During Arctic Technology Evaluation 2018, the AeroVironment Puma unmanned aircraft system and a Coast Guard unmanned surface vessel were deployed together to test the feasibility of using multiple unmanned systems as a communications link over larger areas. Patrick Ryan, a researcher in the Systems Branch at the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, readies the UAS before launch. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Alexandra Swan.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Arctic Technology Evaluation 2018

The Coast Guard’s objectives in the Arctic include advancing U.S. security interests and pursuing responsible stewardship of the area. Two components of that strategy – maritime domain awareness and protection of the delicate environment – were the focus of the Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program’s 2018 Arctic Technology Evaluation held in late July in Alaska. The event enables the Coast Guard to gain efficiencies by evaluating multiple technologies that have the potential to enhance future Coast Guard operations in harsh environments.


A red handheld flare, the minimum pyrotechnic for which the project investigated alternatives. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Alternatives to pyrotechnic distress signals

Distress flares are vital to boating safety, but pyrotechnic flares can pose a safety hazard to people not trained in their use. In addition, expired flares can create environmental hazards through leaching chemicals when disposed of in landfills or at sea. As an alternative, the Coast Guard has been researching the suitability of light emitting diode (LED) devices as effective distress signals through its Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program.


Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Innovation Awards

The Coast Guard Innovation Council assesses and provides strategic guidance on emerging technologies, missions, gaps, challenges and requirements. Recently, 12 Coast Guard members were honored for ideas that significantly impacted the service’s operations with the Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Awards during the Senior Leadership Conference held at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.


Scot Tripp and Lt. Cmdr. Shaun Vaccaro perform final checks on a Coast Guard-developed Hailing Acoustic Laser Light Tactical System onboard Coast Guard Cutter Flores, Feb. 14, 2018, in a Miami harbor. The CG-HALLTS system was designed by the Coast Guard Research and Development Center to effectively communicate and enforce maritime security zones with boaters. U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center photo.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Laser light communication system CG-HALLTS

Coast Guard Law Enforcement personnel need an unambiguous tool to better attract boaters’ attention and communicate with them. The Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program is currently testing a possible solution: a Hailing Acoustic Laser Light Tactical System appropriately called CG-HALLTS. Instead of launching a small boat or dispatching a helicopter to determine a boater’s intent, the Coast Guard may be able to de-escalate a high-alert scenario with CG-HALLTS.


Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 helicopter crew and Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak pollution responders conduct an overflight in response to an oil spill in Shuyak Strait, 49 miles north of Kodiak, Alaska, Feb. 27, 2018. The Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation established a unified command in response to the oil spill as part of the service’s marine environmental protection mission. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Detection, Mitigation of Oil within the Water Column

As part of the Coast Guard’s marine environmental protection mission, the Research and Development Center recently completed a project to identify and prototype technologies capable of detecting and mitigating the impacts of oil in the water column that show promise for future commercialization and implementation.


Crew members of Coast Guard Cutter Stratton put bales of heroin and cocaine onto a crane to be removed from the cutter's flight deck, Sept. 20, 2017, in San Diego. The Coast Guard and its interagency partners seized over 455,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $6 billion wholesale in Fiscal Year 2017, breaking the U.S. record for most cocaine seized in a single year. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer DaVonte' Marrow.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Long-Range, Ultra-Long Endurance Unmanned Aircraft System

To augment interdiction efforts in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific, the Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program is investigating the feasibility, costs and benefits of using land-based long-range and ultra-long endurance unmanned aircraft systems to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in contraband transit zones.


Research, Development, Test & Evaluation Spotlight: Joint Maritime Test Facility

Mobile, Alabama, is known for bringing Mardi Gras to the United States, for the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, and as home to Hank Aaron and Satchel Paige. Few are aware of the important maritime research contributions a Mobile facility has delivered for nearly 50 years.


Research, Development, Test & Evaluation Spotlight: 3-D Printing

For the average person, tracking down a spare part is merely an annoyance. But for the crew of a Coast Guard cutter, the availability of spare parts can be important to mission completion or greatly affect their work environment.

The Coast Guard Research and Development Center in New London, Connecticut, is currently studying how the use of 3-D printing technology might improve mission readiness through logistical support.


Research Development Test & Evaluation Spotlight: Diesel Outboard Engine

Is it possible for the Coast Guard to power its surface fleet using only one type of fuel? The Coast Guard Research and Development Center is investigating that possibility through the evaluation of available diesel outboard engines.


Coast Guard partners to deter search and rescue hoax calls

Temporary Denial of Service 911 hoax calls plague our nation’s first responder agencies. Similarly, there is a growing hoax call problem on the Channel 16 maritime distress frequency, which mariners rely on for radio communications in our nation’s ports and waterways. Search and rescue (SAR) hoax calls disrupt and divert the Coast Guard’s operational response to legitimate mariners in emergency situations. The Coast Guard has partnered with an academic research team to tackle the SAR hoax call phenomenon.


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