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From Research to Commercial Operations: The Next Generation Easy-to-Deploy (ETD) Tsunami Assessment Buoy

Lawson, R.A., D. Graham, S. Stalin, C. Meinig, D. Tagawa, N. Lawrence-Slavas, R. Hibbins, and B. Ingham

In Proceedings of Oceans' 11 MTS/IEEE, Kona, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, 19–22 September 2011, No. 6107114, 8 pp (2011)


This paper addresses the transition from research to commercial operations of a next generation tsunami assessment system. Over the last five years, NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) has developed the next-generation Easy-to-Deploy (ETD) Deep-ocean Assessment and Recording of Tsunamis (DART®) buoy system. Through a technology transfer and license agreement, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) produced the first commercial ETD DART® system based on the PMEL design. The SAIC ETD DART® was deployed northeast of Australia in the Coral Sea on August 27, 2010 and has reported several small tsunami events and the Honshu tsunami since that time. By design, the ETD DART® offers significant cost advantages over standard tsunami assessment systems. Current tsunami buoy systems require a large, specialized ship and multiple trained technicians to install. The ETD DART® is designed to be deployed by small and fast response vessels such as commercial fishing boats, requires fewer trained personnel and only minutes of deployment time. The ETD consists of a modular self-deploying surface buoy, a single housing bottom pressure recorder (BPR), and a mooring/anchoring system. The SAIC ETD DART has been declared fully operational and is now an important new technology available to support the global tsunami detection network.



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