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Coast Guard chooses UC San Diego to evaluate, develop safety and law enforcement technology

Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Invertzoo/WikiCommons)

The Coast Guard has chosen UC San Diego to evaluate and develop so-called “blue water” technology that can help the service carry out surveillance, monitoring, search and rescue, and law enforcement duties.

The work will be performed at the university’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which was named a Blue Technology Center of Expertise (COE) by the Coast Guard on Monday.

The designation doesn’t represent a major expansion of Scripps’ research program, which pulled in $155 million in fiscal 2018. Congressional analysts say the new center will only modestly enhance the Coast Guard’s research efforts.

But the new agreement will help extend Scripps decades-long work in testing and improving maritime technology, from deep sea sensors to autonomous underwater gliders, lasers and drones. The research has broad application across science, law enforcement, maritime safety and the military.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Coast Guard to Scripps Institution of Oceanography,” Scripps Director Margaret Leinen said in a statement.

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“This close proximity will be mutually beneficial and help foster the transfer of knowledge, inspire collaboration and education, and leverage the blue technology expertise on our campus and in San Diego as a whole.”

Scripps main campus area is located about 12 miles north of the large Coast Guard base that has long existed in downtown San Diego, on San Diego Bay.

The institute operates four research vessels and one ocean-going platform. Two of the vessels and the platform are operated on behalf of the U.S. Navy.

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© 2019 The San Diego Union-Tribune