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people standing around a drone

Autonomous surface vehicles, remote sensors and solar powered water purifiers highlighted the Pacific Operational Science and Technology (POST) Field Experimentation (FX) event, which displayed approximately 45 cutting-edge technology demonstrators including the University of Hawaiʻi Applied Research Laboratory (ARL at UH) and College of Engineering in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Approximately 20 UH participants demonstrated technology with nearly 600 attendees at the event on March 7 at Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi (MCBH).

people holding remote sensors

UH is demonstrating an autonomous surface vehicle,” said UH Applied Research Laboratory Director Margo Edwards. “We developed a technique for trying to have a rapid response after a tsunami or hurricane comes into a harbor. We want to be able to get sensors out in the water before we put any boats or people out there that might get harmed.”

An 8-foot wave adaptive modular vehicle deployed five remote sensors into the ocean to show how technology can be used to detect potentially dangerous chemicals in the water after a natural disaster.

“We’re all subject to the same natural hazards that come in and damage our harbors, damage our homes,” said Edwards. “We want to be able to help mitigate that, and respond to it. That’s why we’re here.”

“We also developed our own kind of low cost maritime sensor payloads that we can deploy into the ocean and collect sort of whatever information of interest,” said Brennan Yamamoto, an Applied Research Laboratory robotics engineer. “So this could be water conditions. This could be turbidity. This could be salinity.”

Fostering a resilient future

people standing by drones

POST FX event showcased autonomous cargo drones, hybrid battery packs, buoy sensors and more to contribute to modernizing and fostering a resilient future.

The event was hosted by ARL at UH, National Security Innovation Network and USINDOPACOM J85 Science and Technology Division. Presenters spanning the Defense Industrial Base included local Hawaiʻi companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Waiea Water, HI-Spectral, LLC and more.

This interactive event brought together U.S. Department of Defense, local, and international stakeholders to witness demonstrations highlighting synchronization and modernization efforts across Joint Services and Indo-Pacific allies and partners.

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