Navy uses technology controlled in South MS

Navy uses technology controlled in South MS

Surprising to many, global data collecting technology is based on the Coast.

Deep within the grounds of Stennis Space Center is the Naval Oceanographic Office Glider Operations Center.

"We operate the largest fleet of unmanned ocean gliders for the Navy and actually, I think, for the world," said Dr. William Burnett, deputy commander of the center.

The fleet of gliders is deployed world-wide and controlled from South Mississippi. They gather data for military use on oceanographic temperature and salinity with depth.

"And that's what we want to provide to them. We like to tell people that we provide the home-field advantage to away games," said Burnett.

The data gives Navy ships the information needed to navigate and operate in foreign waters. Burnett says center is the only 24/7 operation of its kind in world.

"We pilot these gliders just like you would see in air traffic control center piloting aircraft. We do the same for our gliders all around the world," Burnett noted.

Burnett believes it is just the beginning of a technology boom that's about to hit the Coast. His office is partnering with the University of Southern Mississippi to offer a certification for those wanting to go into the field of unmanned systems.

According to Burnett, the certification class will be the first of its kind in the nation and will continue to distinguish south Mississippi as a leader in the industry.

The first of the certification classes with USM will graduate this summer.

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