Gov. Bryant Hopes to Bring Unmanned Vessels to the Coast

Governor Phil Bryant was on the Coast Wednesday afternoon introducing unmanned vehicle systems that could play a huge role in his national oceans and applications research at Stennis Space Center.

Bryant hopes to one day build or control these unmanned boats, putting Mississippi on the map. Unmanned vehicle systems are making a splash in technology, whether it’s on the ground, water, or air. Michael Toscano, President of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle System International, says, "There is no doubt in my mind that unmanned technology or unmanned systems will improve the way that men and women do their jobs every day. We call them the 4 Ds, the dirty, the difficult, dangerous, and dull jobs, and what human beings need is good information to make smart decisions."

Governor Bryant told the crowd Wednesday that he’d like to see these unmanned water vessels built and run right in south Mississippi. He believes they’d be a perfect fit for his national oceans and application research program at Stennis Space Center. Bryant says, "Stennis Space Center has the broadband capabilities and technology to be able to do that, now that’s somewhere in the future, but just as importantly, we need to continue to monitor these waters, this Gulf, for the next hundred years and we’ll be able to do that with these vessels."

These unmanned water vessels have endless possibilities. Right now, they are being used to collect data on marine wildlife, the ocean floor, and perform pipeline inspections while its controller is safe on land. Lisa Brisson, Lead Bathymetry Project Engineer, says, "It creates very efficient way of going and inspecting certain habitats because it does have a very high coverage rate. You can go out and do these surveys in half the time."

Toscano assures that these unmanned vessels will not get rid of jobs, but actually create jobs, jobs that have never been thought of before. Toscano closes, "This technology is gonna’ help, this is an extension of the eyes and the ears of a human being to do what they know how to do very well, so I suspect these will create more jobs in those fields."

Governor Bryant plans to bring these vessels to Mississippi and research more about their abilities one exploration at a time.

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