Advanced underwater communications technology developed in the North East has been on show at an iconic US military base.
Succorfish was one of just two British firms to be invited by the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to attend a Technical Experimentation event at the Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego, California, which is home to the US Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Teams.
A three-strong party from the North Tyneside-headquartered firm spent a week at the base, outlining the capabilities of its Combat Diver SC4x communication platform and Xtremis Combat Diver Emergency Beacon, and completing a range of underwater tests, demonstrations and assessments alongside a team of US Navy divers.
Succorfish’s Diver Biometric Monitoring System, which has been developed with Florida-headquartered technology provider HQ Inc, was also on show.
The visit was facilitated by retired special forces combat diving instructor and Green Beret Troy Hopcroft at Succorfish’s delivery partner Blacktree Group, which handles its integration and training/deployment work in the US.
Succorfish is now waiting for a SOCOM report on its demonstrations, which could lead to funding being provided to enable Succorfish to refine and enhance it in line with the organisation’s specific requirements.
Founded in 2008, Succorfish is a world leader in its field and specialises in fisheries and security applications, with all its hardware being designed and manufactured at its North Shields headquarters.
It has been working with the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineeering at Newcastle University for many years on the joint development of underwater acoustic technology which enables effective communication, positioning and mesh networking.
Succorfish has a 20-strong in-house design, software engineering, development and customer service team which manages all aspects of clients’ technology requirements, and also provides bespoke training programmes where required.
It already works with a wide range of public and private sector organisations, including DEFRA, Northumbria Police, the Ministry of Defence, the Marine Management Organisation and global satellite communications company Iridium.
Chad Hooper, founder and CEO at Succorfish, who attended the event alongside technical manager Simon Pooley and defence programme manager Sam Adams, says: “Technology providers from around the world compete to be invited to these types of events, so to be one of only two British firms to earn our place there by matching SOCOM’s exacting standards is a huge endorsement for both our technology and our team in itself.
“A great deal of work went into developing and delivering demonstrations which put our systems properly through their paces, both before we went to the US and at the Naval Amphibious Base, to ensure that our hosts could see how the range of capabilities that they offer fit with SOCOM’s requirements.
“The positive feedback we had through the week on how easy our technology was to use and how well it fulfilled the event brief was very encouraging, and we hope to hear whether they want to take things further with us within the coming weeks.
“If we’re successful, the development funding that will follow will make a significant difference to the capabilities and functionality of our technology, which will in turn give us even more options for applying it commercially in different environments and industries.”