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PENNINGTON, N.J., Oct. 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPTT) ("OPT" or "the Company") today announced the successful in-ocean operation of an acoustic sonar system integrated with its APB-350 Autonomous PowerBuoy
®, marking an important expansion of the system's maritime surveillance capabilities.
In addition to the sonar's ability to detect sub-surface vessels, the three-week demonstration off the coast of New Jersey under a previously announced U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") program included an integrated sensor suite comprising the sonar, an over-the-horizon high frequency (HF) radar system for surface surveillance and an Automated Identification System (AIS) receiver. The APB-350 provided power for these sophisticated vessel detection and tracking sensors, enabling persistent off-shore maritime security in near-shore, harbors and littoral zones.
"We were very pleased with the sonar system's performance, as integrated with other on-board sensors," said Charles F. Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer of OPT. "We also saw the great results of improvements made to the APB-350 following previous in-ocean operations and have identified further areas to optimize mission longevity and further enhance performance, as well as the power-to-weight ratio of the device. We appreciate the support of DHS and TEDCO, as well as earlier funding by the US Navy, to demonstrate the Autonomous PowerBuoy's ability to contribute to national security and serve as a power platform for other important applications."
The demonstration was partially funded by a grant from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation ("TEDCO") via a joint technology transfer initiative to show how the Autonomous PowerBuoy can be used with multiple surveillance technologies. The grant was in tandem with a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement ("CRADA") with DHS's Science & Technology Directorate.
The acoustic sensor was tested by a support vessel running in regular and irregular modes, in both short radius and wide patterns. In addition, at least two land-based stations received HF radar signals from the APB-350. The PowerBuoy simultaneously provided power to the HF radar transmitter, the acoustic sensor and related electronics, the AIS receiver and the communications package, and also maintained power to all the buoy electronics ("hotel load"). After addressing these power loads, the excess power produced was stored in the APB-350 on-board energy storage system.