Intelligent Autonomy: Using the Sun and
Wind to Power New Ideas in Ocean Exploration

Ocean Aero is an award-winning company that created
the world’s first environmentally-powered, Autonomous,
Underwater and Surface Vehicles (AUSVs)

Intelligent Autonomy: Using the Sun and Wind to Power
New Ideas in Ocean Exploration

Ocean Aero is an award-winning company that created
the world’s first environmentally-powered, Autonomous,
Underwater and Surface Vehicles (AUSVs)

Based in San Diego since 2012, we design, build, test, and manufacture a hybrid, wind and solar-powered, surface and subsurface vehicle for extended ocean observation and data collection. Supported by U.S. patents, our intelligent autonomous technology is ideally suited to fit the needs of a variety of strategic maritime missions, ranging from intelligence and surveillance to marine mammal tracking, to Met-Ocean data gathering to persistent situational awareness.

Our ocean drones are available in various configurations and scales and provide an efficient way to scout, discover, and navigate through the world’s oceans. The unique combination of folding wingsail and solar panels enables the vehicles to traverse long distances and hold station keeping for precise monitoring. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power command, control, and sensor payload functions. The retractable wingsail allows us to submerge and avoid harsh surface conditions, evade detection, and perform subsurface data collection tasks. The Launch and Recovery System (LARS) from ramp, dockside or at sea is a simple, safe, and time-saving solution. And the vehicles can be transported from land, air, and sea.

Our combined design, engineering and ocean experience spans world-class sailing, record-breaking dive depths, space flight, space jumping, piloting aircraft, carriers and unmanned vehicles.

Eric Patten



Eric is the CEO and President of Ocean Aero, an unmanned maritime systems company which builds game-changing, long-range and persistent ocean-going robots. Prior to joining Ocean Aero, Eric was the Director, Defense and Intelligence Global Solutions for the geospatial technology leader Esri, where he led his team to build awareness of Esri’s geospatial technology within the defense and intelligence communities worldwide. Before joining Esri in 2010, Eric served as a U.S. Navy Captain with a 25-year career of distinguished service. He was the Director of operations for the U.S. Navy’s Southwest region, responsible for shore-based operations including those supporting anti-terrorism, fire and emergency services, emergency management, and air and port operations. He served as navigator aboard the USS Ronald Reagan on several deployments including its maiden deployment to the Middle East in support of the global war on terrorism. Eric was the commanding officer of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Five One in Japan and has held several posts on a number of naval vessels. He has also led combat missions as a naval aviator.

Eric is on the board of Directors for the San Diego Police Foundation and was the Chairman of the Communications committee leading the rebranding of the Foundation.  He also sits on the board of Directors for The Maritime Alliance


BA Political Science, Washington State University, Pullman WA
MA, National Security and Strategic Studies, US Naval War College, Newport RI

Bill Burns

Chief Technology Officer


Bill Burns has more than 25 years of leadership experience developing and delivering naval technologies to customers in the DOD and commercial markets. Currently, he serves as Ocean Aero’s executive vice president of technology where he brings an entrepreneurial practicality to the leadership team and is responsible for test planning, technology validation, customer relations and product feedback.

Bill was Ocean Aero’s point man for the NUWC’s ANTX 2016 Exercise with LMCO in Newport, RI and the USMC’s ANTX2017-S2ME2 Exercise with SPAWAR at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA.

As the Founder and President of MSHIPCO, he successfully created and managed multi-million-dollar government programs with USSOCOM, NAVSEA, OFT, ONR and DARPA, including the delivery of the 50-knot, all carbon-fiber, Stiletto Maritime Demonstration Platform, which won TIME magazine Best Military Invention for 2006. He was also Principal Investigator on multiple SBIR programs including a Phase III that was recognized in 2014 by USSOCOM as a Small Business Innovative Research Success Story.

In the private sector, Bill has designed over 30 custom and production yachts, authored several technical research papers and has been granted 15 naval-technology patents. Several of his products have been recognized
for pioneering designs, including Sailing Worlds Overall Boat of the Year award in 2001 for the Schock 40 CBTF yacht, UCSD CONNECT’s 2007 Most Innovative Product Award for the M-Hull Technology and the Industrial Design Excellence Award 2003 for the Wahoo Sailboat.

Kevin Decker

Chief Strategy Officer


Kevin Decker is the Chief Strategy Officer of Ocean Aero where he is responsible for strategic planning and translating the strategy across all functions to ensure the metrics, actions and goals of the company are in-line with its desired results.  Bringing over a decade of commercial leadership experience across a wide range of companies in dozens of cultures and countries, he has a strong track record of building commercial teams, tailoring customer specific value propositions, and managing diverse groups of resources from front line sales associates to in-field application engineers and program managers.

Prior to joining Ocean Aero, Decker was most recently the Chief Commercial Officer of Emulate, Inc., a biotech producing and offering services in the organs-on-chips space with the company’s technology and foundation being spun out of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.  Before Emulate, Decker was with Rexnord Industries where he served as the leader of the Rexnord Business System’s commercial team.

Decker served for 16 years at General Electric (GE) in multiple business units and held a range of management positions at GE Corporate, GE Distributed Power and GE Measurement & Controls, where he developed global sales pipelines, cultivated cross-company customer pursuit teams, and championed the principles of Sales Force Effectiveness (SFE) across the portfolio while leading market development and commercial operations teams.

Earlier in his career, Decker spent 7 years in GE’s leadership training program in the finance and audit group, obtained a Six Sigma black belt certification, and received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Boston University.

Brian Peterson

EVP Marketing & Comm


Brian Peterson is an award-winning B2B and B2C communications and marketing executive Currently, he oversees all marketing and communications for Ocean Aero, including the company’s branding, sales enablement, partnership marketing, media relations, marketing communications, advertising, event promotion, and market research efforts.

Prior to joining Ocean Aero, Brian served as a senior product marketing executive and head of PR for Esri, where he designed the company’s first ever comprehensive global communications strategy.

From 2009-2012, he served as vice president, corporate communications for Fox Cable Networks and was an architect of communications plans that supported multi-billion-dollar programming deals and helped launch new cable networks. Prior to joining FCN’s corporate communications, he was the director of media relations for Fox Sports North in Minneapolis.

From 1990-2003, Brian was a senior editor and project manager with the NFL’s creative services division in Los Angeles. He managed a variety of media vehicles, including and, and created marketing communications and promotions for companies, such as General Mills, and Miller Brewing.

Brian worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee during the 1988 Summer and Winter Olympic Games and has authored numerous magazine articles and books.

In 2003, he earned an MBA from Pepperdine University, and in 1989, he received a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the nationally-acclaimed University of Missouri School of Journalism. Currently, Brian also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Redlands, teaching marketing management and strategy.

Neil Trenaman

EVP Strategic Business Dev


Over the past three decades, Neil Trenaman’s career has spanned a broad spectrum of the global marine industry, ranging from research, product development, sales and marketing to management positions.

As the Executive Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Ocean Aero, Neil works closely with the CEO and the Executive Management group to develop “go to market” strategies and to successfully execute Ocean Aero’s business plans. He also is responsible for establishing a national sales team and a network of international channel partners as well as transitioning pre-production technologies into fully productized, commercially viable entities.

Prior to joining Ocean Aero, Neil held a variety of senior and executive level management positions, such as:

  • North American VP of Business Development for the Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI)
  • VP of Global Business Development at Liquid Robotics, a Silicon Valley-based company recently acquired by Boeing
  • Chief Operating Officer at UVS Pty Ltd, a leading marine technology distribution company based in Australia
  • Director of Global Strategy, Mergers and Acquisition for Xylem Analytics Ocean & Coastal businesses.

Strategic Partners

Corporate Alliances

Contact | Ocean Aero