At the Navy’s annual Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) event, technology transfer flows both ways. Non-military organizations might see commercial potential in a Navy innovation, but the Navy might see potential in an academic or industry innovation as well.
ANTX, the brainchild of The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport (NUWC Newport), is a strategic partnering and technology transfer (T2) engagement event that began in 2015 and has expanded every year in scope and scale. ANTX provides a collaborative, low-risk environment for technology companies and the Navy to demonstrate rapidly developed prototypes in subsurface, surface and air exercises.
The event provides an opportunity for industry, academia, and nonprofit entities to exercise their technology for Navy use and, in turn, an opportunity for non-military entities to examine Navy-developed technologies for commercial applications. With the goal of creating long-term relationships among warfighters, stakeholders, and technology developers, ANTX’s “collaborate and innovate” environment lowers the barrier of entry for non-traditional developers into the defense market.
ANTX provides a collaborative, low-risk environment for technology companies and the Navy to demonstrate rapidly developed prototypes in subsurface, surface and air exercises.
ANTX themes have included communications for command and control, battlespace preparation in a contested environment, human-machine interaction, and undersea security.
Developers that have been part of ANTX-facilitated collaborations include:
- SeaDrone. After learning about the Inspector sensor technology demonstrated by Mountain View, California-based SeaDrone at ANTX 2019, NUWC Newport purchased the technology for experimental use. The SeaDrone Inspector 3 is a multipurpose system ranging from basic ship maintenance and security to advanced unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) solutions. NUWC Newport’s Platform and Payload Integration Department will be using this scientific equipment to evaluate its application for submarines to leave port without needing to spend the time, money and risk of putting divers in the water.
- PowerDocks Blue Isles. This small business based in Newport, Rhode Island, demonstrated its floating power grid at ANTX 2017. The company returned for ANTX 2018, partnering with Teledyne Marine of Daytona Beach, Florida, in an exercise that started with the Teledyne Oceanscience Z-Boat Autonomous Surface Vessel launching from PowerDocks’ autonomous power microgrid platform.
- General Dynamics Electric Boat. This Groton, Connecticut, company demonstrated a stackable launcher at ANTX 2017. This led to a fiscal 2018 internal investment by NUWC Newport’s Platform and Payload Integration Department to collaborate further with Electric Boat in developing the concept.
- The University of Texas. At ANTX 2018, NUWC Newport and the University of Texas began a collaboration on a device that created sound from heat using carbon nanotube fibers. NUWC engineers developed housing that would work underwater, and a novel thermophone was developed. Placed inside a small UUV, the technology essentially becomes a non-mechanical transducer that can produce sounds at a low frequency. Potential applications continue to be explored for this technology, which was rated as the No. 1 innovation at ANTX 2018.
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