Success for SAIC’s STB

Science Applications International Corporation this week announced the successful completion of testing of a buoy developed to provide early warning detection of tsunamis.


Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) this week announced the successful completion of testing of a buoy developed to provide early warning detection of tsunamis.



The SAIC tsunami buoy (STB) was deployed on October 25, 2006, approximately 200 nautical miles west of San Diego in 3,876m of water. The location is approximately 28 nautical miles from a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART) buoy that has been used in part to evaluate the performance of the STB.



The genesis of SAIC developing a tsunami warning capability began after the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and has continued to build and mature since that catastrophe.



With the goal of developing an end-to-end tsunami warning capability that can be integrated into international disaster warning systems, SAIC engineers determined that the cornerstone of this effort would be the development of a technically advanced, commercially available, deep-ocean sensor that could match the capabilities of the NOAA DART system that currently protects the coastal United States.



Additionally, the STB has been designed to handle additional meteorological and oceanographic sensors that could be required in various ocean regions of the world.



As a major support contractor to NOAA’s NationalDataBuoyCenter, SAIC has extensive experience building, deploying and maintaining the DART buoys. The SAIC STB team built on this background to develop a commercial version of the DART buoy to meet the emerging requirements of the international marketplace.



On November 15, 2006, during this test period, the Kuril Islands experienced an 8.3 magnitude earthquake that generated a small tsunami that propagated across the Pacific Ocean. Approximately nine hours later the SAIC tsunami buoy detected and reported the first tsunami waves arriving in the area. The nearby NOAA DART also detected the tsunami waves.


Just as in earlier laboratory testing throughout the KurilIsland tsunamigenic event, the SAIC tsunami buoy demonstrated it can match the operational capabilities of NOAA’s DART system during actual tsunami conditions.