Manned Undersea Science and Technology Needs Focus and Direction

PSAD-77-130: Published: Jul 14, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 1979.

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National goals and objectives for U.S. manned undersea research have not been clearly defined. Until this is done, it would be difficult to establish a level of funding of new facilities needed to support an expanded federal manned undersea research program.

Undersea research has suffered from the lack of overall ocean research goals and objectives, a national focus, and sporadic funding. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tried to provide a national focus for manned undersea research when it established the Manned Undersea Science and Technology Office in 1971. However, its budget was restricted to level funding of about $1 million a year, and its objectives were narrowed to support only in-house investigations. Congress appropriated $1.5 million in fiscal year 1977 for NOAA to support surveys, mission analyses, cost analyses, and design and engineering studies for an underwater ocean laboratory.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: If the Manned Undersea Science and Technology Office is restructured, it should be designated to provide leadership and focus to manned undersea activities. It should also be responsible for ascertaining the manned undersea needs of the various Federal agencies involved in these activities and for proposing, where justified, the development and acquisition of facilities to meet these needs. It should be a national focal point for manned undersea activities to coordinate and manage the use of manned submersibles and habitats and to provide information to the user community on current and planned research projects, research results, and technological developments.

    Agency Affected:


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