Bogomolni quoted on Navy's research on seal whiskers for sensor tech
The U.S. Navy is enlisting the help of seals – but not the kind of highly trained special operatives with whom it usually associates.
Real seals, specifically their whiskers, may be the key to a new way for ships and underwater vehicles to sense their environment, scientists think.
When a fish swims by, a hungry seal senses the wake with its whiskers. It can tell characteristics of the fish, such as shape and size, and track the location even when it’s murky or dark.
The seal whiskers project shows “remarkable promise” for the Navy because a seal’s sensory capabilities are so specific and sensitive, said Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researcher Andrea Bogomolni, who leads the Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium.