ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is teaming up with one of the country’s largest aerospace tech companies.

Their goal is to design a system to help oysters flourish in the Chesapeake Bay.

That company is Northrop Grumman. Not only do they want to plant oysters, but they want to change the way the ecosystem works in Maryland.

In the past, there would be people who would dive into the water to see how the oyster population was doing. Northrop Grumman and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation have designed a whole new system.

The Lidar Prototype, short for Light in Detection and Ranging, is one of five versions Northrop Grumman has designed. It’s equipped with lasers to light up the bottom of the Bay.

“In water that’s murky and very turbulent like the Chesapeake Bay, we don’t have a lot of photons returning so the way we overcome that is with a higher-powered laser,” Engineer Josh Davidson said.

It costs over $7,000 to send one diver in the water. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is investing $40,000 in a season for underwater technology. This would bring the daily cost to around $500, while also checking out the dozens of oyster restorations in the State.

“They create an ecosystem where other animals can come live and thrive so without oysters,” Northrop Grumman Program Manager Martin Kozaczek said. “Not only do you have water pollution and the clean water we all hope for, but you lose that ability to host other animals and other species.”

The timeline to use this technology is by the year 2025.

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