L-3 Communications announced today that its MariPro division has been awarded a $76.6 million contract by the University of Washington (UW). The company will design, build and install the Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) component of the National Science Foundation's Ocean Observatories Initiative. The cabled ocean observing system will be located on the Juan de Fuca Plate off the Washington and Oregon coasts.
"This is exciting news for L-3 MariPro, and yet another example of how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create jobs and help advance cutting edge research and innovation on the South Coast," said congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara). "I applaud the employees at L-3 MariPro for showing us the positive impact science can have on growing our economy and protecting our environment."
"L-3 MariPro is committed to providing UW with this critical subsea infrastructure for the advancement of ocean science," said Dan Chabot, vice president of Business Operations at L-3 MariPro.
The RSN system is a vast network of ocean observing sensors and mobile robots interconnected by nearly 800 km. of fiber optic cable. The continuous data flow from these subsea sensors will be integrated by a sophisticated computing network and will be available via the Internet in near real time to researchers, public policy makers, and educational and public engagement programs. This transformative infrastructure will provide new tools for discovery-oriented researchers to better study and understand complex ocean processes.
"In L-3 MariPro we have found a highly experienced partner to work with in building the infrastructure for next-generation ocean science and education," says Peter Barletto, Jr., of the University of Washington, director and chief operating officer of the RSN program. "We are eager to begin and look forward to working together to implement the RSN."
The NSF's Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is managed and coordinated by the OOI Project Office at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C.