By Kalwinder Kaur
Ocean Power Technologies recently declared that it will conduct a new round of in-ocean tests on its Autonomous PowerBuoy by signing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (“CRADA”) with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Science & Technology Directorate (“S&T”). This agreement will promote the implementation of ocean surveillance.
The DHS S&T Borders and Maritime Security Division will achieve specific partnership with OPT for demonstrating the performance capability of its extensive maritime vessel detection platform. Redeployment of an APB-350 Autonomous PowerBuoy beyond New Jersey coast will be carried out. Earlier work through the U.S. Navy’s “LEAP” program resulted in positive outcomes like survivability while Hurricane Irene and its 50-foot high waves and surpassing power harvesting capability.
Along with the CRADA, OPT has received a new $75,000 grant from the Maryland Technology Development (“MTDC”) through a collaborative technology transfer initiative for demonstrating the efficient adoption of Autonomous PowerBuoy in multiple surveillance technologies. OPT will optimize its expertise in surface vessel detection from LEAP program for showing an improved tracking technology that targets a large range of vessels. This technology will mark an acoustic sensor system besides the existing HF RADAR. PowerBuoy will adopt the technology for collecting data for ocean tracking applications while concurrently carrying out improved surveillance duties, through which the dual use of the PowerBuoy technology is being clearly shown.
Autonomous PowerBuoys is an integral component of OPT’s commercial portfolio. It has been developed to produce power for off-grid applications like security and maritime monitoring, offshore oil & gas installations, and fish-farming. During February 2012, OPT declared the outcome of LEAP program, demonstrating the efficiency of the device in delivering power over 400W and generating peak sustained electrical power of 1,500W.