Gov. Phil Bryant brought a singular oceangoing drone to the Coast on Wednesday for a demonstration of the research and development sparked by the state in the wake of the BP oil spill.
“This is a unique, one-of-a-kind, first-in-this-country, autonomous maritime vessel,” said David Brannon, general manager of the National Oceans and Applications Research Center, a nonprofit research and development firm at Stennis Space Center. “It is a collaboration by C&C Technologies and ASV Ltd. of Great Britain and I would like to introduce the chief executive officer of C&C Technologies, Mr. Thomas Chance. He won’t tell you this but I will. He’s the innovator and the technical genius behind this particular design we’ll see today.”
That design was the C-Worker 6, which ASV describes as an unmanned oil and gas workboat.
According to its website, C&C Technologies “provides a wide range of surveying and mapping services for the land and offshore oil and gas industry, the telecommunications industry, and government organizations.”
Brannon said when Bryant “envisioned NOARC,” his idea was to capitalize on the “space to sea floor environmental technologies” the state has to restore the state’s coastal natural resources in the wake of the BP oil spill.
“As you do that,” Brannon said Bryant told them, “you’ll generate new technologies and applications. And we want to extend those technologies into new market areas, specifically capitalizing on emerging and evolving and increasing blue economies in the Gulf of Mexico — specifically marine engineering services for oil and gas operations.”