Caltech is leading a DARPA project for a novel maritime sensing system that utilizes the unique sensory capabilities of sharks. Sharks have remarkable near range sensors for water displacement and for electrical fields. Longer range senses include acoustics and vision, but perhaps the most remarkable is olfaction which can detect water borne odorants of very low concentration over a range of miles. The proposed project will develop an implantable brain machine interface that will be able to read out signals from the sensory systems of sharks and transmit the signals through telemetry. This implant will also deliver electrical stimulation which can be used to direct the swimming of the sharks, and as a result control the location of their sensors.
JPL has a co-investigation role in this work, which is led by Richard Andersen
and Joel Burdick