SFOMC: A Successful Navy And Academic Partnership Providing Sustained Ocean Observation Capabilities in the Florida Straits

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2003

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



To succeed at developing a nationwide Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), stakeholders in academia, government, and industry must forge and maintain strategic partnerships. The South Florida Ocean Measurement Center (SFOMC) is such a partnership model and mutually beneficial collaboration that is conducting year-in and year-out major at-sea operations, sustaining the operation of a complex array of sub sea sensors, and providing the maintenance and the shore-based infrastructure to support both.

The transformation of a longstanding, narrowly focused, and somewhat antiquated (but highly capable) Navy test and evaluation facility is described. Formerly plagued with a decreasing customer base and increasing operational costs, the Center's transformation into this now fully integrated coalition has mitigated these forerunners of extinction while answering both Navy and academic needs. The successful partnership has resulted in modern facilities, a broad customer base, and steadily decreasing costs of operation. Examples are provided that demonstrate the ability of the Navy's South Florida Testing Facility (SFTF) to realize user cost savings and to aid in the convergence of interest and capabilities among a variety of user groups toward the solution of problems of national concern, including naval research, homeland security, and environmental stewardship.


Complete list of authors: Harry DeFerrari, Neil Williams, Hien Nguyen, Nick Shay, John Van Leer, Dick Dodge, Dave Gilliam, Alexander Soloviev, Shirley Pomponi, Michael Crane, Kevin Carter

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Marine Technology Society Journal, v. 37, issue 3, p. 81-91