Ocean Power to build buoys for Navy

Ocean Power Technologies has won a $3 million contract from the Navy to further refine buoys that generate electricity from the motion of ocean waves.

The service plans to use such flotation devices, named PowerBuoys, to power sensors that float. Such sensors could be used to keep track of traffic across wide swaths of ocean.

The package is being developed through the Deep Water Active Detection Systems (DWADS) program. The Office of Naval Research funded the initial development of the power-generating technology.

Ocean Power has already tested its devices, in a prototype that was floated 75 miles off the coast of New Jersey.

This contract provides the funds for further testing, including refinements in mooring design and seaworthiness.

DWADS is an example of a self-powered sensor system, with the buoys providing the electricity needed to conduct operations.

"The rising and falling of the waves off shore causes the buoy to move freely up and down. The resultant mechanical stroking is converted...to drive an electrical generator," according to the company's Web site.

Joab Jackson writes for Government Computer News, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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