Alan C. McClure Associates (ACMA) said that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded ACMA and VT Halter Marine Phase II of a three-part contract that calls for the design, development and construction of a new Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) coastal mapping vessel (CMV).
Initially, NOAA awarded two teams the chance to participate in the first phase of the project. ACMA and VT Halter Marine were one of the two teams that qualified for Phase I, a stage that lasted four months and consisted of Feasibility Analysis and Preliminary Design contracts. Phase II will entail the Contract Design and is expected to wrap up around May of 2005. At that time, NOAA will decide whether to proceed with the last phase of the program which will be the Detail Design and Construction of the NOAA SWATH CMV.
The primary mission of the ship will be to conduct full seafloor mapping of coastal areas. Doug Ottens, principal marine engineer with ACMA, explained the significance in terms of US National Security, “In mapping the U.S. coastal seafloor, we will be able to monitor discrete changes and detect any potential intruders.”
Ottens went on to note that operations will be conducted continuously 24 hours a day and that the mission will be accomplished by:
· Conducting basic hydrographic surveys via full seafloor ensonification
· Periodic navigational area clearance of fairways and approaches to ports
· Diver or small boat resolution of individual significant items deemed hazardous to surface navigation
· Conducting research in support of nautical charting and seafloor mapping
“ACMA is known for cost-effective design and mission flexibility,” said ACMA President Scott McClure. “Add that to our unrivaled experience in SWATH development, and our capabilities are a perfect match for this assignment. Should NOAA decide to move forward in 2005 with the detail design and construction of the NOAA SWATH CMV, ACMA and VT Halter Marine look forward to being the team that completes the final phase of this assignment.”