NOAA Awards Contract To French Company

A $321,607 contract has been awarded to the French firm of Thomson-CSF, Inc. by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce, for a 20- month exploratory program to develop a shipboard Current/ Depth Measuring Subsystem.

The subsystem will measure subsurface currents to a depth of 100 meters below the vessel, and a ship's speed relative to the sea bottom to a depth of 150 meters while the vessel is underway. The subsurface current measurement is made by observing the doppler shift frequency of a pulsed acoustic wave back-scattered from selected levels in the water mass. The first phase of the three-phase contract provides for a complete analysis of this technique prior to the construction and testing of the system.

After completing field tests and technique development, the subsystem will be tested aboard a NOAA vessel investigating ocean dumping and energy-related pollutants. Thomson-CSF is headquartered in Brest, France. Similar systems currently are under development for the French Navy.

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