Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTT) (“OPT” or “the Company”) today announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (“CRADA”) with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Science & Technology Directorate (“S&T”) to perform a new round of in-ocean tests on its Autonomous PowerBuoy ® to further demonstrate its use for ocean surveillance.
Specifically, the DHS S&T Borders and Maritime Security Division will collaborate with OPT to demonstrate the effectiveness of its long duration maritime vessel detection platform. This will involve the redeployment of an APB-350 Autonomous PowerBuoy off the coast of New Jersey, where previous work through the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Expeditionary Autonomous PowerBuoy (“LEAP”) program last year produced extremely positive results, including higher-than-predicted power harvesting capability and survivability during Hurricane Irene and its 50-foot high waves .
In tandem with the CRADA, OPT has been awarded a new $75,000 grant from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (“MTDC”) via a joint technology transfer initiative to show how the Autonomous PowerBuoy can be used with multiple surveillance technologies. OPT will leverage its experience from the LEAP program in surface vessel detection to demonstrate an enhanced tracking technology covering a wider variety of vessels. This technology will feature an acoustic sensor system in addition to the existing HF RADAR. This will allow the PowerBuoy to collect data for ocean observing applications at the same time as it performs its enhanced surveillance duties, demonstrating the dual use of the PowerBuoy technology.
“Building on our success in 2011 with the LEAP deployment, we are pleased to be implementing this advanced maritime security payload on our Autonomous PowerBuoy” said Charles F. Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer of OPT. “The CRADA and the grant from the MTDC will assist us in the expansion of the Autonomous PowerBuoy capability for vessel detection operations, which is one of the significant potential markets for this product. We look forward to deploying the upgraded device.”