Oceanographic Applications

Oceangate Submersibles

Sunbacker Fiberglass

Oceangate- this submersible uses two hulls. One is a pressure vessel, and the other is a free flood. The outer shell helps in the aerodynamics of the sub and is the free flood shell. This free flood shell allows water on both sides to apply equal pressure to this surface. This outer shell hides the cables, hoses, and controllers and makes it smooth and aerodynamic.

Sunbacker helped create parts of this outer shell on Cyclops I and the new Cyclops II. Check out their dives and information- you will be amazed.

The three photos below are the new carbon fiber pressure hulls.


Sunbacker Fiberglass
Sunbacker Fiberglass
Sunbacker Fiberglass

Tsunami Buoys


In 1994 two engineers from NOAA-PMEI walked into my office in a jam. They needed a large, newly designed buoy created from a sketch to completion in 3 weeks.

This required making a plug that looked like the buoy out of foam. A car finish was then created, and a two-piece mold was produced over this plug.

Once this mold was made, the first tsunami buoy was created. Early detection was going to save lives. A tsunami can produce 100,000 tons of water pressure per running yard of the beach area, making it one of the strongest forces in nature.

Over the past 25 years of working with NOAA-PMEI and NOAA-NMBC, Sunbacker has produced all kinds of prototypes. These prototypes created not only new deepwater buoys but helped create new buoys used all over the world. NOAA partners with other countries to improve our oceans. Sunbacker has produced most of the TAO array around the equator and all the Tsunami buoys used today.

Two of our prototype buoys were sent to Tasmania, where they were deployed. As luck would have it, the largest cyclone ever recorded hit that area, destroying just about everything in its path. The storm was almost the size of Australia, and for 3 days recorded over 180 mph winds and 38-foot seas.

I am happy to say once the storm passed, my buoys popped up and started transmitting. Tasmania was happy with our prototypes.


What Is NOAA?

NOAA stands for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA's two branches are NOAA-PMEI (Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratories) in Seattle, Washington. The second branch is NOAA-NDBC (National Data Buoy Center) at the Stennis Space Center in Michigan.