DARPA enlists research teams to build hybrid reef-mimicking structures

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will work with university research teams to develop storm mitigation technologies to protect civilian and Department of Defense personnel and infrastructure from coastal flooding, erosion and storm surge .

DARPA said Wednesday that three teams from Rutgers University, the University of Hawaii and the University of Miami will work on structures for the reefs of the Gulf Coast, Pacific Ocean off the coast, respectively. ‘Hawaii and the Atlantic Ocean.

Efforts will be made under the agency’s Reefense program, which aimed to build hybrid biological reef-mimicking structures that are both self-healing and designed to withstand environmental conditions.

“As part of this program, performers will use recent innovations in materials science, hydrodynamic modeling and adaptive biology to optimize these structures to respond to a changing environment,” said Catherine Campbell, Reefense program manager.

Custom wave-attenuating base structures are expected to result in the establishment and growth of calcareous reef organisms, while native non-reef-building organisms are sought to maintain the system. In addition, adaptive biology will also be used to build the resilience of corals and oysters against disease and heat stress.

“These protective structures are intended to provide immediate protection, facilitate the growth of natural calcareous organisms, and allow rapid biological adaptation of coral and oysters already in the water to the new reef structure within months to years. “Campbell added.

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