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DOE, NOAA OK Northrop-Seatrec Team’s UUV Data Station for Dev’t; Alan Lytle Quoted

Alan Lytle VP for Undersea Systems Northrop Grumman
Alan Lytle

A data transmission concept developed by a team comprised of Northrop Grumman and  Monrovia, Calif,-based company Seatrec has been chosen for the next phase of a competition focused on renewable energy-based ocean observation technologies.

The "Powering the Blue Economy" program, managed by the Department of Energy and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tasks the Northrop-Seatrec team to commence development of its data station proposal for unmanned underwater vehicles known as Mission Unlimited UUV Station, Northrop said Thursday.

Northrop and Seatrec's concept has power and data transfer elements designed to minimize latency and expand analysis and collection features to cover a wider range of data types obtained through high-power sensors.

The UUV station includes Seatrec-built thermal energy systems as well as Northrop's NiobiCon self-insulating connector and “data bubble“ offering that utilizes radio frequencies for subsea transmission.

Alan Lytle, vice president for undersea systems at Northrop, said the team developed the station to provide a scalable data transfer and underwater charging technology that “directly supports the U.S. Navy's focus on distributed maritime operations.“

The Northrop-Seatrec team previously won the Ocean Observing Prize under the DOE-NOAA initiative that greenlit the program's “Discovery“ phase. The recently awarded Explorer Prize concludes the Discovery increment and begins concept development activities.

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