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Coast Guard Research and Development Center kicks off 50th anniversary celebration


The Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) in New London, Connecticut, will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a multi-faceted community event.

On Sept. 1, 1972, the Coast Guard commandant established the RDC as an interim facility at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus in Groton pending construction of a permanent facility. In 2009, the RDC moved to New London.

For 50 years, the RDC has developed technology and knowledge products that have significantly enhanced the service’s ability to execute its 11 statutory missions. Many of today’s Coast Guard capabilities had their start as RDC research projects.

During this time, the RDC delivered nearly 2,000 research products. Together, they chronicle the RDC’s impact, including analysis and experimentation with sensors and tactics to improve Coast Guard search and rescue, fielding biometric systems to identify drug smugglers, improving oil spill response in various challenging environments including ice and salt marshes and the deployment of randomized security tactics to protect U.S. ports.

While 2022 marks RDC’s semi-centennial, specific activities are planned for 2023 that include:

  • A March open house will provide a unique opportunity to see what the center is doing. Visitors will be able to engage with the command’s scientists and engineers and see demonstrations including autonomous and virtual reality capabilities. The event will also highlight research in polar technologies, search and rescue, next-generation buoys and the development of a Sector of the Future test bed in southeastern Connecticut.
  • Publication of a book detailing the center’s history by a Coast Guard auxiliary historian.
  • Release of a 50th anniversary military challenge coin, commemorating the RDC’s service to the Coast Guard.


Video: Coast Guard RDC Overview

For more information: Research, Development, Test & Evaluation and Innovation Program page and Research and Development Center page