2011 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 3, 2011
On December 26, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) discovered its 2000th comet.
January 12, 2011
Atmospheric laser propagation is useful for applications where airborne lasers produce underwater acoustic signals without any required hardware in the water, a highly useful and efficient tool for undersea communications from aircraft.
January 14, 2011
NRL's Judith Lean is a co-author in new research that will help scientists better understand how the Sun's radiation interacts with the climate system.
January 17, 2011
Occurring from the pre- to post-midnight hours, equatorial spread F generates electron irregularities in the equatorial ionosphere that can degrade navigation systems and disrupt radio communication. Understanding and modeling this phenomenon is an important tool to space weather forecasting and predicting radio scintillation anomalies.
February 8, 2011
The two STEREO spacecraft are now 180 degrees apart, providing NRL scientists with a 360-degree view of the Sun.
February 10, 2011
In asymmetric warfare, early detection and identification of trace level chemical and biological agents and explosive compounds is critical to rapid reaction, response, and survivability.
February 15, 2011
Advanced military jet aircraft engines provide speed and maneuverability. However, with this greater power there is significant noise that can impact the public and affect the health and safety of flight line workers. To confront the noise problem, NRL has collaborated with the University of Cincinnati and GE Aircraft Engines to investigate mechanical chevrons and fluidics that reduce the noise.
March 11, 2011
Traveling nearly 4,000 miles nestled on board an Air Force Globemaster, Tactical Microsatellite,TacSat-4, arrives in Alaska for launch preparation.
April 11, 2011
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory Center for Bio-Molecular Science and Engineering have developed a method to rapidly measure thousands of cells and quickly determine the presence of viruses.
April 13, 2011
Scientists from NRL's Space Science Division recently celebrated more than four years of scientific operation of the Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer on the joint Japanese, UK, US Hinode satellite by hosting a science and technical meeting at George Mason University.
April 15, 2011
Limits imposed by using corrosive electrolytes often result in severe restrictions to battery geometry and the need for special corrosive-resistant battery containers. The use of reactive ionic liquids in non-aqueous cells replace the more hazardous highly alkaline electrolytes.
April 26, 2011
The fast ignition concept has been conceived as an alternative to other approaches for nuclear fusion energy. For ions of the appropriate range, the beam energy can be deposited directly in the fuel, with high efficiency.
April 29, 2011
Valley-based electronics, also known as valleytronics, is one step closer to reality. Two researchers at NRL have shown that the valley degree of freedom in graphene can be polarized through scattering off a line defect.
May 5, 2011
Researchers at the NRL Materials Science and Technology Division demonstrate that spin accumulation in silicon, known as semiconductor spintronics, is viable as a basis for practical devices which rely on electron spin rather than electron charge to provide devices with higher performance, lower power consumption and less heat dissipation.
May 10, 2011
The Herschel Space Observatory, home to the largest single mirror telescope in space, has detected massive amounts of molecular gas gusting at high velocities — in some cases in excess of 1000 kilometers per second — from the centers of a sample of merging galaxies.
May 24, 2011
Scientists in the Optical Sciences Division report a successful demonstration of a novel high-efficiency ceramic laser that is both, light-weight and compact for use in both military and civilian applications.
June 1, 2011
After the First World War, the submarine had undoubtedly proven its strategic role as a stealthy military boat. Further augmenting this covert profile inspired a uniquely visionary approach.
June 6, 2011
Satellite measurements often exhibit systematic biases when compared to forecast models. To reduce these biases, scientists at the NRL Marine Meteorology Division have assimilated GPS radio occultation data into the U.S. Navy Global Prediction System (NOGAPS).
June 7, 2011
When the space shuttle Endeavour launched for its final voyage to the International Space Station, it carried with it the 8th Materials on the International Space Station Experiment (MISSE-8), designed and built by NRL.
June 22, 2011
Data products from the Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager (SSULI) developed by the NRL Spacecraft Engineering Department and Space Science Division were officially transitioned for use in operational systems at the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA)
June 24, 2011
NRL's Digital Imaging Star Camera launched aboard NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-134) on May 18 to travel to the International Space Station. DISC is part of a suite of four experiments that will test concepts in low earth orbit for long duration.
June 27, 2011
The Zero Power Ballast Control (ZPBC), developed by the Naval Research Laboratory Bioenergy and Biofabrication Section in the Chemistry Division and the Physical Acoustics Branch of the Acoustic Division, is a technology that relies on microbial energy, enabling unsupervised underwater sensing and subsequent surfacing and reporting capabilities.
July 28, 2011
Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, Chief of Naval Research, addresses the audience at the Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year award ceremony, recognizing five NRL scientists for their outstanding achievements, professionalism and technical excellence.
August 1, 2011
The Office of Naval Research celebrated its 65th anniversary Aug. 1 with a ceremony at its headquarters. Dr. John Montgomery was the keynote speaker.
August 5, 2011
The Naval Research Laboratory and the Department of Defense Space Test Program (STP) finalized a Memorandum of Agreement, May 30, 2011, to integrate and launch science and technology experiments to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2013.
August 17, 2011
Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets generate vast amounts of data that can overwhelm human operators. This multi-user tracking capability enables the management of collected data and imagery without continuous monitoring by a ground or airborne operator.
August 22, 2011
Tactical Satellite IV (TacSat-4) is scheduled to launch, Tuesday, September 27 from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation's Kodiak Launch Complex and will allow forward deployed forces to communicate on-the-move from obscured regions.
August 30, 2011
To improve oceanographers' understanding of the structure and dynamics of small-scale to sub-mesoscale mixing processes over rough, bathymetric features on the continental shelf, NRL researchers are leading an extensive measurements program in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.
September 6, 2011
The Computational Multiphysics Systems Laboratory of the Center of Computational Materials Science in the Materials Science Division complete functional verification of robotic materials testing system NRL66.3.
September 12, 2011
NRL recently hosted the first annual Karles Invitational Conference, named in honor of Drs. Jerome and Isabella Karle. The professional contributions of Dr. Jerome Karle, 1985 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, and Dr. Isabella Karle, a 1993 Bower Award Laureate and 1995 recipient of the National Medal of Science, were critical in enabling the resolution of the molecular structure and function of complex macromolecules.
September 16, 2011
NRL scientists recently won the "Best Educational Video" award at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's annual conference held in San Francisco.
September 19, 2011
For the fifth year in a row, Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology magazine has named NRL a "Best Diversity Company."
September 20, 2011
Encapsulated into the nose cone of an Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur-IV+ launch vehicle, TacSat-4 is scheduled to launch from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation's Kodiak Launch Complex into a highly elliptical orbit, providing multiple combatant commanders around the globe an additional outlet for data transmission and communications on the move.
September 27, 2011
A less expensive, small-sat class system satellite with newer and more flexible technologies, TacSat-4's highly elliptical orbit augments existing geosynchronous satellites by providing near continuous communications to forward deployed forces in the high latitudes
October 3, 2011
The successful launch of NRL's 100th satellite, TacSat-4, marks a milestone in the Laboratory's 65-year history of space-based scientific investigation and military applications.
October 11, 2011
A multi-disciplinary team of scientists at NRL has discovered a way to tailor nanostructures that could result in low-cost, high efficiency solar cells.
October 12, 2011
Biological analysis systems that rely on labels can be costly, labor intensive, and depend upon prior knowledge of the target in question. Researchers at NRL have developed a system that can detect optical pressure differences between populations or classes of cells.
October 18, 2011
Dr. Jeffrey Book has been awarded the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
October 25, 2011
NRL scientists are refurbishing the Very-high Angular resolution ULtraviolet Telescope (VAULT) in preparation for two launches aboard NASA sounding rockets.
October 27, 2011
It's been nearly 50 years since the last U.S. Navy Lighter-Than-Air platform cruised the skies. Emblazoned with red, white and blue stripes on her rudders, acknowledging the Navy's Centennial of Flight and earliest days of Navy airship operations, the MZ-3A boasts a proud heritage and now serves as the only manned airship in the United States Navy's inventory.
October 31, 2011
The NRL Materials Testing Facility demonstrates technological advances in electromagnetic railgun S&T developments firing the 1000th shot. These advances allow researchers to migrate to the next testing phase to include increased muzzle energies and 'rep-rate' fire capability.
November 10, 2011
An NRL instrument designed to study the Earth's thermosphere is part of a future science mission that has been selected by NASA for evaluation for flight. The NRL-developed Michelson Interferometer for Global High-resolution Thermospheric Imaging (MIGHTI) satellite instrument is part of the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission.
November 18, 2011
While the prediction of hurricane tracks have steadily improved over the last few decades, improvements in the predictions of storm intensity and structure have proven much more difficult.
November 30, 2011
Using funds from the Naval Sea Systems Command under the Paint Center of Excellence Program, researchers at NRL have developed a novel process to inspect the condition of exterior shipboard coatings that is faster, cheaper, and much less manpower intensive than current methods.
December 5, 2011
Delivering sensor-emplacement within 15 feet of their intended landing locations, Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft, or CICADA, allows for the low-cost delivery of multiple precision-located sensors without placing the warfighter in harm's way.
December 8, 2011
Scientists at NRL and at the Laboratoire de Physique et d'Etude des Matériaux explore novel applications for nanoplatelets. These applications include breakthroughs in photonics, lasers and other optical applications.

Featured Stories
September 27, 2011
What is the Naval Research Laboratory’s future in space? Mr. Peter Wilhelm, Director of NRL's Naval Center for Space Technology, offers his view on the subject.
November 22, 2011
Dr.Virginia DeGiorgi, a mechanical engineer at NRL, was recently selected one of the "Top Ten 2012 Business Women" by the American Business Women's Association.
December 2, 2011
For outstanding contributions to the development of the Navy's Electromagnetic Railgun, the award is presented to the program's research scientists and support team personnel.
December 9, 2011
Possessing more than 35 years of research experience, Dr. Morris helped define the mechanisms and kinetics of chemical changes that occur in petroleum and alternate fuels.
December 19, 2011
Dr. John Emmert has been appointed to a newly convened National Research Council study to assess Air Force orbit standards.
December 21, 2011
Dr. Thomas Mehlhorn, Superintendent of NRL's Plasma Physics Division, has been named a 2011 Fellow of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics.