Head, APL OE Department & Senior Principal Engineer
Russ Light has performed major roles in the electrical, software, and systems design of numerous ocean-going systems for both the scientific and Navy communities. He came to APL-UW in 1982 and spent the next 5 years working on electronic systems used for torpedo testing targets. This work was followed by a number of projects in the ocean instrumentation field including solid-state data recorders, underwater tracking ranges, and a mine training device for Navy EOD divers. During the 1990s Mr. Light was the lead electrical and systems engineer for several autonomous undersea vehicles that were used for scientific missions under the arctic ice pack. He was the lead electrical engineer on the AUV ocean glider Seaglider until 2003. In the early 2000s he was the project manager and lead electrical engineer for a number of benthic sonar systems that were used to study acoustic propagation in ocean sediments. In January 2001 he became department chair of the Ocean Engineering Department. His most recent achievements were the development of a system to measure acoustic sound speed in ocean sediments to a depth of 3 m (SAMS), co-PI for COVIS (Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar) — a system connected to the Neptune Canada cabled ocean observatory that acoustically measures the plume extent and flow rates of hydrothermal vent complexes, and is the program manager for the Navy ICEX arctic camps, overseeing the modernization of acoustic tracking range systems and ancillary support equipment. His contributions as department chair of the Ocean Engineering Department include the modernization of the Acoustic Test Facility, Pressure Test Facility, and Acoustic Tank Facility. He has also implemented numerous engineering documentation standards which have resulted in complete and homogeneous drawing and written documents for all OED projects.