Note: This item is more than a year old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.

PrintPlain TextPermalink

Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, TPWD, (830) 928-2239 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Andy Smith, Battleship TEXAS Manager, TPWD (713) 927-9862 or andy.smith@tpwd.texas.gov

Sept. 11, 2013



Department of Homeland Security Robotic Fish Put to Test with Battleship TEXAS

LAPORTE – The Battleship TEXAS, the goodwill ambassador and museum ship that resides at the San Jacinto State Historic site, is back in the business of serving the nation this week — this time in a new role. The century-old battleship, a formidable warrior that saw the nation through two World Wars, is serving as a testing platform for a six-foot-long robotic fish designed to detect contraband hidden on a ship’s hull.

Known as the BIOSwimmer, the technology undergoing testing is a highly maneuverable, unmanned underwater vehicle that is equipped with a sophisticated suite of sensors and embodies the natural shape of a tuna. The demonstration of this underwater robotic search system is a collaborative exercise of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and Boston Engineering.

The test team is planting packages of mock contraband of varying sizes in tight, hard-to-reach spaces on the battleship’s hull and putting the BIOSwimmer through the paces to see if it can successfully detect them. The technology demonstration of the BIOSwimmer is taking place from through Friday.

This is the first time the BIOSwimmer, developed by Boston Engineering Corporation’s Advanced Systems Group with funding from a Small Business Innovation Research award from DHS S&T, will be tested in an operational marine environment.

“Texas Parks and Wildlife is pleased to make the Battleship TEXAS available to serve the nation in the interests of strengthening port security,” says Andy Smith, TPWD’s ship manager.  “The tests underway this week will be instructive in the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to refine this innovative technology so it may be deployed to make our maritime environment safer. The Battleship TEXAS is showing us that you’re never too old to be of service to your country.”

The goal of the testing is to work out the details so that the system can ultimately be used to search for contraband attached to the hulls and underwater appendages of ships, according to DHS S&T BIOSwimmer Program Manager David Taylor.

The Battleship TEXAS became the first battleship museum in the U.S. in 1948. It is the last of the battleships in the tradition of the HMS Dreadnought that participated in World Wars I and II.

2013-09-11


More Information:


Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.


Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.


Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.

To copy text into an editing software:

  • Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
  • Select all.
  • Copy.
  • Paste in a document in your editing program.

Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.


English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.


If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to webtech@tpwd.state.tx.us and mention Plain Text Pages.

(5.1.6 i)

Back to Top
Back to Top