Teledyne Technologies Incorporated has announced that its subsidiary, Teledyne Instruments, Inc., has entered into an agreement to acquire assets of Webb Research Corp. Webb Research, located in E. Falmouth, Mass., is the world's leading manufacturer of autonomous underwater gliding vehicles, as well as autonomous profiling drifters and floats. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The closing of the transaction, which is subject to various conditions, is anticipated to occur on or about July 7, 2008.
"Under the Teledyne Marine umbrella, Teledyne currently provides a number of market leading marine electronic subsystems, including acoustic modems, acoustic and inertial navigation systems, acoustic Doppler current profilers and subsea electrical and optical interconnect solutions," said Robert Mehrabian, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The acquisition of Webb Research will immediately add autonomous underwater vehicle systems to Teledyne Marine's existing capabilities. Furthermore, proprietary glider systems offer a platform for Teledyne Marine to provide future sensor payloads, for Teledyne Scientific to develop autonomous systems software, and for Teledyne Brown Engineering to provide customers with fully integrated autonomous glider system solutions."
Webb Research's gliders are autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that use changes in buoyancy in conjunction with wings and tail steering to convert vertical motion to horizontal, and thereby propel the system on a programmed route with very low power consumption. Applications of gliders range from oceanographic research programs to military persistent surveillance systems and mobile nodes for subsea communication networks. Gliders were first conceived by Douglas Webb, the founder of Webb Research and a former researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Following the acquisition, Douglas Webb will remain with the business and become Senior Director, Technology for Teledyne Webb Research. Webb Research currently manufactures the Slocum and Slocum Thermal glider systems.
The Slocum glider, which provides a single solution for both shallow and deep water applications, can descend to 1,000 meters and monitor a number of physical and chemical properties for months. A modular payload bay permits customers to easily reconfigure sensor payloads between missions. Data collected during missions are periodically transmitted to the host marine research institution or military user via satellite links, which are also used to update route instructions. The unique Slocum Thermal glider uses patented Webb Research thermal engine technology to extend mission life, potentially to several years.
In addition to gliders, Webb Research has manufactured over 5,000 autonomous ocean profiling drifters and floats, the majority of which were funded under the Argo program, an international collaboration of 23 countries to monitor the changing state of the upper ocean and patterns of ocean climate variability over months to decades. Webb Research had sales of $12.2 million for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2007. After the closing, the acquired business will remain at its current location in E. Falmouth, Mass., and will operate under the name Teledyne Webb Research.