U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center


FLC Region

Security Lab



1 Chelsea Street
New London, CT 06320
United States

Laboratory Representative


The Research and Development (R&D) Center is the Coast Guard's sole facility performing research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) in support of the Coast Guard's major missions of Maritime Mobility, Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, National Defense and Protection of Natural Resources. These efforts are broad and varied, and manifest themselves by supporting the acquisition and regulatory processes, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Coast Guard operations and resources. The R&D Center is located in New London, Conn., adjacent to historic Fort Trumbull. The R&D Center also operates a Joint Maritime Test Detachment (JMTD) in Mobile, Ala. The JMTD is the only facility in the world using actual ships for full-scale fire testing. Founded in 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard has strived since its inception to use the latest advances in maritime tools and technology to increase its productivity and effectiveness in carrying out their wide-ranging missions. In 1968, Coast Guard Headquarters recognized the value of emerging technologies and established the Office of Research and Development. In order to increase performance and effectiveness, the Coast Guard combined the resources of the Field Testing and Development Center and some members of the Applied Sciences Division of the Office to establish the Research and Development Center. It was chartered in 1972 on the grounds of the University of Connecticut, Avery Point Campus. In 1989, as part of a major Coast Guard reorganization, the Office of Research and Development was merged with the Office of Engineering. Staff at Coast Guard Headquarters was charged with Program management. In 2009 the R&D Center moved from Avery Point in Groton to New London, and is responsible for program implementation and project execution.

The year 2013 marks the 41st Anniversary of the R&D Center. For 41 years, the dedicated scientists, engineers and support staff of the Center researched, developed, tested, and evaluated a continuous stream of valuable products to enhance the performance of the Coast Guard.

Just a few of the products that have had an impact on Coast Guard performance include:
•IN-SITU Burn tool box (2001)
•Non-lethal entanglement devices (2000)
•CBT Computer Based Training (2000)
•PISCES Pollution Incident Simulation, Control & Evaluation System (2000)
•Cutter Scheduling Assistance Program (1998)
•SLDMBs Self Locating Datum Marker Buoys (1995)
•Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS-1990)
•AAPS Automated Aids to Navigation Positioning System (1985)
•COIL Central Oil Identification Laboratory (Oil Finger Printing 1975)
•CHRIS Chemical Hazard Response Information System (1970)

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, military and civilian Center personnel immediately responded providing staffing, expertise, and a big-picture look at homeland defense. Since that time, the Center has been actively pursuing new products that will assist the Coast Guard in protecting our ports and enhancing homeland security.


The Research and Development Program is comprised of scientists, engineers, and support personnel who are uniquely qualified and positioned to introduce science and technology into the Coast Guard. Research and Development personnel have both expertise on, and experience with, the business practices (missions, policies, plans and processes) of the operational and support personnel accomplishing the missions of the Coast Guard, as well as the knowledge of existing and emerging science and technology. We use these strengths to help the Coast Guard improve through technology and become an essential element of the Coast Guard performance improvement.

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AIS Laboratory
CG Modeling and Simulation Center
Joint Maritime Test Detachment Facility
Photonics Laboratory

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