Cherokee Federal employee and veteran

Cherokee Federal subject matter expert advances ocean science with autonomy, artificial intelligence and telepresence

March 10, 2021

Cherokee Federal Subject Matter Expert, Elizabeth Lobecker, was recently published in The Journal of Ocean Technology with other industry leaders in an article titled, “Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence, and Telepresence: Advancing Ocean Science at Sea in the COVID-19 Era.”  

This article explores the increased use of autonomy, artificial intelligence (AI) and telepresence with NOAA’s Office of Oceanic Exploration and Research (OER).

AI and autonomous or unmanned systems (UXS) enable smaller scientific teams to accommodate social distance restrictions brought by COVID-19. These technological advancements have enabled marine science discoveries to continue, are enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of several scientific disciplines, and are increasing the capacity for data collection.

Telepresence increases opportunities for remote engagement for ongoing oceanic expeditions through technological advancements, including satellite communication and the use of remotely operated vehicles.

Cherokee Federal supports NOAA OER, which is the only federal organization dedicated to exploring the global ocean. OER works with partners, like Cherokee Federal, to explore the ocean to make discoveries of scientific, economic and cultural value.

“Technological advances such as AI, unmanned systems and telepresence are providing sophisticated support to important scientific initiations enabling our teams to collect and distribute more data than ever before” says Elizabeth, senior mapping expedition coordinator.

Lobecker has worked with NOAA OER for 11 years. In her tenure, she has planned and led or co-led more than 30 cruises on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, pioneered telepresence mapping-enabled operations and spearheaded record-setting data collection and archival operations.

“We are very proud of Elizabeth and our team’s work at NOAA,” remarks John “JC” Coffey, executive director of unmanned systems (UXS) for Cherokee  Federal. “It is an honor to support the important mission of NOAA.”

Cherokee Federal provides programmatic, engineering and scientific support to NOAA’s unmanned aircraft program — working to advance the technological readiness of its drones and building out capabilities for application across the agency.

Not only is Cherokee advancing scientific exploration through the implementation of unmanned systems, but our team is also evaluating methods to:

· Employ UXS in rapid response to disasters,

· Advance the capability of UXS for polar, marine and wildlife monitoring, as well as other environmental surveillance applications

· Utilize UXS to collect detailed measurements of air quality

· Collect targeted atmospheric observations to understand and forecast hazardous weather through data derived from UAS operations

Cherokee Federal also applies its UXS and UAS expertise across domains to fulfill defined ISR and homeland security missions as well as geospatial surveying. Our team of companies identify observational requirements that UXS capabilities can address by providing unique, affordable and reliable data from any required perspective.

With millions of drones in use for land, air and sea applications, immense amounts of smart data from smart sensors requires strategic analysis. To discern the right information, you need a trusted partner that knows how to cut through the data chaos and harvest actionable information using advanced data management, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.

Partner with Cherokee Federal’s team of companies to make smarter decisions and generate actionable outcomes from your drone program. Visit for more details or to download our white papers:

· Drone Wisdom

· Applications & Impact of Land Unmanned Systems

· Applications & Impact of Maritime Unmanned Systems

UXS Video Content:

· Environmental Intelligence From Drone Data

· The Wisdom of Drones


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