Ocean and Environment



Deep-Sea Search - The NRL-developed Deep Ocean Search System was successfully used in more than 30 search missions between 1965 and 1974. At the time, this research was said to have formed “the foundation of future ocean engineering.”

Meteorology - In the late 1940s, NRL led in developing instruments and techniques for taking weather-related measurements. By 1952, NRL developed a balloon-borne meteorological station for collecting data on temperature, pressure, and humidity over remote ocean areas. Today NRL’s Monterey site, is the only scientific center in the Navy wholly dedicated to atmospheric research, conducting research to provide local, regional, and global atmospheric analysis and prediction as well as the development of automated weather interpretation systems to support Naval Operations; that is, the effect of atmospheric changes on naval communications and weapons systems.

Improved Forecasts - Results of the 1998 North Pacific Experiment (NORPEX) have led to significant improvement in weather forecasting accuracy.

Monsoon Variability - In a collaborative project, scientists at NRL and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute were able to improve the frequency of observations on the variability of the Indian Ocean monsoon surface winds.

Mine Countermeasures - The Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Coastal Optical Program transitioned the capability to the Naval Oceanographic Office to use NOAA’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer to determine the coastal optical properties -- an important factor in determining when MCM laser imaging systems can be used operationally.

Depicting El Nino - Image of earth with El Nino effect NRL's researchers were the first to show that the oceanic effects of El Niño events can be extremely long-lived. This discovery was recognized by Discover magazine as one of the top 75 science stories in 1994.

Polar Ozone - NRL's Polar Ozone and Aerosol Measurement (POAM) is a satellite-borne instrument that monitors ozone in the Arctic and Antarctic stratosphere year-round. POAM II has observed all or part of the life cycle of four ozone holes over Antarctica.

Gulf War Illness - NRL researchers in Monterey, California, conducted a forensic meteorological study to investigate whether chemicals released in Iraq in 1991 could be a potential cause of Gulf War Illness.

Seafloor Mapping - NRL has used sidescan sonar imagery and data, plus other ancillary data such as sediment samples and bottom camera photographs, to produce a geological map of the seafloor.

Digital Moving Maps - Navy pilots use map data to drive their cockpit moving-map displays, which are linked to Global Positioning Satellite receivers, providing them with hands-off navigation. Since 1990, NRL has provided map data and design systems for the Navy's AV-8B and F/A-18 aircraft.


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