OPT to Develop Fiber Optic Mooring Technology for the Naval Air Warfare Center
MONROE TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (OPT) has been awarded a contract award from the U.S. Navy valued at $125,000, and an additional three options totaling $100,000 for a total potential contract value of $225,000, the company announced in a Feb. 12 release. Under this contract, OPT will immediately begin the development of a buoy mooring system which incorporates fiber optics for the transmission of subsea sensor data to airplanes, ships and satellites. OPT will execute the work under its Innovation and Support Services line and will leverage its many years of experience with marine systems and U.S. Navy programs to address the Navy’s need for reliable and low-cost “optical-mechanical mooring cables.” Importantly, the fiber optic mooring concepts developed under this contract may be incorporated into OPT’s PowerBuoy and Subsea Battery Module product lines.
“We’re very excited for this Phase I award by the U.S. Navy to develop a fiber optic mooring line which may be used for both defense and commercial applications,” said George Kirby, CEO of Ocean Power Technologies. “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 utilize OPT technologies which are already in advanced stages of development. To date, OPT has earned 28 U.S. government awards, including eight Phase I awards, which led to five Phase II efforts and 15 Phase III efforts, all related to marine systems and applications. We welcome the opportunity that this new contract brings, and this award now allows us to immediately bid on a Phase II contract.”
OPT has submitted several proposals to the U.S. Navy and the Office of Naval Research under its Innovation and Support Services line on topics such as powering acoustic and nonacoustic sensors and improving the persistence of unmanned underwater vehicles through battery recharging and critical data transfer. Additionally, OPT has successfully advanced its anchorless PowerBuoy design under a prior contract with the Office of Naval Research and is seeking to prototype the design for both defense and commercial applications.
“OPT has a long work history on Department of Defense projects,” Kirby said. “Our most recent government effort has been around advancing our anchorless PowerBuoy design, and we’re nearing the prototype stage. 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 defense and offshore oil and gas.
“In addition, these markets are undergoing a radical transformation to cleaner and more efficient all electric, all digital and all autonomous subsea operations,” he said. “Rapid deployment of persistent power and real-time subsea data communications is the enabling technology. Thanks to our efforts over the past few years, OPT is positioned and ready to enable this transformation today. In fact, we currently have one PowerBuoy deployed for a global oil and gas operator, another
which is undergoing preparation for deployment, and we have two additional PowerBuoys in various stages of production.