TALONS: “Exceeding Expectations” on the USS Zephyr

August 15, 2017:  DARPA released a new press release and video about TALONS’ recent demonstration on the USS Zephyr.  For more information about MAPC’s work on the TALONS system, please visit our site!

From the DARPA Press Release:

TALONS Tested on Commissioned U.S. Navy Vessel for First Time

Prototype of low-cost, elevated sensor mast improves ship’s communication range and ability to detect, track, and classify contacts of interest

Image Caption: DARPA’s Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) research effort recently demonstrated its prototype of a low-cost, elevated sensor mast aboard a commissioned U.S. Navy vessel for the first time. The crew of USS Zephyr, a Cyclone-class patrol coastal ship, evaluated the technology demonstration system over three days near Naval Station Mayport, Florida. Click below for high-resolution image.

DARPA’s Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) research effort recently demonstrated its prototype of a low-cost, elevated sensor mast aboard a commissioned U.S. Navy vessel for the first time. The crew of USS Zephyr, a 174-foot (53-meter) Cyclone-class patrol coastal ship, evaluated the technology demonstration system over three days near Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

TALONS demonstrated safe and routine operation from the ship’s deck under a variety of sea states and wind conditions without adversely affecting the ship’s operational capability. In tests, the system significantly improved the ship’s ability to detect, track, and classify contacts of interest. It also increased communications range between the ship and remote platforms such as the Zephyr’s rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs).

Towed behind boats or ships, TALONS could persistently suspend intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) instruments and communications payloads of up to 150 pounds at altitudes between 500 and 1,500 feet above sea level—many times higher than current ships’ masts—greatly extending the equipment’s range and effectiveness.

“We’re very pleased with the USS Zephyr testing, which showed that a future system based on TALONS could provide operational benefits for even small Navy vessels,” said Scott Littlefield, a program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO). “In the next year, we will continue our cooperative relationship with the U.S. Navy and work toward fully automating launch and recovery, which would make the system even easier to use on manned vessels and compatible with unmanned surface vessels.”

“Expectations were really exceeded with the ease of not only deployment, but the recovery of the system,” said Lt. Cmdr. Cameron Ingram, commanding officer of the Zephyr. “Beyond the initial launch, it immediately stabilized, and it had a very smooth transition all the way up to altitude. I was very impressed with how stable it was.”

The TALONS test on USS Zephyr built upon a successful joint test last year with DARPA’s Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program. ACTUV’s technology demonstration vessel set sail with TALONS as its first payload as part of open-water testing off the coast of California.

TALONS is part of DARPA’s Phase 1 research for Tern, a joint program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Image Caption: DARPA’s Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) research effort recently demonstrated its prototype of a low-cost, elevated sensor mast aboard a commissioned U.S. Navy vessel for the first time. The crew of USS Zephyr, a Cyclone-class patrol coastal ship, evaluated the technology demonstration system over three days near Naval Station Mayport, Florida. Click below for high-resolution image.
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MAPC completes electric tram upgrade for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Baltimore, Maryland:  Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC) just returned the Patuxent Research Refuge’s National Wildlife Visitor Center tram to the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife Service with an updated electrical system, just in time for the busy season! MAPC has kept the Patuxent Wildlife all-electric tram up and running since 2000 and has a long history with building electric vehicles, beginning in 1997.
TramPicMAPC
The National Wildlife Visitor Center tram leaves MAPC in Baltimore this week with updated electrical systems.

Jim Cerulli, Engineering Manager at MAPC said: “the tram is a fun project for us. It keeps our electric vehicle engineering knowledge current and we like knowing that the general public will get to experience our technology.”

Established in 1936, the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Maryland is the only national wildlife refuge specifically created to support wildlife research in the United States. The South Tract of the refuge is where the National Wildlife Visitor Center, the Tram, and its trails are located.

Cerulli continued; “while electric vehicles are just now starting to become popular in the United States, the Patuxent National Wildlife tram has been operational for over 20 years.” MAPC hopes to keep the tram moving for another 20 years.

For more information on the Patuxent Research Refuge, please visit their website:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Patuxent/about.html

For a pdf version of this press-release, click here.

Photo Credit: USFWS
Photo Credit: USFWS



MAPC’s Latest Engineering Success

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

MAPC’s latest engineering success:

The Remote Off-Shore Sensor System


Baltimore, Maryland: Maritime Applied Physics Corporation successfully completed a recent demonstration of its latest maritime engineering platform: the Remote Off-Shore Sensor System, or ROSS buoy. The ROSS buoy is an unmanned platform designed to easily integrate multiple sensors in order to provide air, surface, and subsea maritime domain awareness in real-time by leveraging onboard line-of-sight and over the horizon communications links.

The ROSS buoy, unlike traditional buoy designs, has a patent-pending passively stabilized gimbaled mast that can extend 24 feet. Paul Seiffert, Senior Engineer at MAPC, explained: “The stabilized mast provides low motions in high sea states so data from sensors like cameras and radar are always crystal clear. It’s also much easier and more cost effective to deploy compared to a spar buoy.” The ROSS buoy was deployed for two weeks in May BuoyOceansday2015 for a major military exercise.

Maritime Applied Physics Corporation has been marketing the ROSS to the off-shore wind industry which is required to conduct marine mammal, avian and wind profile surveys in advance of constructing any permanent structures in the seafloor. Much less expensive than a traditional MET tower, the ROSS buoy also has very little environmental impact as a moored floating platform. The ROSS can run for over 30 days (at full power) without refueling, using its hybrid-electric power system, and allows for quiet periods while listening for marine mammals during critical times.

Our partners, Persistent Systems Wave Relay, L-3 Integrated Sensor Systems, and Accipiter Avian Radar Monitoring, and marine mammal subsurface sensors can all be simultaneously integrated into the ROSS because of its large pay-load capacity. Seiffert went on to say; “The ROSS buoy illustrates the type of work that we do best as a company: easily deployed, highly advanced engineering platforms that can endure the toughest maritime conditions.”

Buoy5.12.15

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DARPA publicly releases information on one of MAPC’s projects: TALONS

Friday, May 8, 2015:  DARPA released information about two exciting projects under its TERN program (Tactically  Exploited  Reconnaissance Node).  The TALONS program mentioned is  led by MAPC.
TALONSphoto
The full press release from DARPA can be found here: http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2015/05/07.aspx

The Washington Business Journal share’s DARPA’s enthusiasm for  TALONS,  stating that the TERN program is one of DARPA’s “coolest” projects.  Read the full article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/fedbiz_daily/2015/05/drones-at-sea-here-s-the-latest-from-one-of-darpa.html

Mark Rice, President of MAPC, Honored at Maryland Off-Shore Wind Conference

April 22, 2015/ Baltimore, MD: 

The Maryland Business Network for Off-Shore Wind honored Maritime Applied Physics Corp’s President and Founder, Mark Rice.  Rice was recognized for his leadership as the President of the Board and his efforts to bring Maryland businesses together to work for their common interests.

Liz Burdock, Executive Director, surprised Mr. Rice with the honor at the closing remarks of the program.  “Everybody in this room who knows Mark Rice, respects Mark Rice….He has put his imprint on this organization to be fair and balanced and to put the common good before individual needs.”  

009Later, Burdock went on to say:
“He has created two technologies right now, that can support the off-shore wind industry.”  

Congratulations to Mark Rice on his efforts and to all MAPC employees who have worked on the technologies that have been designed to support the off-shore wind industry in Maryland, and beyond!

Below is a full video of the remarks:

MAPC Launch and Recovery At Sea, Air, Space, 2015

National Harbor, MD:  MAPC’s Launch and Recovery System on the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 2 and LCS4 were featured during a demonstration by Cubic Global Defense Corporation at the Sea, Air, Space 2015 conference this year.

MAPC employees were on hand to test out the training system and were able to successfully tow the RMMV back into the LCS.

Check out the video below of an MAPC employee virtually training on our Launch and Recovery System at the Conference!

GARC: The First Military Rescue Mission

OKINAWA, Japan: On October 5, 2014 three airmen working at the Kadena Air Force Base were swept into the sea during Typhoon Phanfone, a category-4 storm with winds reaching 150 miles an hour and estimated 15-30 foot high waves.

A joint rescue mission, launched by the 31st Air Rescue Squadron stationed at Kadena and the 11th Division of the Japanese Coast Guard and local fire department, began shortly thereafter, deploying two GARCs and six jetskis. Within hours, however, the jetskis were disabled, unable to handle the waves and the breaking surf; some with water jets clogged due to debris floating in the water.

The GARC, a personal watercraft rescue boat, designed for durability in breaking surf and high waves, not only outperformed the six jetskis in this mission, but rescued one of the jetski operators after a particularly big wave hit the jetski. Although the same wave hit the GARC broadside, it did not capsize. 

The 143 horse power GARCs worked for three days in up to 30 foot waves, with a payload of 2-3 Airforce Pararescue Specialists (known as PJs) per GARC.  The boats only required refueling once per each 12 hour day at sea.
Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC) has now developed a line of manned and unmanned, gas, diesel, and electric 3.6 and 5 meter GARCs that are stable, dependable, durable, and can turn completely around within one boat length. Mark Rice, President and Founder of MAPC: “The October rescue and recovery mission in Okinawa proves the GARC’s durability and reliability in extreme weather conditions.” For more information on the GARC, please check out our website: http://www.mapcorp.com/our-work/garc/