Military underwater cameras are used to capture video and still images under the water for a wide variety of defense applications. These cameras may be used by military divers, either handheld or fixed to headgear, or mounted on submarines, ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) and other vessels.
Underwater Video Cameras
Underwater video cameras may be used by submarines for monitoring of systems such as towed-array sonars or dry deck shelters. They may also be used for periscoping.
Waterproof video cameras may be fixed to ROVs and other UUVs (unmanned underwater vehicles) for a variety of purposes. They may be used to aid in the inspection or repair of vessel hulls and structures such as bridges and offshore platforms. They may also be used to provide navigation assistance as well as situational awareness for missions such as:
- Mine countermeasures (MCM)
- Search and rescue (SAR)
- Anti-submarine warfare (ASW)
Mil-spec Underwater Cameras
Rugged underwater cameras may need to be engineered to certain MIL-SPEC standards for waterproofing, corrosion resistance and other environmental factors. Waterproof video cameras are usually rated to a particular depth, and are made of a variety of materials such as anodised aluminum, or titanium for particularly deep operations. They may need to be designed with low light sensitivity, or include lighting systems for extra illumination.
Underwater Laser Cameras
Underwater laser cameras that will provide enhanced visibility in murky waters are also under development. These cameras use laser pulses instead of a continuous light source, which solves the problem of backscatter due to light reflecting off particles in the water.