The 620,000-gallon test tank is a national resource for undersea testing, collaboration, and innovation.
Above, Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, MA-6, cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the opening of MITRE’s BlueTech Lab.
Bedford, Mass., Nov. 20, 2023 – MITRE officially opened the new BlueTech Lab at its Bedford, Mass. campus, supporting MITRE’s expanding marine technology work to safeguard national, economic, and climate security.
The lab features a 620,000-gallon test tank, one of the largest in the region, and at 106 feet, the longest. The test tank can accommodate the use of uncrewed undersea and surface vehicles in a large, controlled space and enables the study of communication and acoustic sensing.
“Our oceans and the vast resources they provide are under threat. We need the best and brightest to confront the existential challenges—from climate change to illegal overfishing—faced by the world’s oceans and marine life,” said U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-6). “With this new facility, MITRE is doing just that: cutting-edge research that will ensure a more sustainable and secure future for our oceans. I’m looking forward to seeing what path-breaking innovations result from the new BlueTech testing facility here in Bedford; and I’m proud that the North Shore continues to set the gold standard for the new blue economy.”
“With the BlueTech Lab and the BlueNERVE Network, MITRE continues Massachusetts’ strong legacy as a leader in undersea research,” said U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey. “I am proud to celebrate the opening of a worldwide hub for scientists, educators, government officials, and nonprofit and industry leaders to study our oceans, expand the blue economy, and respond to the climate crisis.”
“Understanding what is happening—and what will happen—in our oceans is critical to the future of our national, economic, and climate security,” said Douglas Robbins, vice president, MITRE Labs. “This facility is a national resource for maritime research, supporting broad impact through technological innovation and collaboration with government, industry, and academia.”
The lab is the axis of MITRE’s quickly growing BlueTech work across national security, climate, and environmental challenges facing the nation. The lab is available to researchers from academia, government, and industry for regional and national collaboration.
“As the guardians of maritime safety, the Coast Guard applauds the grand opening of the MITRE BlueTech Lab—a beacon of innovation, where the relentless waves of progress meet the steadfast shores of collaboration,” said Rear Adm. John Mauger, first Coast Guard district commander. “In this state-of-the-art facility, researchers will navigate the uncharted waters of technology, advancing undersea testing and steering the course toward a safer, more resilient maritime future.”
MITRE’s BlueTech work focuses on research and development, testing, rapid prototyping, and workforce development in acoustic sensing and communications, uncrewed underwater vehicles, maritime autonomy, and climate science.
“I am pleased to be here with Congressman Moulton to cut the ribbon at this grand opening of the MITRE BlueTech Lab,” said Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administrator. “NOAA and MITRE work together on a broad range of ocean issues. Through partnerships like this, we are building the pathways to maximize government and private sector investments and their long-term benefits, while continually engaging with all levels of decision makers, from academia to entrepreneurs and startups to large businesses.”
"As a federal funding agency whose mission is to support research at the forefront of science and engineering, including ocean sciences, NSF is pleased to be here at the opening of this national resource for advancing undersea testing, innovation and collaboration," said Tim Patten, NSF [National Science Foundation] deputy assistant director for geosciences. "The knowledge and technologies that will be developed using this facility will support research and innovation to address many of the urgent problems facing society."
MITRE recently launched BlueNERVE, a secure network to provide government, academic, industry, and not-for-profit users access to real-time insights and collaboration. The BlueTech Lab is the center of the BlueNERVE network.
MITRE’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation.
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