The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, a US military organisation) is working on ‘just in time’ deployment of undersea storage packages.
- The packages allow supplies to be held under the sea for many years until needed, at which point they are released remotely and float to the surface to be collected.
- The rationale for developing the technology was reducing the need to use extra ships and aircraft for re-supply. Indirect benefits may include a reduction in fossil fuel use as a consequence of the reduced need for re-supply vessels.
- Technical communities may be interested in the approach, for example those who conduct deep-ocean engineering, oil-exploration, telecommunications industries and the scientific community.
Implications and next steps: If these marine storage devices become prolific on the ocean floor there might be environmental consequences that may need to be anticipated and addressed such as destruction of sea-bed communities during installation and accidental deployment or leaking. A coordinated approach may be required to determine which areas of the sea- bed are acceptable for installation of the storage packages and which are unacceptable due to cultural or ecological significance.