The history of the Special Design Bureau for Marine Research Automation Tools of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences dates back to 1978. It was then that an order was issued by the USSR Academy of Sciences to organize a design bureau in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
The strategic goal was to strengthen the USSR as the leading naval power in the Far Eastern region, and also to provide the Navy and scientific divisions of the USSR Academy of Sciences with the necessary up-to-date equipment. The special design bureau was created on the basis of the SDB of marine seismoacoustic equipment and the hydroacoustics department of the Sakhalin Integrated Research Institute of the Far Eastern Scientific Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
SDB MRAT was the first experimental instrumentation base in the Far East, a pilot project of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR to develop the scientific and production potential in the Far Eastern region.
At the stage of becoming a new division of Soviet science rendered invaluable support from the Academicians of the USSR A.P.Aleksandrov and M.V. Keldysh. It is noteworthy that the place of the future building of the SDB was chosen by the President of the USSR Academy of Sciences, M.V. Keldysh during his visit to Sakhalin in 1974. With gratitude they remember in SDB MRAT the help and support that the academicians had rendered: L.M.Brekhovskykh, A.V. Gaponov-Grekhov, V.I. Ilyichev, V.A. Kotelnikov, G.I. Marchuk, N.I. Shilo.
The first head of SDB MRAT was the remarkable man and specialist Yuri Sergeevich Belavin. Thanks to his efforts, the design and construction of new production buildings of SDB MRAT, equipped with modern scientific and production equipment was carried out.
In the 70-80s of the last century the backbone of the design bureau was made by such famous scientists as Yu.A. Shumilov, V.A. Apanasenko, V.V. Volovsky, L.M. Nefedov and others. During the years of the SDB MRAT’s activity several generations of autonomous deepwater systems were created, tested and operated in different regions of the World Ocean, and unique marine studies were carried out in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
Projects that were carried out by SDB MRAT were relevant for many spheres of maritime activities, not only in the Far East. In 1986, on the instructions of the Vice-President of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Academician E.P. Velikhov, staff of SDB MRAT developed special equipment and provided continuous measurement of the radiation background of water on the Pripyat River and in the hydropark of the city of Kiev after the Chernobyl tragedy.
For 36 years, the main activity of SDB MRAT has not changed significantly.