Page 22: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (September 2022)

The Marine Design Edition

Read this page in Pdf, Flash or Html5 edition of September 2022 Maritime Reporter Magazine

Interview: Commander Dan Keane “There’s been a big emphasis on data infrastructure, increasing our IT systems to give our people better tools within the Coast

Guard. And we’ve seen quite a few new just workplace tools roll out, modernizing our IT infrastructure. That’s going to continue in the next few years.”

Captain Dan Keane, Commanding

Of? cer, U.S. Coast Guard Research and

Development Center

Photo U.S. Coast Guard RDC a ? ve-week demonstration with the intent of ? nding low-cost rize operations of small UAS over populated areas so that we autonomous vessels or capabilities for some of our partner na- can possibly offer those to our stations and eventually get that tions in the Paci? c,” said Keane. “As part of that, we looked offshore onto our cutters as well.” at a couple of commercial systems and we also procured our ? rst autonomous vessel: our 29 RDC.” Military Collaboration

According to Keane “we learned a ton from that project,” While the RDC uses partnerships across the government and including how the Coast Guard may be able to look in the private sector as a de facto multiplier of its own resources and future to layer certain technologies for the best coverage for capabilities, Keane admitted that it’s work being conducted maritime domain awareness, “whether it is a persistent sensor with other military branches that is one of his primary focuses type system that can stay out for quite a long time or a fast- since taking the Commander’s seat. “My predecessor had es- moving autonomous vessel that can move to intercept once tablished a seat on the DoD Laboratory Commander Sync,” we detect a target.” between the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Cre-

A particular point of pride for the RDC is that it conducts ated via MOU, it was created to set the terms for an expanded almost all of its own work. “We contract out very little of our working relationship between the service labs marked by co- actual research,” said Keane, calling that a key in getting two operation and collaboration in a broad range of activities, es- autonomous vessels to the center. “Afterwards, we were able pecially in areas of mutual bene? t. “ to partner with the Navy to do some unmanned systems test- “He got us a seat at the table with the other lab commanders ing using one of their systems, and then we were able to bring for the major research labs, and we meet quarterly to discuss that over onto our property so that we could modify the vessel potential joint projects.” Leveraging the combined R&D ef- as we needed.” forts across the DoD offers obvious bene? ts, led by ef? ciency,

The RDC also has a unique UAS testing center in Cape Cod, cost reduction and the reduction of repetitive efforts.

a testing center that Keane calls “a feather in our cap. I be- Tangibly, Keane said the effect has been “huge” for the lieve it’s the only authorized maritime UAS test facility in the RDC. “We were able to start joint Arctic comms projects, able

United States.” The testing center exempli? es a core tenant to experiment on and develop some additional improvements of the RDC’s success: partnership. “It’s a strong partnership in communications up at the higher latitudes. We also have between us, air station Cape Cod, the international guard and some joint capability technology demonstrations that we re- army national guard to do autonomous testing,” said Keane. cently partnered with the DoD to tap into some of the experi- “The real importance is what we’re trying to do is to get detect mentation that’s going to be applicable on coast guard mis- and avoid technology mature enough that the FAA will autho- sions. It’s a huge people and budget multiplier for us.” 22 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • September 2022

MR #9 (18-33).indd 22 9/5/2022 9:42:12 AM

Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.