Thursday, March 16, 2023

Plan C for AUKUS Submarine Project: Buy Just Three Submarines Armed with Drones

On 4 Mar 2023 the Australian government announced a plan to acquire three US Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines from 2030, with modified UK Astute "AUKUS" class submarines built in Australia from 2040. If there are delays with the AUKUS class, Australia has the option to purchase another two Virginia class submarines from the USA. However, I suggest the Australian government have a third option ("Plan C"): accelerate the development of drones, to arm the submarines and operate alongside them. If the drones prove successful, Australia could stop acquisition at three Virginia class, not purchase any more crewed submarines, and not build any. 

The largest of the drones would be ocean going robot submarines, capable of conducting surveillance, launching weapons, and perhaps even carrying small raiding parties. The robot submarines would be small enough to be transported by cargo aircraft, and could be maintained from, and carried on Australian made high speed transport ships. 

The smaller drones would be the size of mini, lightweight, and full size torpedos. Some drones would operate as smart mines, then attack as torpedos. Others would provide aerial surveillance, and attack. These drones could be launched from submarines, ships, and aircraft.

Monday, January 09, 2023

Entertainment Venue for Thousands Built from Shipping Containers in Brisbane

Last week I was on a ferry on the Brisbane River and felt like seafood. So I did a web search for a restaurant near the next terminal, Northshore Hamilton. Follow directions I turned west along the shore, past people playing beach tennis. What appeared in the distance looked like a carnival, with bright coloured lights, a cacophony of music and what sounded like thousands of people. It was thousands of people, in a compound made of shipping containers: Eat Street Northshore.

Eat Street is a rectangle about four containers wide and 11 long. The perimeter has a row of containers around all four sides, with gaps for people and food to get in. There is a main avenue running east west, also formed from rows of shipping containers. Six covered performance spaces have been made with steel spans covered with fabric and locked to rows of containers (as used for temporary construction buildings). This can be seem clearly from the air.

Each avenue is themed in terms of food, and has a stage. There are also bars. The designers have gone to great care to lay out facilities for ease of use, even with large crowds. Something made from shipping containers could look like a construction camp, or a prision, but this is bright, colourful, and fun. 

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Virtual Bendy Busses for Canberra

Autonomous Bus,
by ST Engineering, 
SITCE conference,
2 November 2022
In Singapore a few weeks ago I saw an autonomous electric bus on display at a transport conference. This is intended for regular routes, but is still a work in progress. What would be possible sooner is convoys of buses for the express routes from Civic to Woden and Turragnong. At peak times one bus with a driver would be followed by one or more driverless, making a virtual bendy bus. This would have a higher capacity than light rail, at a lower cost. 

First published  :33 am 29 Dec 22, as a comment on "Canberra's first of 12 electric buses charging up ready for next year", 28 December 2022, Lottie Twyford, Riot Act