US Navy, NOAA to improve operations of US unmanned maritime systems

A rendering of the US Navy's proposed Manta Ray unmanned underwater vehicle (Photo: DARPA)

The US Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have entered into an agreement to jointly expand the development and operations of unmanned maritime systems in US coastal waters as well as in the world’s oceans.

Under the agreement, the NOAA will consult with the navy on expertise, infrastructure, best practices, and training to accelerate its own scientific missions using unmanned vessels.

The NOAA conducts research and gathers data about the global ocean and atmosphere to forecast weather, predict climate, protect the ocean, and sustainably manage marine resources. These missions rely on a continuous process of testing and evaluation of new technologies such as unmanned systems to improve data gathering.

Among the joint navy-NOAA projects is an unmanned ocean glider project to improve hurricane prediction.

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