ARLINGTON, Va.-Robotic lifeguards used to rescue swimmers from peril. Futuristic technology that merges virtual and augmented realities seamlessly. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can autonomously swarm and overwhelm an enemy.
These are just a few of the technologies the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the Navy's Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) will showcase at the 2016 Sea-Air-Space Exposition, to be held May 16-18 at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
Program officers from ONR, NRL and SBIR will be on hand in booth No. 1004 to discuss their pioneering work and potential research opportunities, including those for small businesses.
Officials note that Sea-Air-Space presents a great opportunity to highlight ONR's contributions that are making a marked difference to Sailors and Marines. Scientific leadership in autonomy and unmanned systems, as well as augmented reality, will strongly advance existing capabilities.
On Monday, May 16, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Mat Winter will moderate an international naval leadership panel discussion on "Naval Technology 2025 & Beyond." The panel will feature Winter's counterparts from Brazil, Colombia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
Some of the breakthrough technologies that will be on display at Sea-Air-Space include:
- EMILY (Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard): EMILY is a remote-controlled lifesaving buoy recently used to rescue nearly 300 Syrian migrants from drowning in the waters off the Greek island of Lesbos. EMILY will be displayed in action for the public on May 16-18, 9:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.-3 p.m., at the South Dock of the Gaylord.
- BEMR Lab: BEMR stands for Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality. This cutting-edge technology merges virtual reality (complete immersion in a simulated/virtual world) and augmented reality (where virtual objects are imposed onto real-world vision). Visitors will be able to try on Oculus Rift goggles to explore the virtual worlds.
- LOCUST (Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Swarming Technology): On display is a prototype, tube-launched UAV. The LOCUST program will make possible the launch of multiple swarming UAVs to autonomously overwhelm an adversary.
Sea-Air-Space is hosted by the Navy League of the United States with the goal of bringing together leaders from defense organizations-both government and private industry-to learn about and view the most up-to-date information and technology related to maritime policy.
In addition to Sea-Air-Space, the Gaylord will host the Naval STEM EXPO on Sunday, May 15, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Winter will address the audience at 1:15 p.m. to discuss the importance of education and the need for a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-educated workforce.
The STEM Expo, co-sponsored by ONR and the Navy League STEM Institute, is free and geared to students in grades six through 12. It will provide middle and high school students an introduction to naval STEM careers and applications through guest speakers and hands-on activities. Scheduled activities include demos of the EMILY robotic lifeguard, to be held from 1:30 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. at the South Dock of the Gaylord.
Warren Duffie is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.