Coast Guard Seaman Charles Maurer, a crew member aboard Cutter Frank Drew, inspects the light atop a buoy on the James River in Newport News, Virginia, Feb. 20, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki)

DHS S&T and USCG Partner to Fund Development of High-Tech, Ruggedized Tracking Buoy

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) has awarded $157,801 in Phase 1 funding to Kenautics, Inc., of Encinitas, CA, to provide a more reliable system for marking objects in water, under SVIP’s Maritime Object Tracking Technology (MOTT) solicitation.

The MOTT solicitation supports United States Coast Guard (USCG) missions by seeking more reliable tracking systems for accurately marking and monitoring objects in the water for recovery. The solution is intended to be used during operational missions to bolster waterway security, drug interdiction, search and rescue, and disaster response.

Kenautics proposes to adapt their handheld Diver Navigation and Imaging System―meant for waypoint navigation; subsea imaging; situational awareness; and information, surveillance, and reconnaissance―by repackaging the system into a ruggedized buoy deployable from land, air, and sea under adverse conditions. The Kenautics GPS-AIS Navigation and Tracking Buoy will be usable in both overt and covert operations and will be designed to provide tracking and position data, geo-referenced forensic data sets, localization capabilities, and interactive functions.

“Working together with DHS S&T and SVIP allows the Coast Guard to pursue innovative solutions through start-ups and small companies that are developing advanced technology, and we are looking forward to Kenautics’ Phase 1 effort,” said Wendy Chaves, Chief of Coast Guard Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, and Innovation.

“This marks the first award made under our partnership with USCG,” said Melissa Oh, SVIP Managing Director. “With experience designing for Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal, special operators, and first responders, we are optimistic that this project with Kenautics will enhance the USCG’s ability to carry out their missions.”

The MOTT solicitation is open through 12:00 p.m. PST on February 20, 2021. Applications will be accepted on a continuous, rolling basis, and SVIP will evaluate applications three times on a quarterly basis. The next application deadlines are October 20, 2020, and February 20, 2021.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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