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Horta ,  July 10, 2015

Azores Sea is exceptional place to test and develop advanced technologies, says Brito e Abreu

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology stated that the REP 15 exercise, taking place in the archipelago until July 29, "is very important for the Azores because it brings to the Region scientists from more than 10 leading institutions in five countries."

Fausto Brito e Abreu on the sidelines of the exercises that are being carried out with autonomous underwater (AUV) and air (UAV) vehicles off the island of Pico in the context of the REP Atlantic 15 Mission (Recognised Environmental Picture). The Regional Secretary stressed that the technologies that are being tested "can be very useful for the Government to define public policies" and they can also be applied in sea-related economic activities.

The goal of REP 15 is to evaluate the capacity of several autonomous aerial and underwater vehicles as well as of network communication systems for surveillance and environmental monitoring operations and scientific or military operations in open sea.

The Regional Secretary for the Sea pointed out that this mission "is designed and prepared to not only to respond to scientific questions, but also to address the specific challenges the Region faces."

Brito e Abreu noted that the detailed mapping of the seabed and the monitoring of cetaceans, sharks and manta rays are some of the potentialities of these devices, whose data can "benefit maritime tourism activities or have other applications, such as fisheries surveillance and the definition of marine protected areas, through the mapping of habitats."

The government official also highlighted the potential of the Azores Sea for the conduction of "exercises involving advanced technology and sea trials in real maritime environments."

During this stage of REP 15, there are several ongoing exercises to map the seabed using autonomous underwater and aerial vehicles with hyper-spectral cameras. In addition, AUV and Wave Gliders devices are being used for the collection of oceanographic data and the testing of underwater communication and positioning systems.

The REP 15 is an exercise organised by the Portuguese Navy, the Faculty of Engineering of Porto University and Sea Institute/Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of the Azores; the latter is responsible for the scientific coordination.

The Regional Government also joined the exercise, with logistical support and the research launch "Águas Vivas"; the latter is one of the naval means used to assist the AUV operations.

This mission also involves the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation of NATO, the US Navy, through the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the University of Michigan, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden, NASA, through NASA-Ames and the Portuguese companies OceanScan and UA Vision.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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