Office of Naval Research

The 10th ONR/MTS Buoy Workshop 2014

Town & Country Resort and Convention Center
San Diego, CA
March 3-6, 2014

MTS Society
The Buoy Workshop 2014 is conducted with support from the Ocean Engineering and Marine Systems Group of the Office of Naval Research, and by the Marine Technology Society, Washington, DC.

Workshop Chair
Dr. Walter Paul, MS #7
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1056
tel: (508) 289-3506
fax: (508) 457-2191

Workshop Co-Chair
Rick Cole
RDSEA International, Inc.
St. Pete Beach, FL  33706
tel:  (727) 385-3834

Registration Contact
Judith Rizoli White, MS #12
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1056
tel: (508) 289-2456
cell: (508) 648 1602
fax: (508) 457-2194

ONR/MTS Buoy Workshop

Buoy Workshop 2014 Summary
buoy workshop Photo: RDSEA International, ATLAS-B, Brazil

The 10th ONR/MTS Buoy Workshop was held March 3-6, 2014 at the Town & Country Hotel and Conference Center in San Diego, California.  Nature spoiled us with her beautiful spring weather, while the rest of the country was having ice, snow and cold weather. 

For many years, the U.S. has been going through significant reductions in travel and other funding for Government employees. In 1988, 26 years ago,Dr. Alan Driscoll from the University of Rhode Island wrote to the 131 registrants of the 15th Cable and Connector Workshop:  “….. The registrants includethe lowest percentage of Government involvement in recent years:  13%; but the 6% non-U.S. participation showsa welcome increase.  This broader participation will enhance our objective, providinga basis for improvements through private and Government efforts“.  At this year’s Buoy Workshop 24% of the presentations were given by speakers from U.S. Government Organizations, with 48% of the speakers coming from abroad!  At the 2014 Buoy Workshop 78 participants attended, with ten more registered, but a powerful Northeast ice-storm on March 3 canceled over 2,000 flights within the U.S., and with it their travel plans to San Diego.  

The Speaker Program consisted of 29 tightly scheduled Power-Point presentations grouped in seven topical sessions.  Speakers came from eight different countries, five speakers alone presented nearby developments in Brazil.  Buoy systems are in high demand in Brazil due to the deep ocean sites with significant oil resources being fairly close to their shore.  The two most dominant presentation topics were talks on Wave and Wind Energy Harvesting Systems  (9)and Buoy-based Observing Systems (6).   

Site Visit
We were able to visit the impressive Open Ocean Initiative (OOI) Pioneer Array buoy facility at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla.  Professor Uwe Send and his staff kindly gave the participants a tour of their facility, including the sensor assembly area and a newly constructed spacious assembly hall to in which to ready the OOI buoy and mooring components for deployment in the Pacific.

For the first time since 1998, an Undersea Cable & Connector Workshop could be scheduled to follow the Buoy Workshop.  MTS has sponsored 22 annual Cable Workshops in the past, initiated by Al Berian, but the events have been dormant for over 20 years.  Al also helped to get the Buoy Workshops going in 1996.  To get these workshops started again, Ray Toll, Marine Technology Society’s VP for Industry and Technology scheduled an “Undersea Cable & Connector MTS Tech Surge”.  This became possible when Jennifer Snyder, from, and sponsored by, Leidos Corporation (a new split off from SAIC) volunteered to help get the Undersea Cable & Connector Workshops going again.  It became a thorough and most informative lively event, well organized and documented by Jennifer.  It was most helpful for folks who are involved with cables containing electrical conductors and fiber-optical light-guides and their terminations. More buoys now require electrical conductor or optical light-guide links to underwater instrumentation.  Offshore oil recovery and wind and wave power generation have created strong demands for the development of suitable cables and connectors.  The need to revive the MTS Cable and Connector Workshops seems to be important; it was great to see this happen.  

Our sincere thanks to all who contributed to make this workshop successful:  the speakers in their considerable efforts to prepare presentations and share their work results; all workshop participants - with special thanks to the foreign folks for the special efforts required to obtain a U.S. Visa and having to endure their long flights.  We thank their sponsoring companies and organizations for giving them this opportunity.  We again thank the exhibitors, the Office of Naval Research and the Marine Technology Society - it could not have been done without you. 

Preliminary planning includes the possibility of holding the 2016 Buoy Workshop in Woods Hole, MA.  More news to follow towards year’s end …..

Regards to all for peace in the coming years,

The Buoy Workshop Team:  Walter Paul, Rick Cole, and last not least Judy Rizoli, aka “The Boss”.

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