The Stennis Space Center-headquartered Naval Oceanography hosted a workshop which aimed to create a more cohesive national glider network for all participants.
As the nation’s largest owner and operator of unmanned systems including gliders, Naval Oceanography held an event that saw more than 90 representatives from other federal agencies, universities and industry attend.
Dr. Bill Burnett, deputy commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC), provided introductory remarks to the group explaining NMOC’s unmanned systems experience and future initiatives.
“We’re leading the way in unmanned systems, and we want to continue to lead the way,” Burnett said. “There is so much others can glean from how we operate the platforms and use the information.”
Touring the 24/7 glider operations center and the glider lab, both one-of-a-kind entities operated by NAVOCEANO, was a primary draw for holding the event at Stennis Space Center.
For more than 20 years, naval oceanographers, operating more than 100 unmanned systems, have collected information from more than 250,000 miles of physical battlespace that directly supports submarine, mine, special operations and expeditionary warfare.
NMOC Commander Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet released his unmanned systems strategy last year, which calls to expand Naval Oceanography’s use of unmanned systems, enable the fleet and joint forces’ use of unmanned systems, and engage stakeholders to accelerate development of future systems.
“I believe our growth in unmanned systems will completely revolutionize Naval Oceanography,” Burnett said.
Burnett explained the command’s plans to develop a Navy range complex along the Mississippi Sound that is instrumented for expeditionary, hydrographic and interoperability testing and training in deep water, littoral and riverine environments.
The command has also partnered with the University of Southern Mississippi for an unmanned underwater systems certification program that will ensure its pilots, scientists and technicians are qualified to operate and maintain the systems.