of course every additional vessel creates a collision risk...

The proper question (form a moral point of view) is of course if this creates an additional unacceptable risk. The law generally does not require that one eliminates risk, just that one takes enough due diligence to reduce risk to significantly below the risk threshold of a reasonable person. If the makers of the sail drone achieve that I do not have a problem with that.

I have a question: AFAIK it is not mentioned anywhere in the COLREGs that the required "lookout by sight and hearing" needs to be performed by a human being. I think the a case can be made that an automated system that performs as well as a human in situational awareness and collision avoidance is not in conflict with the COLREGs.
If we were unwilling to accept any risk at all which comes with new technology, we would never have any progress.


From what I know about the current generation of robot sailboats, they are not capable of any automated collision avoidance and don't keep anything like what would consider a normal watch.

I can't say whether COLREGS in their present form might be fulfilled with the proper automated systems. But in my opinion that's not really all that important -- they should be changed if they don't already allow it. The main thing is to develop systems which work.

In my opinion there is no question that the future belongs to self-driving cars, trains, etc., etc., so I think this technology is natural, interesting, and useful. I think we should accept some risk in the early days, but the designers should pay attention to the collision avoidance issue, and probably there needs to be some regulation. If it's possible to design a decent automated collision avoidance system without going back to the drawing board for 10 years or incurring a cost of a million dollars per vessel, then I don't actually think it's reasonable for these things to be set loose in the sea creating collision risks.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:03   #17
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

Hey.. so do the Politicians.. and look how far we've got with them..
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:10   #18
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

These drones have very interesting possibilities for naval warfare.

They could be very stealthy!
Their RADAR signature could be "undetectable" (no metal)
Their heat signature could be "undetectable" (no engine)
Their acoustic signature could be "undetectable" (no engine or prop)
They are very small and could be painted to be hard to see.
They can carry a range of detection devices to be used as "picket duty" remote sensors, or uniquely as sensors that could move towards an enemy location, especially one where capture of any manned vessels must be avoided (Spratley Islands, etc.). Notice the many sensors in the illustration that could be used to locate Chinese submarines in the South China Sea for example.
They can carry a payload of 250 pounds (guest payload shown in the illustration).
They are unmanned, so do not risk the life or capture of a Sailor, SEAL, or Marine.
Their "cover story" for the public could be simply "oceanographic or weather research" device to track wind, weather, and currents.

And, in the days of competition for budget funding for the military services and competition for the best possible recruits, having some "high tech" drones makes a good recruiting tool for the Navy and is keeps the Navy's public image as "with the times" or even "leading edge." This can have great value to the higher ups (top brass).

And they could possibly assist in bathymetric sounding research to create more accurate charts.

In sum, pretty frickin cool as a future naval weapon (hence the DARPA connection).
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:11   #19
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

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Hey.. so do the Politicians.. and look how far we've got with them..
Automated politicians? Oh, we already have them.

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Old 05-09-2016, 07:24   #20
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

I read, in support of a post above, that the main trust of many drones will be to track submarines. Turns out tracking even 1980's diesel electric subs are very difficult when they go on battery power. So these drones will be outfitted with extremely sensitive sensors and whenever they pick up a sub trace, they will follow it and not let it go.

You aren't going to win a COLREG argument against the military. Hopefully the commercial shipping industry is close enough to the matter that they are pushing for safe guards that might also benefit us. No one is going to ask us lowly recreational sailors!


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Old 05-09-2016, 07:41   #21
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

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I read, in support of a post above, that the main trust of many drones will be to track submarines. Turns out tracking even 1980's diesel electric subs are very difficult when they go on battery power. So these drones will be outfitted with extremely sensitive sensors and whenever they pick up a sub trace, they will follow it and not let it go.

You aren't going to win a COLREG argument against the military. Hopefully the commercial shipping industry is close enough to the matter that they are pushing for safe guards that might also benefit us. No one is going to ask us lowly recreational sailors!


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Yes. And the sub would not even know it was being tracked, because it depends on sonar to detect surface vessels.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:23   #22
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

Commercial shipping will be automated very soon.

Check Google.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:41   #23
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

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Commercial shipping will be automated very soon.



Check Google.

True, but they still have an interest in not running over drones (or us).


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Old 05-09-2016, 08:54   #24
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

Rules are for the little people...move along...nothing to see here.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:12   #25
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

I'm amazed that this OP seems to always post fear based topics. To me it's just a bunch of dibble. Then we have the other arm chair speculator but please don't make me go there.
Water seeks it's own level. If drones become a reality then they will be regulated by the powers to be. Just like everything else in our bored lives.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:18   #26
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

Why go after her personally again...the Global cooling thread was closed down due to your personal attacks there...why bring it here? Sheesh...ridiculous...

Ah...but I think we understand better now...some people get a it testy...

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Just like everything else in our bored lives.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:30   #27
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

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. Just like everything else in our bored lives.
I am on Weather Watch. I have a right to Arm Chair Speculate Boredly.

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Old 05-09-2016, 09:57   #28
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

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This sounds like a continuation of the hysteria that the media has created in the public over aviation drones.
"Hysteria that the media has created..." Perhaps in the non-flying community that is true, but as a 20,000 hour pilot, both military and civilian, I tell you those things (aviation drones) are dangerous. See and avoid is a primary pilot responsibility. Human pilots can do that, and we do. Unmanned aircraft? Not so much. I doubt the water-going variety of the UAV will be any better.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:00   #29
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

Off shoring?!? Off shore is a verb?
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:14   #30
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Re: The Drones are here and ignoring regs

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Off shoring?!? Off shore is a verb?
Certainly. But it is mostly used in a business context .... as in "your job is being off-shored"...


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