2009 News Releases

More information and visuals that are not available electronically may be obtained by contacting the NRL Public Affairs Office. New items are added as they are released.

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Scientific & Technical Interest
January 6, 2009
The Joint Astrophysical Plasmadynamic Experiment (J-PEX) launched successfully on a NASA sounding rocket on October 20, 2008, from the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Preliminary indications are that the mission was a comprehensive success.
January 26, 2009
Building on the success of Rampant Lion l, scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed Rampant Lion ll, a geophysical and remote sensing survey of Afghanistan. Rampant Lion ll took place from mid-April to mid-June 2008 with a significantly upgraded sensor suite.
February 2, 2009
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory are partnering with industry to develop a sensor system for biomolecules that could make a significant contribution to a variety of fields such as healthcare, veterinary diagnostics, food safety, environmental testing, and national security.
February 17, 2009
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have recently demonstrated the ability to control the spin population of the individual quantum shell states of self-assembled indium arsenide (InAs) quantum dots (QDs). These results are significant in the understanding of QD behavior and scientists' ability to utilize QDs in active devices or for information processing.
March 5, 2009
NASA has selected seven academic and research teams as initial members of the agency's Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), and Naval Research Laboratory researchers will play a substantial role on one of the teams.
March 12, 2009
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory recently reported the detection of toxins with unprecedented speed, sensitivity, and simplicity. The approach can sense as few as a few hundred molecules in a drop of blood in less than 10 minutes, with only four simple steps from sample to answer.
March 30, 2009
Peter G. Wilhelm, Director of the Naval Center for Space Technology located at the Naval Research Laboratory, is celebrating 50 years of government service on March 30, 2009.
March 30, 2009
Nearly undetectable from the ground, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are widely used by the military to scan terrain for possible threats and intelligence. Now, fuel cell powered UAVs are taking flight as an Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored program to help tactical decision-makers gather critical information more efficiently... and more quietly.
April 13, 2009
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have proposed theoretical models to explain the normal magnetic properties in iron-based superconductors. Their research builds on earlier research they conducted proposing a theoretical model for superconductivity in newly discovered iron-based superconductors.
April 20, 2009
Naval Research Laboratory scientists recently participated in mine warfare (MIW) exercise CLEAR HORIZON 08 in Chinhae, Republic of Korea (ROK).
April 28, 2009
Observations from NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft have allowed scientists to reveal for the first time the speed, trajectory, and three-dimensional shape of solar explosions known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs.
May 5, 2009
The Naval Research Laboratory's Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI) has been chosen as part of the scientific payload for the European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter mission. SoloHI will provide revolutionary measurements to pinpoint solar storms known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.
May 14, 2009
Naval Research Laboratory scientists are part of a team working on the Herschel Space Observatory, which was successfully launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) from French Guiana on May 14, 2009.
May 22, 2009
The Naval Research Laboratory was named in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) Top 20 "Institutions with the most papers published." NRL ranked fifth among other corporate and institutional giants (IBM, Bell Labs, UC Berkley, and MIT).
May 28, 2009
Substantial advances for applications of nanocrystals in the fields requiring a continuous output of photons and high quantum efficiency may soon be realized due to discovery of non-blinking semiconductor nanocrystals.
July 15, 2009
The NRL's satellite suite, the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment 2 (ANDE-2), launched aboard NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour on July 15, 2009. The ANDE-2 satellite suite consists of two nearly perfectly spherical micro-satellites with instrumentation to perform two interrelated mission objectives. The first objective is to monitor the total atmospheric density along the orbit for improved orbit determination of resident space objects. The second is to provide a test object for both radar and optical U.S. Space Surveillance Network sensors.
July 21, 2009
Dr. Jerome Karle and Dr. Isabella Karle are retiring on July 31 following a combined 127 years of federal service. He holds the Chair of Science as Chief Scientist of the Laboratory for the Structure of Matter. She has maintained an active research program in the Laboratory for the Structure of Matter. To celebrate their retirement, the Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Ray Mabus presented them with the Department of the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award.
July 22, 2009
NRL Space Science Division scientist, Dr. Christoph R. Englert, is awarded patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a more cost effective, rugged and lightweight compression assembly design for spatial heterodyne spectrometer (SHS) interferometer applications. This innovative design approach introduces the flexibility of exchanging optical components while conserving the ruggedness of previous monolithic SHS interferometer designs and reducing their high production costs; a factor that has impeded wide-spread military and commercial application.
August 3, 2009
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is making some exciting discoveries about cosmic rays and the Large Area Telescope aboard Fermi is the tool in this investigation. Scientists in NRL's Space Science Division were instrumental in the design and development of the Large Area Telescope (LAT).
August 4, 2009
Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology magazine has named NRL a "Best Diversity Company 2009," based on a reader's choice survey. During March and April 2009, magazine readers and website visitors were asked to identify the corporations, government agencies and other organizations that do the best work in diversity.
August 5, 2009
NRL's satellite suite, the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment 2 (ANDE-2), was deployed from NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour on July 30, 2009. The ANDE-2 satellite suite consists of two nearly perfectly spherical micro-satellites. ANDE-2 is a low-cost mission designed to study the atmosphere of the Earth from low-Earth orbit by monitoring total atmospheric density between 300 and 400 km altitude.
August 6, 2009
The Naval Research Laboratory has completed a successful flight test of the fuel cell powered XFC (eXperimental Fuel Cell) unmanned aerial system (UAS). During the June 2 flight test, the XFC UAS was airborne for more than six hours.
August 20, 2009
The hurricane season has arrived and NRL researchers in Monterey, California, and in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, are working on multiple aspects of tropical cyclone research.
August 24, 2009
Scientists from NRL's Space Science and Remote Sensing Divisions, in collaboration with researchers from the University of New Mexico and National Radio Astronomy Observatory have generated the first scientific results from the Long Wavelength Demonstrator Array.
August 28, 2009
The MIS System Requirements and Design Review (SRDR) was the first major development milestone and the program sponsor, the NPOESS Integrated Program Office (IPO), has certified the SRDR to be a success.
September 4, 2009
Scientists at NRL are developing a new technology for use in underwater acoustics. The technology uses flashes of laser light to remotely create underwater sound. The new acoustic source has the potential to expand and improve both Naval and commercial underwater acoustic applications, including undersea communications, navigation, and acoustic imaging.
September 10, 2009
NRL's Remote Sensing and Space Science Divisions and the Naval Center for Space Technology provide the first-ever high quality and real-time monitoring of space weather and coastal ocean environment directly from the new Japanese Experiment Module-Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) on the International Space Station (ISS). A complex series of maneuvers, involving both the ISS and the JEM-EF manipulator arms, will transfer HREP from the vehicle to its deployment station on the JEM-EF.
September 19, 2009
The Charged Aerosol Release Experiment (CARE), a rocket experiment that may shed light on the highest clouds in the Earth's atmosphere, was conducted by NRL and the Department of Defense Space Test Program using a NASA four-stage Black Brant XII suborbital sounding rocket.
September 22, 2009
Scientists at NRL's Space Science Division and a team of international researchers positively identify cosmic sources of gamma-ray emissions through the discovery of 16 pulsating neutron stars.
September 28, 2009
NRL's Marine Meteorology Division deploys Mobile Atmosphere, Aerosol, and Radiation Characterization Observatory, MAARCO, to the National University of Singapore to begin the first comprehensive radiation and aerosol assessment in the Maritime Continent region.
September 30, 2009
Optical Reflector Material Experiment (ORMatE-1) returns to NRL's Electronics Science and Technology Division after 18-month mission on-orbit the International Space Station.
October 5, 2009
Recipient of the Laboratory's highest award, Dr. Huba is recognized for nearly 30 years of superior performance in theoretical and computational plasma physics. The E.O. Hulburt Award was established upon the retirement of NRL's first Director of Research, Dr. E.O. Hulburt, in 1955.
October 14, 2009
NRL's Ion Tiger, a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle (UAV), has flown 23 hours and 17 minutes, setting an unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight. The test flight took place on October 9th through 10th at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
October 23, 2009
A fire aboard a Navy ship can quickly become a deadly cauldron. Today's Navy scientists are conducting research to insure that sailors and their ships can be protected from the deadly effects of fire.
November 3, 2009
NRL's Space Science Division and Spacecraft Engineering Department offers a first of its kind technique for remote sensing of the ionosphere and thermosphere from space.
November 9, 2009
NRL recently conducted a chemical release experiment called the Charged Aerosol Release Experiment (CARE) that was viewed along the East Coast of the United States. The bright optical display, easily seen from the ground, was produced by sunlight scattering off dust particles.
November 16, 2009
In the newly released book High Energy Radiation from Black Holes: Gamma Rays, Cosmic Rays, and Neutrinos, Charles Dermer, an astrophysicist in the Space Science Division of the Naval Research Laboratory, and Govind Menon, a professor of physics at Troy University, Troy, Alabama, argue that black holes are the sources of the highest energy photon and particle radiations.
November 20, 2009
NRL marine biogeochemistry and geology and geophysics scientists return from Arctic expedition exploring methane hydrate deposits in the Beaufort Sea and spatial variation of sediment contribution to Arctic climate change.
November 23, 2009
NRL's Ion Tiger, a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle (UAV), has set another unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight. The 26 hour and 1 minute flight took place on November 16th through 17th.
December 1, 2009
NRL engineers have completed all environmental and performance testing on the TacSat-4 COMMx payload. This completes the entire TacSat-4 spacecraft as the spacecraft bus was completed in May 2008.
December 2, 2009
Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager observes first light. SSULI data products will be used operationally at the Air Force Weather Agency and as inputs into operational Space Weather models.
December 3, 2009
The STPSat-1 was decommissioned October 7th after completing almost 2 1/2 years of successful on-orbit operation.
December 7, 2009
The Materials on the International Space Station Experiment 7, designed and built by NRL, launched aboard STS-129 for transport to the International Space Station.
December 22, 2009
NRL team and collaborators win Supercomputing Bandwidth Challenge for effectively extending the local NRL campus InfiniBand network cloud across the country. The demonstration shows substantial functionality for visualization from a distributed Open Cloud Infrastructure.

Featured Stories
January 14, 2009
The Naval Research Laboratory's Mr. John Karasek has received the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Mr. Karasek is the Associate Counsel, Intellectual Property Law and the primary deputy to NRL Counsel on intellectual property law matters.
February 9, 2009
Researchers in the Naval Research Laboratory's Chemistry Division have received an award for their research on laser separation of biological species. The award, which is sponsored by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), was presented to the group that submitted the best manuscript and presented the best oral presentation at the recent Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP) conference.
February 19, 2009
Dr. Bhakta Rath, Associate Director of Research and Head of the Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been awarded the Padma Bhushan Award of Honors and Excellence bestowed by the President of India.
February 23, 2009
Dr. Michael Roland, a scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining (IOM3), a major UK engineering institution whose activities encompass the whole materials cycle, from exploration and extraction, through characterization, processing, forming, finishing and application, to product recycling and land re-use.
February 26, 2009
Mr. Dennis Therning, Associate Director of Research for Business Operations and Comptroller at the Naval Research Laboratory, is the recipient of the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award. The award is the second highest award a Navy civilian employee can receive.
March 9, 2009
Dr. Neil Sheeley, Jr. of the Naval Research Laboratory's Space Science Division is this year's winner of the George Ellery Hale Prize, given by the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society.
March 16, 2009
Dr. Jay Paul Boris, Chief Scientist and Director for the Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics (LCP&FD) at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Boris is recognized "for fundamental contributions in core computational fluid dynamics algorithms and their application to national problems."
March 19, 2009
Dr. Carter T. White, Senior Scientist for Theoretical Chemistry at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), is a recipient of the 2008 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional.
March 23, 2009
Dr. Kazhikathra Kailasanath, Head, Center for Reactive Flow and Dynamical Systems at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). He was elected for "contributions to advanced computational techniques and basic understanding of the dynamics of chemically reactive flows and their application in design, analysis, and performance of propulsion concepts."
April 6, 2009
Dr. Daria Bielecki, a mathematician in the Advance Systems Technology Branch at the Naval Research Laboratory, received the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award. The award is the second highest award a Navy civilian employee can receive.
April 27, 2009
Dr. Frederick E. Petry, a computer scientist in the Marine Geosciences Division at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been chosen as a 2008 Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the largest and oldest international scientific and educational computer society.
May 11, 2009
Dr. George Spanos, a section head in the Multifunctional Materials Branch at the Naval Research Laboratory, is the recipient of the Commanding Officer's Award for Achievement in the Field of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).
June 2, 2009
Dr. John Mittleman, currently a general engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory, has received the Superior Civilian Service Award "for superior service to the government of the United States in duties of great responsibility as Science Advisor and Special Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe and commander, SIXTH Fleet (CNE-C6F) from August 2004 to July 2008."
June 8, 2009
Dr. Elaine Oran, Senior Scientist for Reactive Flow Physics at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been named a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).
June 15, 2009
Sixteen NRL researchers received the prestigious 2008 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award. The Honorable Dr. Delores Etter, former Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development & Acquisition), established the award in 2006 to recognize Navy civilian and military personnel for superior scientific and engineering achievements, and to promote continued scientific and engineering excellence. A total of 20 Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Awards were presented this year, representing 34 scientists and engineers.
June 24, 2009
Dr. Dale Bibee, a section head in the Marine Geosciences Division of the NRL, received the Woodie Flowers Award at the FIRST Robotics Bayou Regional Competition on March 21st. He was recognized for mentoring the Northshore High School robotics team.
July 1, 2009
Mr. Edward Kennedy, an electrical engineer in the Information Technology Division at the NRL, received the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award. The award is the second highest award a Navy civilian employee can receive. He is recognized for developing and managing the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program ionospheric Research Station in Gakona, Alaska, a seventeen-year effort.
July 27, 2009
An NRL research team has won a 2009 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for their development and commercialization of a microbial pathogen identification assay. The team's Resequencing Pathogen Microarray (RPM) technology offers potential applications for powerful biosurveillance capability in the control of infectious disease.
September 1, 2009
Two NRL employees, Dr. Fran Ligler and Mr. Chris Dwyer, have been named finalists for the 2009 Service to America Medals. These medals are presented annually by the Partnership for Public Service.
September 8, 2009
Dr. John Kulp received the Young Investigator Award for his poster entitled, "Engineering Heterochiral Peptides" at the 21st American Peptide Society Symposium. The poster, co-authored by Drs. Kulp and Thomas Clark, described the design, synthesis, and characterization of a set of peptide nanotubes having a range of possible applications, including stochastic sensing, which offers the promise of ultrasensitive, real-time detection.
September 15, 2009
Dr. Joan Gardner of NRL's Marine Geosciences Division is recognized by the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) for key contributions and commitment to our Nation's Global War on Terrorism by providing the means for future development of economic resources needed for a stable and legal economy in Afghanistan and suppression of current Taliban operations.
September 24, 2009
Researchers at NRL's Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence awarded top honors in the video categories of "Best Overall" and "Most Informative" at the 21st International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence.
December 11, 2009
Dr. Gerald Cooperstein, head of the Pulsed Power Physics Branch in the Naval Research Laboratory's Plasma Physics Division, has been elected a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
December 14, 2009
Presented during the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 2009 International Electron Devices Meeting of the Electron Devices Society, Baruch Levush, Ph.D., received the Society's highest award for contributions to the development of widely applied simulation tools in the vacuum electronics industry.
December 14, 2009
In honor of Captain Robert Dexter Conrad (1905-1949), the prestigious award of the Department of the Navy recognizes outstanding technical and scientific achievement in research and development.
December 23, 2009
Dr. Donald U. Gubser, Superintendent of the Materials Science and Technology Division at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been named a Fellow of ASM International.
December 31, 2009
Dr. Warren Schultz, Associate Superintendent of the Chemistry Division at the Naval Research Laboratory, has received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
December 31, 2009
Dr. Todd Holland, a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory Stennis Space Center, is the recipient of the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award.