GliderTeam 400CMRE scientists successfully developed and demonstrated the use of fleets of robotic platforms for characterization and forecasting of the underwater environment.

The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) Award recognizes the recent achievements of the CMRE EKOE (Environmental Knowledge and Operational Effectiveness) working group on "Underwater Gliders for Discreet and Cost-Effective Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace". In particular the team has been prized for the quality level of the science and technology released, for the significance of results obtained for defence, and for the quality and degree of collaboration demonstrated.
The Award Ceremony took place during the 2014 Fall NATO Science and Technology Board meeting held from 17-19 September in Bratislava, Slovakia.

"This prize comes truly from a collaborative effort, among the team members, the departments within the CMRE, the member Nations, intra-STO bodies and inter-NATO bodies", says Rear Admiral (Retired) Hank Ort, CMRE Director. "We are proud of their work".

The Award seals five years of research and experimentation at CMRE, where existing glider technologies have been customized for military oceanography applications. In particular the feasibility of adapting commercial off-the-shelf unmanned underwater gliders to characterize the underwater environment for naval operations of NATO forces, in lieu of (or in conjunction with) traditional survey ships or naval assets, has been demonstrated. Moreover, through customization of the available technology, for example the introduction of novel sensor payloads and interfaces to the flight control systems, the feasibility to determine additional environmental parameters specific to naval requirements has also been demonstrated, and will continue to be pursued in future development efforts. The main scope of the work is to develop a cost-effective, discreet, fast-relocatable and easy deployable underwater monitoring system to address NATO and Nations security needs.

"The environmental information provided by the gliders has proved valuable and helped everyone in that very difficult job of finding submarines that don't want to be found", said Capt(N) Walt Luthiger USN (Chief of Staff of COMSUBSOUTH), at the end of the NATO exercise Proud Manta 2011. CMRE gliders capabilities have been tested as well during exercise Proud Manta 2012 and Noble Mariner 2012, and in numerous scientific campaigns. The CMRE activities also prove to be useful to de-risk prospective national acquisition programs, and to foster interoperability by including standards for data formats, data processing, and mission planning. Cooperation with several nations, NATO and international bodies has heavily supported the programme of work.

Furthermore, the scientific results of the research efforts and their substantive potential for exploitation have been documented in more than 50 CMRE reports, journal publications, conference presentations and proceedings. Public outreach has included lectures and static displays in local area science festivals in La Spezia and Genoa (Italy), as well newspaper and magazine articles. In addition, CMRE hosted the first workshop on Military Applications of Underwater Glider Technology in 2013, with representatives from 6 Nations in attendance representing the military, industry, and defence science sectors.

Along with the CMRE Glider Team, the following STO teams are granted the 2014 STO Scientific Achievement Award: AVT-174 on "Qualification and Structural Design Guidelines for Military Unmanned Air Vehicles", MSG-088 on "Data Farming in Support of NATO", SAS-085 on "C2 Agility", SCI-222 on "Electronic Warfare Issues of Software Defined Radio", SET-144 on "Mitigation of Ship Electro-Optical Susceptibility against Conventional and Asymmetric Threats".
The CMRE Programme Team of MANEX '14 sea trial has been also nominated.

For more on the STO Scientific Achievement Award visit