INSIGHTS: Michael G. Johnson
Sea Machines Robotics CEO & President.Michael Gordon Johnson is a marine engineer, an accomplished entrepreneur and sector leader with a primary goal of building progressive and sustainable innovation for modern society. He is the founder of Sea Machines, a Boston-based tech company that is a leading provider of autonomous control and intelligent perception systems for marine vessels. Johnson earned a marine engineering degree from Texas A&M University before starting a career focused on complex projects in offshore oil and gas, marine transportation and salvage.
Scandium International Signs LoI with Austal
Scandium International Mining announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Austal, to test scandium-containing aluminum alloys in marine applications.Austal is an Australian-based global shipbuilding company that specializes in the design, construction and support of both defense and commercial vessels. Austal is the world’s largest aluminum shipbuilder and Australia’s largest defense exporter.The LOI calls for the Company to contribute various aluminum alloy samples containing scandium…
The Quest to Find and Explore USS Indianapolis
Sunk by Japanese torpedoes near the end of World War II, heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis disappeared to the darkest depths of the Philippine Sea, where it remained undiscovered for more than 70 years. Recently a team of civilian researchers led by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen set out equipped with an arsenal of high-tech search equipment on a mission to locate the historic vessel last seen on July 30, 1945. The story of the USS Indianapolis is one of military might, heroism, tragedy, controversy and mystery.
Autonomous Workboats: The Future is Now
Sea Machines is bringing autonomous self-driving systems to the world of workboats. At an impressive virtual reality demonstration seen late last year and then again at a frigid, late winter visit to the Boston waterfront, the future of workboat technology became all too evident for this writer. The late George Allen, former head coach of the Washington Redskins football team perhaps said it best when he coined the phrase, “The future is now.” If so, then Michael Johnson, the founder of Sea Machines Robotics has brought that reality to the marine industry.
ShipConstructor Drives Automatic Welding Robots
The last barrier to robotic shipbuilding has just fallen. What comes next will be truly exciting. It wasn’t too long ago that SSI and Wolf Robotics demonstrated some co-development which automatically drove a fully autonomous welding robot to weld several ship panels. SSI develops Autodesk based solutions for the shipbuilding and offshore industry including ShipConstructor software, an AutoCAD based CAD/CAM product line; and EnterprisePlatform, a tool for sharing product data model information. For its part, Wolf Robotics has been integrating robotic welding and cutting systems since 1978.
Intellian Debuts New Terminal for Defense Applications
Intellian Technologies, a provider of maritime satellite antenna systems has announced the launch of the GX100PM, a 1m GX terminal specially designed for use in Defense and Intelligence applications. The GX100PM is the 1m military grade maritime terminal, Type Approved for use on Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. It is compatible with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress ‘SATCOM as a Service’ capability, which allows maritime users to access seamless reliable commercial wideband connectivity delivered as managed service worldwide.
SeeByte Tapped for UK Navy’s Unmanned Warrior Exercise
SeeByte, creator of smart software for unmanned maritime systems, said it will demonstrate software solutions for unmanned systems as part of the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior exercise. The exercise will feature more than 50 vehicles, sensors and systems and aims to demonstrate never-seen-before capabilities in the field of autonomy and unmanned systems. SeeByte’s software forms the core components of the Hell Bay 4 and MCM Challenge elements of Unmanned Warrior. The aim of these exercises is to develop and push the capabilities of autonomous systems…
General Dynamics Wins MK46 Systems Contract
The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $26.2 million contract for the production of MK46 Modification (Mod) 2 Gun Weapon Systems (GWS) for use on Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), and Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) ships. General Dynamics Land Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). The MK46 30mm Naval Weapon System is an all-weather, day/night, fully stabilized weapon system. Its lightweight, modular and compact size makes it an ideal candidate for numerous anti-surface and anti-air defense applications.
iXBlue Gyrocompass Chosen for the French Navy
PIRIOU selects iXBlue’s QUADRANS as reference gyrocompass for the French Navy B2M multi-mission ship program as iXBlue QUADRANS sales tops 400 units since launch. For each vessel, iXBlue will supply the complete navigation suite, including QUADRANS gyrocompass, NETANS data distribution and processing unit, and the warfare navigation software. iXBlue is a global provider of navigation, positioning and imaging solutions and services for civil and defense applications. PIRIOU specializes in the design, construction and repair of high value-added ships.
Boeing, Liquid Robotics Enter Maritime Surveillance Partnership
Boeing and Liquid Robotics signed a global, multiyear teaming agreement for collaboration on product development, maritime services and operational deployments. The initial focus of the collaboration will be to develop total integrated solutions for antisubmarine warfare, maritime domain awareness and other maritime defense applications. “It’s a great opportunity to partner with Liquid Robotics to provide new and existing customers a unique portfolio of defense solutions and capabilities,” said Chris Chadwick, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
Electric Boat Powered by Aluminum-air Battery
Alcoa, clean technology company Phinergy and HEIG-VD University, today debuted a zero-emissions electric demo boat powered by an aluminum-air battery at Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland. Alcoa and Phinergy announced earlier this year that the companies are collaborating on new materials, processes and components to commercialize the aluminum-air battery for various applications, including electric cars, electric boats and stationary energy. The aluminum-air battery used in the electric boat demonstrator contains 15kg aluminum which provides about 25 hours of additional navigation time…
USVs and the Future of Subsea Defense
Unmanned Revolution: USVs Set to Conquer the Seas. According to Frost & Sullivan, replacing manned systems with USV is not a question of if but when. Unmanned surface vessels (USV) still lag far behind their aerial equivalents in terms of technical capabilities, technology and deployment. However, new threats, cost-benefit calculations, operational experiences in the past decade and new technological developments are driving rapid growth in the market. A USV may be used instead of manned vessels not only for defense but also in Homeland Security (HLS), security, and civil applications such as vessel monitoring, law enforcement (drugs, piracy) and enforcement of fishing and environmental laws.
New MTU North America Training Courses
MTU North American Training Center announces arrival of new Series 8000 marine engine for maintenance & repair training. Tognum America has announced the arrival of an MTU Series 8000 marine engine at its 30,000 square-foot MTU Training Center in Canton, Mich. The Series 8000 is used in mega-yachts, commercial marine and defense applications. Measuring over 11 feet high, 21 feet long, and with dry weight of 46,200 kg (101,853 lbs), the Series 8000 is the largest and most powerful engine produced by MTU.
ONR: Back to School for Science Education
Enlisting the aid of experts from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), a Maryland-based nonprofit rolled out a series of educational science competitions for area middle and high school students Sept. 17. ONR program managers Kurt Yankaskas and Dr. Mike Traweek spoke with youth beside a 12-foot submarine at the Patriots Technology Training Center's (PTTC) back-to-school kickoff at Kenmoor Middle School in Landover, Md. The bright yellow, 300-pound, human-powered vessel dubbed "Sub Taxi"-which was built, designed and engineered by students-drew a steady stream of spectators during the five-hour event. "Some of the attendees were very young, and the excitement on their faces was clear as they took crew positions inside the submarine," said Yankaskas, who volunteered at the event.
MTU Upgrades Series 1163 for IMO Standards
Tognum Group Brand MTU has announced that it will update its Series 1163 marine engines for IMO 2 and IMO 3 emissions regulations. While more and more vessel manufacturing is shifted to shipyards in Asia, this will not only contribute to a more environmentally friendly Asian coastline, but also empower Asia to supply more vessels with both powerful and clean marine engines to the world. The upgrade further demonstrates MTU’s commitment to providing customers with the perfect engine choice for upcoming project designs.
Seakeeper Gyro for Unmanned Ultra-Lightweight Boat
Zyvex Technologies claims that its Piranha USV (unmanned surface vessel) is the largest boat of its kind built from nano-enhanced materials. Constructed entirely of Arovex, a nanotube-reinforced carbon fiber, the 54-ft boat weighs only 8,000 lbs. and can carry up to 15,000 lbs. more than 2,500 miles. To stabilize the vessel, Zyvex selected a Seakeeper Gyro Stabilization System. "Stability is especially important on a vessel intended for unmanned operations," said Zyvex director of defense applications Mike Nemeth.
MTU 1163 Series Meets IMO 2 & 3 Emissions Standards
Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH will upgrade its Series 1163 marine engines for the IMO 2 and IMO 3 emissions regulations. “The 1163 family will be carrying on its success story and the future version will be even cleaner and more fuel-efficient than the present engine generation,” said Rainer Breidenbach, Tognum Executive Board member with responsibility for the Business Unit Engines. All of the major engine features which are crucial for customers, such as power-to-weight ratio and acceleration characteristics…
Multi Agency Craft Conference Makes its Mark
With the the task of securing tens of thousands of miles of U.S. Coast, agencies at the federal, state and local levels are increasingly turning to high-performance boats. In turn, these buyers rely on premiere events such as the Multi Agency Craft Conference (MACC) to experience the latest tech first hand. In its seventh year, over 1,300 representatives convened for the 3-day event at Little Creek Amphibious Base in Norfolk, Va. where MACC provided an expansive venue for government and commercial marine companies alike. As the emphasis on littoral combat continues to permeate, decision makers gather to absorb invaluable information, including the latest technologies to equip the mission-minded modern fleet.
In considering activities in the U.S. maritime industry for the short and long term, it is unwise to start the conversation without a mention of the patrol and defense needs of the country in the mounting effort to secure nearly 95,000 miles of coastline. As plans emerge during the coming weeks, months and years, the only certainty is increased funding for a variety of ships, boats and marine-borne electronic surveillance systems geared toward meeting and defeating enemy attacks, both large and small. An embodiment of the push for new technology is embodied in the activities of companies such as Larry Wieber's Aluminum Chambered Boats Inc. (ACB) in Bellingham, Wash.
Electronic Sensor Technology Completes Sale
Electronic Sensor Technology has received an order from Northrop Grumman Corporation, a leading defense contractor and shipbuilder distributor, for three zNose devices. The devices are expected to be used for cargo detection in Louisiana as part of Northrop Grumman's security integration project for the U.S. Navy. The zNose is an electronic sensor device that can capture and analyze nearly any odor, fragrance or chemical vapor within ten seconds, for security and defense applications.
Navy Chooses Cubic Team to Bid on Simulations Systems
Cubic Defense Applications, the defense segment of Cubic Corporation, has received a contract for the U.S. Navy's Generic Reconfigurable Training Systems (GRTS) Lot II program. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract has a ceiling value of $15 million, and covers computer simulations for training crews in how to operate the hull, mechanical and electrical systems of Navy ships. Cubic's Orlando, Fla.-based Simulation Systems Division is among several contractors that will have an opportunity to bid on up to $15 million in ship systems simulator business over the next five years. The companies will compete for contracts to develop modeling and simulation software to train crews to operate a ship's basic systems…
Austal USA Team Moves onto Next Stage for LCS
The U.S. a preliminary design for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). teams that was down-selected in the competition to build the first two ships of this class. Dynamics-Bath Iron Works. on Austal’s unique 126 meter high-speed aluminum trimaran hullform. the global military vessel market. project,” Mr. McKinnon said. appropriate choice for ships, even in combat roles. defense contracts,” he said. solution for the Navy’s LCS requirements. Mr. a variety of defense applications. two builders, one or both of whom will build the first two ships. construction in early 2005 and the other in early 2006. construction of three ships in 2008 and four in 2009. The Navy predicts that up to 60 Littoral Combat Ships may eventually be required.
Gas Turbines Give Austal Strategic Military Edge
Austal Ships' is furthering its strategic advantage in the growing market for high-speed military vessels, via its U.S. joint venture shipyard being short-listed to build an experimental vessel for a program sponsored by the United States' Office of Naval Research. Dubbed the "X-Craft," the 262-ft. (80-m) catamaran will feature twin LM2500 gas turbines and be capable of speeds of approximately 50 knots. Prime contractor for the project is San Diego-based Titan Systems Corporation, which has selected Austal USA as one of five shipyards to participate in the final tender round. The tender closes early in 2003, with delivery of the independently-designed aluminum catamaran scheduled for mid-2004.