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                                                      Calendar No. 504
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                     {     115-291
_______________________________________________________________________ 




                          COMMERCIAL ENGAGEMENT THROUGH 
                           OCEAN TECHNOLOGY ACT OF 2018

                               __________

                                R E P O R T

                                   of the

                        COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND 
                             TRANSPORTATION

                                     on

                                  S. 2511




              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                  July 9, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                             ____________
                             

                   U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                           
79-010                    WASHINGTON : 2018






























       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred fifteenth congress
                             second session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
TED CRUZ, Texas                      AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  TOM UDALL, New Mexico
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma            GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MIKE LEE, Utah                       TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia  MARGARETWOODHASSAN,NewHampshire
CORY GARDNER, Colorado               CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, Nevada
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               JON TESTER, Montana
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Jason Van Beek, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director




























                                                      Calendar No. 504
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                     {     115-291
======================================================================



 
       COMMERCIAL ENGAGEMENT THROUGH OCEAN TECHNOLOGY ACT OF 2018

                                _______
                                

                  July 9, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2511]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2511) to require the Under 
Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere to carry out a 
program on coordinating the assessment and acquisition by the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of unmanned 
maritime systems, to make available to the public data 
collected by the Administration using such systems, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of this legislation is to direct the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to coordinate 
with the private and academic sectors and the Navy on 
evaluating the at-sea data collection capabilities of unmanned 
maritime system technology and to integrate such technology 
into NOAA's observation suite.

                          Background and Needs

    Unmanned maritime systems are remotely operated or 
autonomous vehicles that operate on or below the water's 
surface and can be outfitted with a variety of sensors to 
collect sea floor mapping, oceanographic, meteorological, 
acoustic, and visual data used to support at-sea research and 
operations applications. Autonomous systems are capable of 
executing pre-programmed missions without operator interaction, 
and are operated on a continuum from attended to fully 
autonomous. Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) refer to 
unmanned, untethered systems capable of both autonomous 
submerged or autonomous surface operations. Unmanned Surface 
Vehicles (USVs) refer to untethered, self-propelled surface 
craft ranging in size from small, portable systems to boat-size 
vessels that are capable of autonomous, semi-autonomous, or 
remote-controlled operations.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\NOAA Office of Coast Survey, April 2017, ``Executive Summary of 
Autonomous Systems Strategy'' (https://www.iho.int/mtg_docs/rhc/ArHC/
ARHC7/Executive-Summary-OCS0-
Autonomous-Systems-Roadmap%20%282%29.pdf).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    An AUV carries power onboard, enabling propellers or 
thrusters to move the vessel through the water and for sensor 
operation. Most AUVs use specialized batteries, although some 
AUVs have used fuel cells or rechargeable solar power. Some 
AUVs, such as gliders, minimize energy demands by allowing 
gravity and buoyancy to propel them.\2\ And some USVs may be 
wind-powered,\3\ allowing them to operate for long periods of 
time and travel long distances without maintenance from ship-
based operators. Some unmanned systems are designed to be 
deployed and recovered from a pier; while many others are 
deployed and recovered from manned vessels at sea, and may 
serve as force multipliers for ship-based operations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ``What Are 
AUVs, and Why Do We Use Them?'' (https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/
explorations/08auvfest/background/auvs/auvs.html) (accessed April 9, 
2018).
    \3\NOAA Arctic Program, ``Arctic Saildrone'' (https://
www.arctic.noaa.gov/Arctic-News/ArtMID/5556/ArticleID/388/Arctic-
Saildrone) (accessed April 9, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unmanned systems present opportunities to replace, enhance, 
and augment traditional in-situ marine environmental 
observation systems, such as moorings, manned vessels, and 
manned aircraft, while minimizing operational costs. Limited 
only by demand and innovation, unmanned systems can be 
outfitted with sensors that collect environmental data relevant 
to NOAA's research and operational missions. These may include 
the following:
   Atmospheric and meteorological conditions, such as 
air temperature, pressure, and wind.
   Oceanographic conditions, such as wave height, water 
temperature, salinity, and carbon dioxide content.
   Passive acoustic sensors that detect ocean sound and 
marine mammal presence.
   Active acoustic sensors that can detect fish biomass 
for fisheries management and bathymetry to map navigable 
waterways and deeper seabeds.
    NOAA currently has unmet demand for environmental data. 
This legislation would require NOAA to leverage the technical 
and procurement expertise of the Navy and other partners to 
assess existing capabilities and initiate acquisition 
strategies.

                         Summary of Provisions

    If enacted, S. 2511, the Commercial Engagement through 
Ocean Technology Act of 2018, would do the following:
   Direct NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Research (OAR) and Office of Marine and Aviation Operations 
(OMAO) to coordinate acquisition and assessment of unmanned 
maritime systems, to regularly assess how unmanned technologies 
can support NOAA's mission and data needs, and to establish a 
committee to coordinate cross-agency requirements.
   Authorize partnership with the Navy, other Federal 
agencies, the academic sector, and private industry on unmanned 
maritime technology to leverage existing technical expertise 
and acquisition capacity.
   Require the NOAA Administrator to submit a report to 
Congress not later than 1 year after the DOE, and every 4 years 
thereafter, on the usage of unmanned maritime systems.

                          Legislative History

    S. 2511 was introduced by Senator Wicker (for himself and 
Senator Schatz) on March 7, 2018. On April 25, 2018, the 
Committee met in open Executive Session and, by voice vote, 
ordered the bill reported favorably with an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute.
    Representative Palazzo of Mississippi and Representative 
Panetta of California introduced a companion to S. 2511, H.R. 
5196, (the CENOTE Act of 2018), on March 7, 2018, which was 
referred to the Armed Services Committee, the Science, Space, 
and Technology Committee, and the Natural Resources Committee 
of the House of Representatives.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 2511--CENOTE Act of 2018

    Summary: S. 2511 generally would codify current practices 
of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 
related to the acquisition of unmanned vehicles, known as 
drones, for oceanic research. Other sections of the bill would 
require NOAA to regularly assess publicly and commercially 
available unmanned vehicles and centralize the agency's 
acquisition of such vehicles.
    Using information from NOAA, CBO estimates that 
implementing S. 2511 would cost $5 million over the 2019-2023 
period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Such 
spending would be for additional employees to research the 
purchase of new unmanned vehicles.
    Enacting the bill could affect direct spending; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that the 
net effect on direct spending would be negligible. Enacting S. 
2511 would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 2511 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    S. 2511 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of S. 2511 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of the legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                      ----------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2018    2019    2020    2021    2022    2023   2019-2023
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Estimated Authorization Level........................       0       1       1       1       1       1         5
Estimated Outlays....................................       0       1       1       1       1       1         5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
2511 will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2018 and that 
the necessary amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year 
beginning in 2019.
    S. 2511 would direct NOAA to implement a program to 
coordinate the assessment and acquisition of vehicles for 
oceanic research. NOAA currently uses such vehicles; therefore, 
much of S. 2511 would codify current NOAA practices. The bill 
also would establish a new requirement that the agency 
consolidate the research and acquisition of all unmanned 
vehicles within one office. That office would assess the costs 
and benefits of publicly and commercially available vehicles 
and coordinate their acquisition. Finally, NOAA would be 
directed to create a prioritized list of projects requiring 
unmanned vehicles to help it develop an acquisition schedule.
    Using information from NOAA, CBO estimates that the agency 
would need seven employees--three with highly specialized 
computer engineering skills--to evaluate and procure more and 
increasingly complex unmanned vehicles for NOAA's use in future 
years. CBO estimates that salaries and benefits of $100,000 to 
$200,000 per person per year for those employees would total 
about $5 million over the 2019-2023 period.
    CBO does not expect that changes in the research and 
acquisition process of unmanned vehicles would alter the future 
need for acquiring such vehicles. According to NOAA, the agency 
currently owns or jointly manages 138 unmanned vehicles and 
they anticipate purchasing four additional unmanned vehicles in 
2019.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. Enacting S. 2511 could affect direct spending by 
allowing NOAA to accept donations of money from private 
individuals and foreign governments for the purposes outlined 
in S. 2511; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, 
CBO estimates that the bill's net effect on direct spending 
would be negligible because any new collections would probably 
be spent soon thereafter. Enacting the bill would not affect 
revenues.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 2511 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    Mandates: S. 2511 contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Robert Reese; 
Mandates: Zach Byrum.
    Estimate reviewed by: Kim P. Cawley, Chief, Natural and 
Physical Resources Cost Estimates Unit; H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

    S. 2511, as reported, would not create any new programs or 
impose any new regulatory requirements, and therefore will not 
subject any individual or business to new regulations.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

    Enactment of this legislation is not expected to have any 
significant adverse impacts on the Nation's economy.

                                PRIVACY

    The reported bill is not expected to impact the personal 
privacy of individuals.

                               PAPERWORK

    This Act requires the NOAA Administrator to submit, not 
later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and 
every 4 years thereafter, a report to the appropriate 
committees of Congress on the usage of unmanned maritime 
systems, including an inventory of systems used by NOAA, the 
value of their associated data, and a list of data requirements 
that NOAA could meet with unmanned systems.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title; table of contents.

    This section would provide that the bill may be cited as 
the ``Commercial Engagement through Ocean Technology Act of 
2018'' or the ``CENOTE Act of 2018'', and includes a table of 
contents.

Section 2. Definitions.

    This section would provide technical definitions for the 
purposes of this Act, notably ``unmanned maritime systems,'' 
which would be defined as remotely operated or autonomous 
vehicles produced by the commercial sector designed to travel 
in the air, on or under the ocean surface, on land, or any 
combination, and that function without an on-board human 
presence, and that may include associated components, such as 
control and communications, instrumentation, data transmission, 
and processing systems.

Section 3. Coordination regarding assessment and acquisition by 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of unmanned 
        maritime systems.

    This section would direct the NOAA Administrator to 
coordinate the procurement and assessment of unmanned vehicle 
technologies through OAR and OMAO, including authority to 
establish a coordinating committee with NOAA's Office of Ocean 
Exploration, the program office of the Integrated Ocean 
Observing System, and other offices engaged with unmanned 
maritime systems. This section would also require coordination 
with the Secretary of the Navy to leverage expertise in the 
development and operational transition of unmanned maritime 
systems. This section would authorize coordination with other 
Federal agencies, the academic sector, and private sector to 
maximize research opportunities and to support 
commercialization.

Section 4. Regular assessment of unmanned maritime systems to support 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration missions.

    This section would require the NOAA Administrator, through 
OAR and OMAO, and in consultation with the academic and private 
sectors, to conduct regular science-based assessments of 
available systems' abilities to meet data specifications and 
the operational utility of making at-sea observations.

Section 5. Acquisition of unmanned maritime systems.

    This section would direct the NOAA Administrator to 
coordinate acquisition of unmanned maritime systems and would 
authorize NOAA to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the 
Navy to realize greater savings and efficiency.

Section 6. Reports on unmanned maritime systems and usage for mission 
        of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    This section would require a report not later than 1 year 
after the date of enactment to Congress, and then every 4 
years, documenting the current inventory of unmanned vehicles 
used by NOAA and a summary of the data they have returned, the 
benefits of having that data, and a prioritized list of NOAA 
data requirements that could be met with unmanned maritime 
systems.

Section 7. Funding and additional authorities.

    This section would direct the NOAA Administrator to carry 
out this Act using existing funding. This section would 
authorize the NOAA Administrator to enter into contracts and 
cooperative agreements, to accept funds and uncompensated 
services, and to promulgate rules and regulations.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.

                                  [all]