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CSIT 101 Assignment #1

Randy Inglefield

1

A Short Summary of Naval Swarm Technology

The US Navy has recently developed technology to create unmanned swarms of small surface vessels
for the purpose of defending larger warships or naval ports. The technology is currently still in a
prototype phase and not in active use, but tests have gone well so far. In short this technology can take
any small military vessel and turn it into an AI controlled guard dog that can identify, analyze, and
react to possible threats on the open seas. This is made possible by something the military calls Control
Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing or CARACaS for short. CARACaS is a kit of sensors
and software that allows the vessel to see an unidentified vessel and decide if that ship is a threat to
itself or to a nearby warship. If a threat is detected, the swarm vessel can relay the presence of the
threat to other nearby swarm vessels as well as the commanding warship before engaging in actions to
either attempt to deter the enemy vessel or if deemed necessary (and with approval from a human
officer aboard the commanding warship) attack and destroy it. This technology could also be adapted to
work on various other types of vessels for a wide variety of applications such as defending ports or
escorting shipping tankers.
Source: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/tech/innovation/navy-swarm-boats/index.html

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Two related articles and search engine comparison

Found via Google:
http://www.onr.navy.mil/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2014/autonomous-swarm-boat-unmanned-
caracas.aspx
Found Via Bing:
http://www.askmen.com/news/tech/caracas-us-navy-testing-drone-boats.html

In my opinion the articles linked by both search engines were both equal in terms of usefulness. In fact,
since this story is only a few days old, many of the articles I have found have entire paragraphs of
information that are directly and copied and pasted from each other. In other words, there is not
enough information about the article subject yet for articles with significantly different amounts or
quality of information to be present. The only significant difference between search engines in this case
was the user interface. I preferred Google over Bing due to the larger text, less clutter, and cleaner look.
CSIT 101 Assignment #1
Randy Inglefield

2


TRAAP

I will be using the article from www.onr.navy.mil for this section.
Time: The article does not appear to list a posting date or update date.
Relevance: Completely relevant.
Authority: The article appears to be written by a capable and knowledgeable person. The article is listed
as being written by a member of the Office of Naval Research and his name as well the address and
contact information for the office are listed. The article also contains very specific details as well as
quotes from related scientific figures.
Accurate: The article appears to be completely accurate seeing as it is posted on the official Navy press
release page. I do not think any more evidence of accuracy is required. Details withheld due to security
reasons aside of course.
Purpose: The article was written primarily to inform but there is a slight undertone of trying to convince
the reader of the worth of the technology. No bias appears to present since bias cannot exist in a one
sided technology related press release of this nature.

CCBC Library Database Articles Comparison
The keywords I used were Navy Swarm CARACaS and Unmanned Navy ships. I could not find any
relevant articles in any of the CCBC library databases listed at:
http://library.ccbcmd.edu/screens/databases.html#tab01
I was able to find relevant articles/posts by searching from http://library.ccbcmd.edu/
Therefore I chose to use the general library database rather than one of the specific listed database
clusters on the database list.
The two articles I found on the CCBC Library Database are very similar in terms of ease of access,
timeliness, and authority. Both articles were present in the first half of the first page of search results.
One article was posted one day earlier than the other but the earlier article also has much less
information than the one posted later. Both articles appear to have absolutely zero authority. They both
appear to be nothing more than copied and pasted segments of articles from other websites or possibly
an entire copied article. The name of the original source is listed but nothing more. Both articles list an
author and a non-linked source (just a plain text name of a site). Due to the fact that these articles
CSIT 101 Assignment #1
Randy Inglefield

3

appear to differ completely to the quality and format of articles in the databases from
http://library.ccbcmd.edu/screens/databases.html#tab01 I am not entirely sure this the authority point
matters very much here. Both articles appear to be re-posts from different sites.

Sources
APA Format
Lendon, B. (2014, October 6). U.S. Navy could 'swarm' foes with robot boats. Retrieved October 9, 2014,
from http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/tech/innovation/navy-swarm-boats/index.html
The Future Is Now: Navy's Autonomous Swarmboats Can Overwhelm Adversaries. (n.d.). Retrieved
October 9, 2014, from http://www.onr.navy.mil/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2014/autonomous-
swarm-boat-unmanned-caracas.aspx
Drones aren't just for the skies anymore. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2014, from
http://www.askmen.com/news/tech/caracas-us-navy-testing-drone-boats.html
Jon Harper (2014, October 6). Navy debuts unmanned robotic boats with new swarm capability.
Retrieved October 9, 2014, from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?sid=6b86937e-5380-
4775-b0c6-
22f4c0040266%40sessionmgr115&vid=0&hid=126&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0Z
Q%3d%3d#db=pwh&AN=2W6711121
Brok Vergakis (2014, October 5) Navy develops new unmanned, self-guided patrol boats that can swarm
attackers on waterways. Retrieved October 9, 2014, from
http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?sid=fabba545-82fb-42e2-87b1-
daa21c41ed5e%40sessionmgr113&vid=0&hid=126&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0Z
Q%3d%3d#db=pwh&AN=MYO325424653014