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University of Hawaii Applied Research Lab gets $77M for military work

The Navy has awarded the University of Hawaii a contract worth up to $77 million over five years for its defense-related Applied Research Laboratory.

The task order contract is for research, development, engineering and test and evaluation for programs throughout the Department of Defense, with $777,710 in funding expected to be obligated in fiscal 2019, according to a contract notice released on Monday.

UH’s Applied Research Laboratory was established in 2008 as a Navy-sponsored lab and is one of 13 University Affiliated Research Centers within the Defense Department.

The Hawaii lab’s focus includes ocean environmental effects of natural and man-made underwater noise sources on littoral, or nearshore, anti-submarine warfare, as well as marine life.

Associated capabilities include bathymetry, autonomous underwater vehicles, acoustic mapping and buried mine detection.

The lab also is working on advanced electro-optical systems, detection systems and arrays that have been applied to astronomical research as well as work on light detection and ranging (LIDAR), laser and remote sensing technologies.

Sensors developed at UH include systems for detection of improvised explosive devices, the university said.

In March of 2018, the lab integrated live imagery from two unmanned surface vessels, three unmanned aerial vehicles and one unmanned underwater vehicle to characterize the environment around a shallow water reef in Kaneohe Bay in a demonstration for over 35 officials from the Office of Naval Research, NASA, Coast Guard and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The Pentagon has five Navy university-affiliated research centers, four for the Army, and labs for the Missile Defense Agency, National Security Agency, Office of the Secretary of Defense and U.S. Strategic Command.

Other universities have received far more than UH for military research. In 2017, the Navy awarded a contract worth as much as $1.1 billion over 10 years to the research lab at the University of Texas at Austin.

The lab was founded in 1945 and has been a key developer of sonar equipment and processing techniques for the U.S. Navy and has led research on GPS satellite navigation technologies, the university said.

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