The US Navy has awarded a contract to Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) to develop a fibre optic mooring system to enable the transmission of subsea sensor data to airplanes, ships, and satellites.
The Phase I contract is valued at $125,000 and includes three options worth an aggregate value of $100,000.
Designed to address the Navy’s need for reliable and low-cost ‘optical-mechanical mooring cables’, the contract work will be delivered under OPT’s Innovation & Support Services line.
The company noted that the fibre optic-based buoy mooring concepts being developed under the US Navy contract is likely to be incorporated into its PowerBuoy and Subsea Battery Module product lines.
Ocean Power Technologies CEO George Kirby said: “We’re very excited for this Phase I award by the US Navy to develop a fibre optic mooring line which may be used for both defence and commercial applications.
“We believe that this new contract award further validates our technical expertise and experience with ocean energy systems and could also lead to additional future contract awards where we might utilise OPT technologies which are already in advanced stages of development.”
OPT expects to bid on a Phase II contract.
Previously, the firm proposed to power acoustic and non-acoustic sensors and enhance the persistence of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) through battery recharging and critical data transfer.
As part of a prior contract with the Office of Naval Research, OPT advanced its anchorless PowerBuoy design. The company is currently in the process of prototyping the design for both defence and commercial applications.
Kirby added: “The anchorless PowerBuoy design is very encouraging to our customers due to its innovative and patented approach to power generation and also the need for a quick-deploy solution throughout markets such as defence and offshore oil and gas.”