Case Study

U.S. Navy Uses Data Portal to Select Test Site for Unmanned Underwater Vehicle

Screenshot of a Portal map showing ferry traffic and recreational boating density in Long Island Sound.

Northeast Ocean Data Portal User: U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center

Objective: Identify a suitable area for testing an unmanned underwater vehicle without interfering with commercial vessel traffic, recreational boating, and other ocean uses.

In 2017, the Navy experienced a technical issue with an unmanned underwater vehicle that needed testing by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, located in Rhode Island.

The usual testing range affiliated with the NUWC was in water too deep for the equipment, and a shallower site in Long Island Sound needed to be identified. Navy staff turned to the Northeast Ocean Data Portal to look at maps of ship traffic and ferry routes to find a suitable testing location that would not interfere with other ocean uses in Long Island Sound.

The data on the Portal gave Navy staff a good operational awareness of the area, allowed them to quickly adapt to new circumstances, and enabled them to eventually conduct a successful equipment test.

Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, Rhode Island

NUWC Division Newport, one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, is the Navy’s full-spectrum research, development, test and evaluation, engineering, and fleet support center for submarine warfare systems and many other systems associated with the undersea battlespace.

Published: March 2019