This historical piece offers some great insight into the exciting field of inner space investing.
In a recent issue of Science and Securities, Harris Upham & Co. used the term "inner space exploration" to describe the nation's efforts in two vital fields oceanography and the Navy's antisubmarine warfare, both of which have military and financial value.
"Inner space" has great military value, considering the 400 submarines in the Russian fleet. That's why the Navy has planned a ten-year program costing more than $900 million to multiply its efforts in oceanographic research. The Navy plan was said to be prompted by intelligence reports that the Soviet oceanographic work was at least three or four times as large in scope as the equivalent operation of the United States.
Rear Admiral E. C. Stephan, the Navy's hydrographer, reported that his office was interested principally in obtaining new data on the shape and nature of the ocean, the currents in strategic areas around the world, the Arctic and Antarctic, and in transforming these into charts to be used by navigators.
"It is not enough," says Admiral Stephan. "To just know the shape of the bottom. We have to know the chemical and physical properties of the ocean because modern weapons systems, modern submarines, require this much greater detail of knowledge."
The enlarged oceanographic research in the next ten years is expected to mean a giant stride forward. "It is possible, for example," said Harris Upham analysts in their study of the inner space. "That advanced sonar systems will help a future sea captain of a submerged vessel 'see' better underwater than he could from the bridge of a ship tossed by the waves."
Briefly, antisubmarine warfare (ASW) is the job of electronically detecting, tracking and classifying submarines. Important factors in the field include Raytheon Co., Aerojet-General Corp., Loral Electronics Corp., Avien, Inc., and Edo Corp.
Tom G. Thompson of The Shield Survey (May 23, 1961) liked Edo as a specialist in sea science, which he believed should have "growth ahead in the Polaris submarine program, in undersea defense and in oceanographic research." H. Hentz & Co. called Edo "pre-eminent as manufacturer of sonar equipment in the field of antisubmarine warfare" in the past 12 years in its March 1961 study of the company. L. F. Rothschild & Co. termed Edo "riding pleasantly astride the submarine and ASW programs" in its study of the same month.
Avien was seen by Stuart H. Clement, Jr., of Joseph Walker & Sons in his February 1961 study as "coming of age."
"Of particular interest for Avien's future," said the Joseph Walker analyst. "Is a completely new underwater propulsion system to meet the propulsion needs in this rapidly expanding field. . . . Avien is also at work to integrate this propulsion system into underwater vehicles (including its own hull designs) and is developing detection systems for such vehicles."
Loral is also important in antisubmarine warfare in addition to, in the words of Edwin D. Pawling of Ira Haupt & Co. in his April 1961 study, "a high degree of proficiency in many areas of technical activities."
It is a specialist in acoustic detection techniques. Raytheon has devoted a new industrial center completely to ASW, while Aerojet-General is working on a high-speed torpedo of radical design. Cohn Electronic is another acknowledged leader in the field of electroacoustics and underwater sonar and detection programs.
Deserving particular mention is Edgerton, Germehausen & Grier, which has evolved a sonar system which when coupled with underwater cameras enables them to be placed accurately without touching the ocean floor. EG & G's interests include many pioneering programs of tremendous importance. Among them: oceanographic research and underwater photography; Project Plowshare, the use of nuclear explosions for peacetime purposes; and Project Rover, the development of nuclear rocket engines for space exploration.
While this piece talks about the historical aspects of inner space, the industry deserves a fresh look as sea science, defense spending and the growth in propulsion technology continues to evolve.