DHS to Help Develop AUV Platform for Coast Guard’s Under-Ice Data Collection Efforts

2 mins read

The Department of Homeland Security‘s science and technology directorate has partnered with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and DHS’ Arctic Domain Awareness Center to build an autonomous underwater vehicle to help the U.S. Coast Guard gather under-ice data.

DHS said Friday that WHOI-developed sensor packages and search algorithms that will be integrated onto the Tethys long-range AUV platform in support of efforts to aid the Coast Guard’s response to potential oil spills off the Alaskan coast.

The LRAUV will be transported via a helicopter and deployed to an open water zone close to an environmental hazard to perform missions in areas that may be too dangerous for humans, the department added.

DHS intends for the vehicle to help collect data the Coast Guard can use to develop response plans.

James Bellingham, director of WHOI’s marine robotics center, said the nonprofit research organization aims to help the Coast Guard gain a capacity to understand incidents as soon as possible to have enough time for response.

“Given the additional complexity of conducting response operations in ice infested waters, whether in the Arctic or in the Great Lakes, having the ability to detect and characterize the oil extent under ice can greatly enhance effective response actions,” said Capt. Joseph Loring, chief of the Coast Guard’s Office of Marine Environmental Policy.

“Integral to effective response operations is knowledge of where the oil is and predicting where the oil may go,” Loring added.

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