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Coast Guard Launches New Mobile Application to Improve Navigation Aid Management

Mobile application

Coast Guard Launches New Mobile Application to Improve Navigation Aid Management

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center has developed a new application that will ensure that lights, buoys and other markers across the United States are working and where they should be.

James Spilsbury, a project manager with the Coast Guard’s RDC, said the Aid Verification Assistant app helps accelerate the Private Aids to Navigation verification process, enabling anyone to complete the task within minutes compared to traditionally spending hours on the effort.

The service is responsible for over 41,000 PATON across the country, with the number expected to increase with the evolution of the Marine Transportation System, USCG .mil reported.

Traditionally, completing a PATON inspection requires collaboration between Coast Guard active-duty personnel and the Auxiliary.  

Clint O’Connor, a tech entrepreneur and retired Dell engineer who has since joined the Auxiliary in 2017, is one of the people behind the app who thought that an app would resolve the inefficiency of the PATON inspection process. With then-Auxiliary Commodore Vincent Pica II, their submission became the basis for the RDC-developed mobile application. 

Embracing modern technologies has been a focus at the agency for years. In March 2023, Jonathan White, the Coast Guard’s cloud and data branch chief commander, disclosed plans to build a software development foundation to improve data management that supports application development.