Coordination regarding assessment and acquisition by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of unmanned maritime systems
The Administrator shall direct the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (in this chapter referred to as “OAR”) and the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (in this chapter referred to as “OMAO”)—
(1) to coordinate the Administration’s research, assessment, and acquisition of unmanned maritime systems; and
(2) to consider the use of unmanned maritime systems in cooperative activities of the Administration.
Coordination within the Administration
Unmanned Systems Executive Oversight Board
In meeting the requirements described in subsection (a), the Administrator shall—
(A) utilize the Unmanned Systems Executive Oversight Board (in this chapter referred to as the “USEOB”) as the coordinating mechanism; and
(B) ensure that OAR and OMAO address requirements throughout the Administration.
In utilizing the USEOB under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall ensure that representation on the USEOB is included from the following:
(A) The Office of Ocean Exploration (OER).
(B) The program office of the Integrated Ocean Observing System.
(C) Such other offices of the Administration as the Administrator determines are actively engaged with unmanned maritime systems.
Coordination with the Navy
In carrying out this chapter, the Administrator shall—
(A) make efforts to coordinate with the Secretary of the Navy to leverage expertise in the development and operational transition of unmanned maritime systems;
(B) align with, utilize, and inform the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Operations and the Oceanographer of the Navy’s strategic and operational priorities, particularly for missions and geography within the Administration’s purview;
(C) seek to utilize Naval unmanned systems test or training ranges, such as the Gulf of Mexico Unmanned Systems Test and Training Range of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, and maximize interagency cooperation and sharing of best practices; and
to formalize coordination, execute a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of the Navy that includes—
(i) incorporating consideration of priorities and requirements of the Administration into research and development activities conducted by the Secretary of the Navy;
(ii) consultation intended to encourage and facilitate efforts by the Administration to partner with the Navy to procure unmanned maritime systems and to establish, instrument, and operate test or training ranges and related facilities;
(iii) adopting procedures defined by the Secretary of the Navy for the Administration to access and utilize test or training ranges or related Naval facilities for purposes identified in paragraph (2)(B); and
(iv) such other topics as the Administrator considers necessary or advisable, including mapping, bathymetry, observations, and ocean exploration.
The Administrator shall, if practicable, carry out the activities authorized by this chapter at a facility where the Navy and the Administration are co-located, for the following purposes:
(A) Gaining efficiencies through collaboration.
Advancing development of unmanned maritime systems, including—
(i) systems research and development;
(ii) systems testing;
(iii) systems modifications; and
(iv) systems integration.
(C) Accelerating transition from concept to manufacturing and acquisition.
Coordination with other Federal agencies
In carrying out this chapter, the Administrator and the Secretary of the Navy may utilize the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, established under chapter 665 of title 10, as a mechanism for providing interagency coordination for the advancement of unmanned maritime systems.
Coordination with academic sector
In carrying out this chapter, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of the Navy, may coordinate and co-locate with an academic research institution, or consortium of academic research institutions, for the following purposes:
(1) Maximizing opportunities for research and development of unmanned maritime systems.
(2) Providing training in unmanned maritime systems as part of an accredited certificate or degree program of education.
(3) Facilitating the commercialization of unmanned maritime systems through public-private partnerships that includes academic research institutions, private industry, and public safety agencies.
(4) Arranging access to and use of additional facilities that support testing and assessment of or training with respect to unmanned maritime systems under environmental conditions of interest, increasing operational tolerance under such conditions, certifying operational capacity under such conditions, whether real or simulated, and training operators of unmanned maritime systems in real or simulated environments.
(5) Facilitating engagement with other academic institutions with interest or relevant expertise in unmanned maritime systems.
(6) Promoting information sharing between the academic, environmental, and military institutions to lead to more robust, mission-oriented unmanned maritime systems.
Engagement with the private sector
Other than as described in subsection (e), the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of the Navy, may, in carrying out this chapter, to the extent practicable, coordinate and consult with the private sector—
(1) to support the commercialization of unmanned maritime systems; and
(2) to assist with their assessment of commercially available unmanned maritime systems to support the missions and goals of the Navy, the Administration, and cooperative activities of the Administration.
(Pub. L. 115–394, § 3, Dec. 21, 2018, 132 Stat. 5282.)