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Dana Manalang

Principal Engineer






Dana Manalang is a Principal Engineer in the APL-UW Electronics and Photonic Systems Department. She has held key roles in system development, testing, commissioning, and operations programs across multiple industries including ocean instrumentation, wireless sensor networks, semiconductor processing equipment, and defense.

She earned a B.S. in Ocean Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology and received her M.S.E.E from UC Berkeley. Before joining APL-UW in 2009, Dana was the Lead AUV Systems Engineer at Fugro Seafloor Surveys. She currently manages instrument operations and maintenance for the OOI Cabled Array.

Department Affiliation

Electronic & Photonic Systems


B.S. Ocean Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology, 1998

M.S. Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2000


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Adaptive wireless power for subsea vehicles

Manalang, D., B. Waters, C. Smith, P. LaMothe, M. Carlson, and K.D. Yan, "Adaptive wireless power for subsea vehicles," Mar. Technol. Soc. J., 56, 36-44, doi:10.3389/fphar.2022.1062979, 2022.

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14 Oct 2022

Wireless power transfer in seawater removes the inherent risks and complexities of mating conductive surfaces in seawater. An effective underwater wireless power transfer system for subsea vehicles must maintain power transfer despite the potential for dynamic misalignment between the power transmission and receive elements and therefore requires an adaptive system. We describe the development and characterization of a subsea wireless power system, including a transmit-receive coil pair optimized for seawater performance. Built on the adaptive resonant wireless power transfer technology of WiBotic, Inc., the system automatically adjusts for misalignment and separation between the transmit and receive coils. We demonstrate that transmit-receive coil pairs can be effectively tuned to provide adaptive wireless power transfer in salt water, with no significant effects of increased pressure at depth. Furthermore, we describe the full system marinization of the wireless power system and its application to a system that uses a wave energy converter for subsea vehicle charging.

Multi-stressor observations and modeling to build understanding of and resilience to the coastal impacts of climate change

Newton, J., P. MacCready, S. Siedlecki, D. Manalang, J. Mickett, S. Alin, E. Schumacker, J. Hagen, S. Moore, A. Sutton, and R. Carini, "Multi-stressor observations and modeling to build understanding of and resilience to the coastal impacts of climate change," Oceanography, 34, 86-87, 2022.

7 Jan 2022

Cost-optimal wave-powered persistent oceanographic observation

Dillon, T., B. Maurer, M. Lawson, D.S. Jenne, D. Manalang, E. Baca, and B. Polagye, "Cost-optimal wave-powered persistent oceanographic observation," Renewable Energy, 181, 504-521, doi:10.1016/j.renene.2021.08.127, 2022.

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1 Jan 2022

Historically, energy constraints have limited the spatial range, endurance and capabilities of ocean observation systems. Recently developed wave energy conversion technologies have the potential to help overcome these limitations by providing co-located and persistent power generation for ocean observations, enabling new opportunities for ocean research. In this paper, we develop the first techno-economic model for wave-powered ocean observation systems and use the model to study system characteristics and cost drivers. Our model utilizes time-domain simulation and optimization to identify cost-optimal system characteristics and to estimate capital and operational costs. Using our model, we evaluate the use of wave energy to power a 200 W ocean observation system deployed for five years at five unique geographic locations. We found that, depending on the geographic location, cost-optimal wave energy powered systems require an ≈ 0.5–3 kW wave energy converter and an ≈ 15–50 kWh battery. The corresponding range of power system costs over the deployment duration is between $110,800 and $673,200. We build on these results by performing a sensitivity analysis of key model parameters and identifying the potential economic impact of future technology advancements. Overall, our results indicate that characteristics of the geographic location, power system durability, and electrical power demand are key drivers of power system economics for ocean observing.

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In The News

New UW-authored children's book offers a robot's-eye view of the deep ocean

UW News, Hannah Hickey

After years working on a cabled observatory that monitors the Pacific Northwest seafloor and water above, APL-UW engineer Dana Manalang decided to share the wonder of the deep sea with younger audiences.

12 Oct 2018

New deep-sea pressure sensor could monitor dangerous undersea faults

IEEE Spectrum, Amy Nordrum

A marine geophysicist and electronic engineer from the University of Washington are now testing a new self-calibrating pressure sensor that could be deployed on the seafloor as a low-cost, long-term way to monitor seismic activity.

12 Oct 2017

Hacking a pressure sensor to track gradual motion along marine faults

UW News, Hannah Hickey

Engineers at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory modified an existing Paros pressure sensor. The sensitive quartz crystal that measures the seafloor pressure can now be connected to measure pressure inside its titanium instrument case, with a known pressure and another barometer to check the value.

21 Sep 2017

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Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center