The University of Maine continues to blow away the competition when it comes to offshore wind power. Friday, at the Advanced Structures and Composite Center a new piece of technology was unveiled. It’s a buoy-based floating LIDAR system which is basically a buoy with a laser on it. The laser will collect data on wind conditions. “Our goal here at the university is to figure out ways to bring that energy back home cost effectively to help reduce our energy costs and create jobs in our state,” said Dr. Habib Dagher, director of the UMaine Composites Center. ” We’re working on technology that’s going to measure something that hasn’t been measured before. We’re measuring wind speeds up to 1000 feet in the air in the open ocean which is a huge feat. Those measurements do not exist and without a floating LIDAR system the cost would be exorbitant,” added Anthony Viselli, a PhD student in structural engineering. The buoy will hit the water next Friday along with UMaine’s floating offshore wind turbine. The turbine will be the first grid-connected turbine of its kind in the United States.