Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) have deployed the buoy 35 miles off the coast and in 43 meters of water depth, to perform in-ocean tests on its proprietary APB to further validate the technology's capacity for expanded ocean surveillance.
This latest deployment is in connection with a previously-announced Cooperative Research and Development Agreement ("CRADA") with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") Science & Technology Directorate ("S&T").
The DHS S&T Borders and Maritime Security Division are collaborating with OPT to demonstrate the effectiveness of its long duration maritime vessel detection platform. This involves the redeployment of an OPT-designed APB-350 Autonomous PowerBuoy that was previously deployed under the U.S. Navy's Littoral Expeditionary Autonomous PowerBuoy ("LEAP") program in 2011. At that time, the unit produced very positive results, including higher-than-predicted power harvesting capability and in-ocean survivability during Hurricane Irene and its 50-foot high waves.
In tandem with the CRADA, OPT was awarded a grant from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation ("MTDC") via a joint technology transfer initiative to show how the Autonomous PowerBuoy can be used with multiple surveillance technologies. OPT is leveraging its experience from the LEAP program, which featured HF radar capability for surface vessel detection, to demonstrate an enhanced tracking technology covering a wider variety of vessels.
The application includes an acoustic sensor system in addition to the existing HF Radar. This will allow the PowerBuoy to collect data for surface and sub-surface ocean observing and surveillance duties, demonstrating the use of the PowerBuoy technology for dual detection capabilities. This APB-350 PowerBuoy provides power levels required for sophisticated vessel detection and tracking sensors, enabling persistent off-shore maritime surveillance in the near-coast, harbors and littoral zones worldwide.
The APB-350 structure incorporates a unique power take-off and on-board energy storage system and is significantly smaller and more compact than the Company's standard utility PowerBuoy.
"Our engineering, manufacturing and marine operations teams have done an excellent job with this latest launch of the APB-350 Autonomous PowerBuoy," said Charles F. Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer of OPT.