Project Turtle Tech

Northrop Grumman is developing sensor data collection technology for sea turtle conservation along the Florida coast.

Sea Turtle Conservation

Florida beaches are the backyard of Northrop Grumman's Melbourne, Florida location and are home to 25 percent of the total sea turtle population worldwide. The work of scientists at the Brevard Zoo to monitor and understand the animal population is essential to conservation efforts. However, researchers lack key information necessary to fully understand on and offshore behaviors and habitats.

Through a partnership with the Brevard Zoo and engagements with the University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Florida, our team in Melbourne is designing and prototyping sensing and data collection technology that will fill key gaps in available data. This initiative has attracted over 180 Northrop Grumman employee volunteers to assist with every aspect of the project, from program management and systems engineering to external engagement and STEM outreach.

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Northrop Grumman Turtle Tech Capabilities

The project will provide researchers with sensor and data collection technology that affords them full insight into the sea turtle lifecycle from birth to maturity without disrupting habitat. This information will be vital to understanding risks to the population and useful in informing conservation policies.

The solution will address two key challenges:

  • Onshore - performing data collection on public beaches is highly regulated and impacted by local conditions
  • Offshore - collecting data continuously on or under the ocean requires very wide area and persistent coverage with high resolution sensors

The solution will include:

  • A data collection system for nesting events and offshore mating and migration, including real time sensor data and image recognition and geolocation technology
  • Next generation tagging technology capable of identifying, logging, and reporting on migration
  • Offshore imagery collection using a long-endurance drone
  • Image recognition software to process live flight data

Are you interested technology and innovation? We are, too. Check out Northrop Grumman environmental career opportunities and consider joining our team.