Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract to PARC, a unit of Xerox, to further develop the Ocean of Things project.
Ocean of Things was outlined by DARPA in 2017 and the rough idea revolved around deploying small drifters in the Southern California Bight and Gulf of Mexico to collect data on environmental and human impacts. The small devices collect sea temperature and state, surface activities and data on marine life.
PARC’s contract calls for up to 10,000 more compact drifters. In phase one of Ocean of Things PARC built 1,500 drifters.
The drifters provide data on ocean pollution, aquafarming and transportation routes. The DARPA drifters are powered by solar and have 20 onboard sensors including a camera, GPS, microphone, hydrophone and accelerator.
Once more data is collected from the new drifters, PARC will optimize the final design and DARPA will deploy them in volume.