Distress flares are vital to boating safety, but pyrotechnic flares can pose a safety hazard to people not trained in their use. In addition, expired flares can create environmental hazards through leaching chemicals when disposed of in landfills or at sea. As an alternative, the Coast Guard has been researching the suitability of light emitting diode (LED) devices as effective distress signals through its Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program.
The Coast Guard Innovation Council assesses and provides strategic guidance on emerging technologies, missions, gaps, challenges and requirements. Recently, 12 Coast Guard members were honored for ideas that significantly impacted the service’s operations with the Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Awards during the Senior Leadership Conference held at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Coast Guard Research and Development Center has been evaluating short-range, hand-launched UAS for several years. Researchers have also evaluated short-range UAS in realistic maritime security, first responder and pollution response scenarios. The lessons learned are being used to develop concept of operations for Coast Guard-specific missions.
Coast Guard Law Enforcement personnel need an unambiguous tool to better attract boaters’ attention and communicate with them. The Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program is currently testing a possible solution: a Hailing Acoustic Laser Light Tactical System appropriately called CG-HALLTS. Instead of launching a small boat or dispatching a helicopter to determine a boater’s intent, the Coast Guard may be able to de-escalate a high-alert scenario with CG-HALLTS.
As part of the Coast Guard’s marine environmental protection mission, the Research and Development Center recently completed a project to identify and prototype technologies capable of detecting and mitigating the impacts of oil in the water column that show promise for future commercialization and implementation.
Laser strikes are a safety concern for both commercial and military aviation because direct eye strikes can result in temporary flash blindness or eye damage, depending on the strength of the laser. The Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center is working to find options that would provide the necessary eye protection for pilots while still allowing the level of visibility needed for operational awareness and to see the many indicators used during SAR missions – one of those options is a flexible optical filter. Find out more here!
To augment interdiction efforts in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific, the Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program is investigating the feasibility, costs and benefits of using land-based long-range and ultra-long endurance unmanned aircraft systems to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in contraband transit zones.
Mobile, Alabama, is known for bringing Mardi Gras to the United States, for the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, and as home to Hank Aaron and Satchel Paige. Few are aware of the important maritime research contributions a Mobile facility has delivered for nearly 50 years.
Mariners face a multitude of hazards in the Arctic. The extensive seasonal melting of sea ice, reduction of multi-year ice and increase in first-year ice throughout the Arctic has generated an increase in maritime traffic. To help mitigate some of the risks associated with that increase, the Coast Guard has partnered with the Marine Exchange of Alaska (MXAK) to provide critical navigational safety information to Arctic mariners via digital means.
Each year, the Coast Guard Office of Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) seeks ideas for new research and development projects from Coast Guard service members and civilian personnel. The deadline for Coast Guard personnel to submit ideas to the RDT&E for its fiscal year 2019 project portfolio is Oct. 4, 2017.