Since it’s founding in 1995, Wave Dispersion Technologies, Inc. (WDT) has been developing the WhisprWave® floating articulated breakwater technology to afford erosion control protection to shoreline beaches, coastal marinas, anchorages, and other areas subject to destructive or annoying erosionary wave / wake forces. The potential uses for the WhisprWave® Technology have, over the last few years, expanded far beyond its stricly environmentally focused beach and sand erosion protection beginnings to encompass marine port security and global antiterrorism applications.
The first marina protection floating breakwater erosion control installation of a WhisprWave®, in its original role as a wave attenuation device (floating breakwater), was completed at Pier Pointe Marina on Great Sodus Bay in Lake Ontario, New York, in 1999. The Pier Pointe floating breakwater has been in use more than 4 years, requiring no maintenance and has proven to be far more effective than initial calculations predicted. The Sodus floating breakwater is approximately 90% efficient in storm conditions reducing wave height and subsequent wave energy from 4 feet to six inches within a span of 10 feet. The accompanying Land and Water article gives an overview of this installation and its success.
In November of 2001, the State of Connecticut contacted WDT to solve a ferry wake problem on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut, (across from General Dynamics Electric Boat Submarine Facility). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) had been designing a rubble breakwater to solve the problem, but the State would not permit the installation of a hard structure, and was interested in exploring the possibilities offered by the WHISPRWAVE® floating breakwater erosion control technology. The State contacted WDT as a result of seeing the article in Land and Water.
To solve the ferry wake problem, WDT has completed the installation of a 150 ft full-scale demonstration floating wave attenuation breakwater in New London, CT in September 2002 with a subsequent 4,000 foot $5 mm installation to follow when funding permits. The floating wake prevention breakwater will be monitored by Stevens Institute of Technology (www.dl.stevens-tech.edu) using wavemeter measurements with a subsequent research study to be prepared by Stevens’ Coastal Engineering Department.
After the U.S.S. Cole incident in Yemen in 2000 and the tragedies of 9/11, WDT was contacted by the US Navy concerning a possible deployment of the WhisprWave® technology for use as a maritime port security barrier or line of demarcation (“LOD“) to facilitate the security of our country’s naval resources. The US Navy originally approached WDT about developing a mobile Naval Security Sign Buoy (“NSSB“), which the US Navy purchased for the Trident Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Georgia. The NSSBs serve to create a maritime security zone around the base, which changes the rules of engagement and allows the use of deadly force. The Trident Submarine Base has subsequently ordered additional buoys and continues to use the NSSBs during its daily operations.
The US Navy is also interested in WDT’s Small Craft Intrusion Barrier™ (“SCIB™“). As an initial step, it requested a 300 feet of SCIB™ to be delivered to Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek (“NABLC“) in Norfolk, Virginia for a demonstration in early November 2002. The US Navy has asked for pricing on the SCIB™ in lengths of 1 mile, 5 miles and 10 miles, and Naval Facilities Engineering Services Command (NFESC) has described it as “the definitive, survivable line of demarcation.”
In addition to US Navy, there have been a number of government and commercial agencies that have expressed interest in the NSSB. Port Authorities, Nuclear Power Plants, and Fuel Depots are among the many different entities that have expressed interest in the NSSB. As part of its antiterrorism efforts, the US Coast Guard has been evaluating the SCIB™ for its own security and for other installations including the mandated upgrade for nuclear power plants and other waterside commercial interests. The creation of maritime security zones around the nuclear power plants is the most critical aspect of these security upgrades. Several nuclear power plants have contacted WDT concerning the use of the SCIB™ or NSSB to create these maritime security zones. Officials at one such nuclear power plant, located in upstate New York, met with WDT to discuss the use of the NSSB as a means of establishing a maritime security zones around the facility. The plant officials are favoring WDT’s NSSB based upon its functionality, off the shelf availability, and its current use by the US Navy (King’s Bay, Georgia). The potential for use of the SCIB™ to establish security zones around United States nuclear power plants, fuel depots, and other high value assets is at least as great as the opportunities foreseen with the US Navy.
There are additional miscellaneous uses for the WhisprWave®, including its usage as lane dividers in swimming pools. Currently, athletes competing in swimming events have to overcome waves resulting from their swimming activities, as well as those of their competitors. By replacing the current lane dividers with the patented WhisprWave® lane dividers, the wake turbulence will be eliminated allowing the swim lanes to be virtually undisturbed, likely resulting in new world record times.
Erosion Control and Maritime Port Security Technology
The WhisprWave® is constructed of marine grade proven materials:
- Patented WhisprWave® modules
- EPDM rubber cables
- Marine grade anchors and chains
- Stainless Steel Hardware