2012 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, 2012
NRL scientists are investigating the usability of a microbial fuel cell to power a small microrover. Small microrovers with this power system could one day support long-duration research studies on planetary surfaces without the need for large solar panels or complex power systems.
January 5, 2012
Five NRL scientists and staff members were recently afforded the unique opportunity to embark a Navy oceanographic survey ship for a cruise and return home the same day.
January 6, 2012
The Naval Research Laboratory published nearly 100 news stories in 2011, covering topics ranging from robotics to climate change to bio-molecular science and engineering. Here is a look back at NRL's 11 most viewed stories of 2011.
January 19, 2012
Karl Battams has a paper published in the 20 January 2012 issue of Science reporting the observation of a Kreutz-group comet within the solar atmosphere.
January 23, 2012
NRL's Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI), part of the Solar Orbiter mission, is headed for space.
January 27, 2012
An NRL scientist is part of a team that has recently discovered that vast clouds of hot gas are "sloshing" in Abell 2052, a galaxy cluster located about 480 million light years from Earth.
February 3, 2012
Scientists at NRL are part of an international team that has pooled their radio observations into a database, producing the highest precision map to date of the magnetic field within our own Milky Way galaxy.
February 23, 2012
Shortly after World War II, the Navy began exploring the science of superconductivity. Around that same time, physicist Dr. Warren Elliot Henry had been seeking to continue research in cryogenics and magnetism.
March 7, 2012
To help further improve future shipboard firefighting, scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have formed an interdisciplinary team to develop a humanoid robot that could fight fires on the next generation of combatants.
March 9, 2012
On mission in the Bering Sea, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter HEALY participates in tests of TacSat-4 communications.
March 13, 2012
CT-Analyst, NRL's rapid urban plume modeling and hazard assessment system, was handed over to the chief of the Hamburg Fire Brigade in a recent ceremony held at the City Hall in Hamburg, Germany.
March 14, 2012
Alan Schultz, Director of NRL's new Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research, talks about the cutting-edge capabilities of the new facility.
March 16, 2012
NRL has opened its Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research. This new facility will integrate science and technology components into research prototype systems and will become the nerve center for basic research that supports autonomous systems research for the Navy and Marine Corps.
March 20, 2012
Engineers from the Spacecraft Engineering Department successfully demonstrate the Rapid Autonomous Fuel Transfer (RAFT) system, designed for the autonomous transfer of fuel to unmanned surface vehicles at sea.
March 26, 2012
Recent dramatic changes in the characteristics of the Arctic sea ice cover have sparked the demand for improved monitoring and forecasting. NRL and NASA are collecting data to aid in the validation and calibration for the development of predictive sea ice models.
March 27, 2012
Scientists at NRL have identified a new mode of coupling between the stratosphere - which can drive variations at the summer mesopause - and the ionosphere, thereby establishing a new means where changes in the stratosphere can impact space weather.
April 6, 2012
NRL-Stennis researchers team with Florida Atlantic University researchers to explore ocean optics.
April 9, 2012
NRL scientists have discovered a previously unreported solar feature - Coronal Cells - where high-temperature coronal emission is confined to discrete plumes that extend upward from unipolar concentrations of magnetic flux. They think future studies of these regions will lead to an improved understanding of magnetic field line reconnection at the boundaries of coronal holes, and how these changes are transmitted outward into the solar wind.
May 3, 2012
The need to supply sufficient electricity to Marines on the battlefield is the overarching objective of the USMC Expeditionary Energy Strategy. Researchers at NRL's Electronics Science and Technology Division are developing flexible, lightweight and efficient photovoltaic cells that will reduce energy supply needs and increase the effectiveness of forward deployed forces.
May 17, 2012
NRL scientists have obtained a first-ever measured altitude profile of a dim extreme-ultraviolet terrestrial airglow emission. This provides vital information needed to test and improve the accuracy of advanced techniques for remote sensing of the daytime ionosphere.
June 7, 2012
Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Electronics Science and Technology Division, develop solar cells capable of producing sufficient power to operate electronic sensor systems underwater at depths of 9 meters.
June 12, 2012
Scientists in the Chemistry Division at NRL have developed a novel two-component siloxane-based non-skid coating for use on flight-decks and walk-ways of U.S. Navy ships.
June 20, 2012
Hundreds of near misses occur each year between orbital debris and operational satellites, physicist and engineers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Plasma Physics Division and Naval Center for Space Technology are researching a technique to 'sweep' Low Earth Orbit debris from space.
June 21, 2012
To better understand the dynamics and structure of cloud systems, NRL scientists are leading a multi-agency study, which reveals that a very high-resolution Doppler radar has the unique capacity to detect individual cloud hydrometeors in the free atmosphere.
June 22, 2012
NRL announces Cmdr. Stacey K. Wright as the new Commanding Officer of Scientific Development Squadron ONE (VXS-1), the elite military squadron responsible for supporting a wide range of scientific research projects that contribute to naval research.
June 29, 2012
The Naval Research Laboratory is celebrating a birthday - 89 years young.
July 16, 2012
Dr. Mark Linton recently convened a workshop exploring coronal mass ejections. Dr. Linton is currently leading a NASA Living with a Star Targeted Research & Technology team that is tasked by NASA to study solar coronal mass ejection initiation.
July 18, 2012
To emulate the classical mechanics of physics found in space on full-scale replica spacecraft on Earth, researchers at the Spacecraft Engineering Department's space robotics research facility have added a 'one-of-a-kind' precision honed Gravity Offset Table.
July 20, 2012
Through the combined expertise of NRL and National Radio Astronomy Observatory scientists and engineers, a new, modern, wide-band receiver system has been developed and is being deployed onboard the JVLA.
July 25, 2012
A team of ten NRL scientists from the Oceanography Division, along with researchers from the Australian Institute for Marine Science, the University of Western Australia and the University of Tasmania, have worked on an internal wave project off the northwestern coast of Australia, near one of the most active locations for internal tides in the world.
July 27, 2012
Scientists at NRL have demonstrated, for the first time, the use of graphene as a tunnel barrier - an electrically insulating barrier between two conducting materials through which electrons tunnel quantum mechanically.
August 3, 2012
NRL researcher builds LEGO model of newly opened Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research.
August 8, 2012
NRL scientists, Drs. Bernard Phlips and Chul Gwon, are recognized for their active role in simulation support for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
August 15, 2012
Two U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen recently completed summer internships working at the Marine Geosciences Division, located at Naval Research Laboratory - Stennis Space Center.
August 28, 2012
NRL scientist Dr. Michael Stevens is leading an international consortium of scientists in tracking the rapid transport of the exhaust plume from the final launch of the space shuttle in July 2011.
August 29, 2012
Sponsored by Navy Warfare Development Command, the three-week Trident Warrior Experiment included NRL TacSat-4 SATCOM testing and training aboard the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship, USS Essex (LHD 2), the U.S. Navy submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) and at the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity at Camp Pendleton.
August 30, 2012
Captain Anthony Ferrari, USN, assumed the duties NRL's thirty-seventh Commanding Officer during a formal Change of Command ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, August 30, 2012.
September 10, 2012
Observing hurricanes from a unique vantage point, the Global Hawk is an ideal platform to probe storms from the surface to the outflow layer providing an unprecedented opportunity to unravel some of the mysteries underlying hurricane intensity change.
September 18, 2012
Investigating the effects of prolonged exposure to radiation that exists in the charged particle belts that encircle Earth, NRL researchers demonstrate the ability of single walled carbon nanotube transistors to survive harsh radiation environments.
September 24, 2012
Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing a process to extract carbon dioxide and produce hydrogen gas from seawater, subsequently converting the gases into jet fuel by a gas-to-liquids process.
October 1, 2012
NRL has been named a "Best Diversity Company 2012" by Diversity/Careers Magazine.
October 12, 2012
NRL senior officials were joined by The Honorable Sam Farr, U.S. Representative for California's 17th Congressional District, for the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Marine Meteorology DIvision's new 15,000-square-foot Marine Meteorology Center research facility on Friday, October 12.
October 19, 2012
NRL scientists have demonstrated that graphene can serve as a low resistance spin-polarized tunnel barrier contact, which successfully enables spin injection/detection in silicon from a ferromagnetic metal. This discovery clears an important hurdle to the development of future semiconductor spintronic devices.
October 30, 2012
The U.S. Navy has one of the most active and vital operational oceanography programs in the world. With a greater understanding of wave mechanics, scientists can improve wave forecasts in oceans around the globe.
November 2, 2012
At NRL, scientists are studying the complex physics of Rotating Detonation Engines which offer the potential for high dollar savings by way of reduced fuel consumption in gas-turbine engines.
November 11, 2012
A team of scientists from NRL, Old Dominion University, and the University of Waterloo reports the first direct evidence that emissions of carbon dioxide caused by human activity are propagating upward to the highest regions of the atmosphere.
November 29, 2012
Scientists have played a key role in the development and now transition of the Arctic Cap Nowcast Forecast System (ACNFS) from research to operational Navy use.
December 31, 2012
NRL published more than 100 news stories in 2012, covering scientific and technical achievements in solar power, ocean optics, space, robotics, and more.

Featured Stories
January 9, 2012
Rear Adm. Jonathan White, commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, visited NRL at Stennis Space Center, Miss., on Monday, Dec. 5.
January 11, 2012
Dr. Weilin Hou and Mr. Bob Arnone, oceanographers NRL-Stennis Space Center, will chair the International Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Defense Security and Sensing's fourth Ocean Sensing and Monitoring conference in April 2012.
January 18, 2012
Dr. Robert Evans receives Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his leadership in developing effective and novel electronic warfare technologies.
January 19, 2012
Research chemist Dr. Bradley Ringeisen has received the Commanding Officer's Award for Achievement in the Field of Equal Employment Opportunity for Supervisory Employees.
January 23, 2012
Dr. Brian Bennett has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Bennett is recognized "for pioneering contributions to the epitaxial growth, characterization, and design of narrow band-gap semiconductor heterostructures."
February 13, 2012
NRL hosted a visit of 40 students from Hart Middle School, located in Washington, D.C. The students attended a program sponsored by NRL'S Diversity Committee in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
February 21, 2012
It takes a team to get to space, and John Schaub knows that. As superintendent of the Spacecraft Engineering Department in the Naval Research Laboratory's Naval Center for Space Technology, Schaub leads a highly skilled team of engineers, scientists, and technicians in the execution of cutting-edge spacecraft research and development programs relevant to the needs of the Department of the Navy and Department of Defense.
February 22, 2012
Dr. Philip Sprangle, Senior Scientist for Directed Energy Physics at the Naval Research Laboratory, receives the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
March 2, 2012
The Naval Research Laboratory held a commissioning ceremony on February 1, 2012 for Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate Michael W. Seal.
March 16, 2012
Science and Technology advisor to President Barack Obama provides opening remarks at ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicating the Navy's premier Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research.
March 21, 2012
Dr. Brett Dunlap, a research physicist in the Navy Technical Center for Safety and Survivability at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been elected to fellowship in the American Physical Society.
March 29, 2012
NRL's Dr. Frances Ligler has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering's College of Fellows. She's honored 'for engineering automated biosensors for fast, on-site detection of pathogens, toxins, pollutants, drugs of abuse, and explosives.'
March 30, 2012
Receiving two awards in the science of chemistry, Dr. Debra Rolison is recognized by the Society of Electroanalytical Chemists for outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and by the Chemical Society of Washington for expanding the scientific frontier of nanostructured materials.
April 16, 2012
NRL-Stennis oceanographer Dr. Clark Rowley recently spent 80 hours over 10 weeks playing with LEGO blocks, teaching junior high students how to build robots.
April 17, 2012
NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with space shuttle Discovery mounted atop flew above various parts of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the Naval Research Laboratory, on Tuesday, April 17.
April 25, 2012
In a survey recently conducted by The Scientist magazine, the Naval Research Laboratory ranked 17th among U.S. institutions as the best places to work for postdocs.
April 30, 2012
Midshipman First Class Abigail M. Ellis presented work from her summer internship with NRL's Seafloor Sciences Branch at the American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 20-24.
May 7, 2012
Acting Superintendent of the Electronics Science and Technology Division, Dr. Baruch Levush, is the 2011 recipient of the IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award for contributions and leadership in the modeling and design of vacuum electronic devices.
May 14, 2012
NRL's Megan Sassin has been honored by the American Chemical Society with a Rising Star Award, that recognizes exceptional mid-career women chemists.
May 21, 2012
NRL's Dr. C. Michael Roland has been chosen to receive the 2012 Charles Goodyear Medal, the most prestigious award given by the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society.
May 25, 2012
The Naval Research Laboratory hosted its annual Take Our Children to Work Day event with 140 children registered to attend the program.
June 1, 2012
Dr. Alan Schaum, theoretical physicist, Optical Sciences Division, is elected 2012 Fellow by the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
June 4, 2012
NRL's Dr. Paul Lane, a research physicist in the Optical Physics Branch, Optical Sciences Division, has been elected as a Fellow of the SPIE.
June 11, 2012
Dr Melvin R Kruer, the Senior Scientist for Electro-Optic Sensors at NRL, has been honored with the 2012 Levinstein Award for his contributions in the field of infrared device technology.
June 13, 2012
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Materials Research Engineer, Keith Lucas, receives the 2012 Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for comprehensive research in marine corrosion mitigation and effective cost-saving transfer to the U.S. Navy.
June 20, 2012
Head of NRL's Nanoscale Materials Section, Dr. Rhonda Stroud receives the honor of being forever acknowledged by novice and professional astronomers alike as '8468 Rhondastroud.'
June 27, 2012
Named in honor of the late Dr. Arthur E. Bisson, nuclear physicist and former director of science and technology for the Office of Naval Research, the award is in recognition of individuals who have successfully translated research findings into substantive fleet programs that meet critical Navy requirements.
June 28, 2012
Ms. Cathy Wyatt, who works in the Electronics Science and Technology Division at NRL, has received the Commanding Officer's Award for Excellence in Secretarial Support.
June 29, 2012
LCDR Kurt Parsons was honored with the Meritorious Service Medal at the time of his retirement from the Navy on April 27, 2012.
July 2, 2012
NRL researchers are recognized with the Bowen Invention Award for hydrophone transduction mechanism.
July 3, 2012
NRL retiree Dr. Karl Gerlach has been honored with the 2012 Dennis Picard Medal for his contributions to radar signal processing, clutter modeling, and electronic protection.
July 5, 2012
Named in honor of Dr. Fred E. Saalfeld, executive director and technical director for ONR from 1993 to 2002, the award recognizes naval research scientists for extraordinary lifetime achievements in science.
July 11, 2012
NRL's Dr. E. Joseph Friebele has been elevated to the rank of Fellow Member in OSA - The Optical Society of America. He is recognized for significant contributions to the science of radiation effects in glass and optical fibers and their underlying defect centers.
July 13, 2012
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Aeronautical Engineer, Dr. Francis Klemm, is recognized for outstanding contributions made to U.S. Navy war-fighting capabilities in electronic warfare.
July 19, 2012
Commander Steingold's distinguished leadership and sustained superior performance has been critical to the continued success of the United State's Navy's sole airborne science & technology research squadron. His actions directly enabled the execution of over 1,200 Class "A" mishap free flight hours in support of Office of Naval Research and Naval Research Laboratory missions.
July 23, 2012
Mr. Keith Lucas, a materials research engineer at NRL, is honored with this year's Captain Robert Dexter Conrad Award for his research in marine corrosion control and prevention.
August 1, 2012
Established in 1948, the Arthur S. Flemming Award honors outstanding federal workers in the categories of applied science, engineering and mathematics, research, and managerial or legal achievement.
August 6, 2012
NRL's Dr. John McCormack has been selected to receive the 2011 Editors' Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Geophysical Research Letters.
August 10, 2012
Staff members working in NRL's Ruth H. Hooker Research Library have been honored with the NRL Award for Excellence in Mission Support.
August 13, 2012
In an award ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Science and Technology Advisor John Holdren presented the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers to the 96 outstanding researchers before they met with President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House.
August 17, 2012
Jill Dahlburg, Superintendent of NRL's Space Science Division, has been appointed as the inaugural Chair Elect and Chair of the Program Committee for the new American Physical Society Mid-Atlantic Section
August 21, 2012
Kathy Chapman, assistant counsel for patents, at NRL-SSC, is working to connect NRL technologies with new businesses in the Gulf Coast region.
August 24, 2012
At NRL's field site located at Stennis Space Center, 10 young interns learned a lot about science and engineering by taking part in the Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program this summer.
August 29, 2012
NRL-SSC hosted science teachers for the 2012 Materials Camp teacher training. The five-day workshop provided novel hands-on demos and experiments for the teachers.
August 31, 2012
NRL supported the 8th annual CanSat competition where 26 college rocket teams came together from all over the world to compete.
September 11, 2012
Dr. Berend Jonker, Senior Scientist for Magnetoelectronics at NRL, has received the 2011 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional.
September 13, 2012
Dr. Gurpartap Sandhoo has been honored with the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award recognizing his service as the Chief of Naval Research's Science and Technology Liaison to the Director, Naval Warfare Integration Group.
September 20, 2012
Dr. Paul Bernhardt, a supervisory research physicist at NRL, has been honored with the 2011 E.O. Hulburt Award, the highest award the NRL Commanding Officer can confer on an NRL civilian employee.
October 16, 2012
The Department of the Navy honored Ms. Judy Hope with the Purchase Card Program Level V Agency Program Coordinator of the Year 2012 Silver Award for her outstanding work as a supply system analyst in the Supply and Information Services Division at NRL.
October 26, 2012
Four NRL researchers received PEARL Awards for their intellectual property discoveries and achievements.
November 6, 2012
Dr. James Hansen, physical scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Meteorological Applications Development Branch, the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Dr. Hansen receives the award for meritorious performance of service as research and development lead in the Piracy Attack Risk Surface (PARS) project.
November 13, 2012
The NRL-Edison Chapter Sigma Xi Pure Science Award is in recognition of innovative concepts and designs that have significantly advanced state-of-the-art semiconductor lasers, photodetectors and other infrared devices.
November 13, 2012
Dr. Marc Christophersen, a physical scientist in the Space Science Division, is the recipient of the 2012 Young Investigator Award from the NRL-Edison Chapter of the Sigma Xi. He is recognized for "ground-breaking designs in high-energy radiation detector systems utilizing nanofabrication techniques."
November 13, 2012
Dr. Robert E. Morris, a researcher in the Chemistry Division, is the 2012 recipient of the NRL-Edison Chapter Sigma Xi Applied Science Award. He is cited for his work in coupling novel chemometric algorithms with state-of-the-art analytic methods to provide advanced diagnostic and prognostics of Navy mobility fuels.
November 27, 2012
David Lalejini, a physical scientist, has received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his performance as research and development lead in transitioning a Piracy Attack Risk Surface product.
December 5, 2012
Presented at Fusion Power Associates annual meeting and symposium the award is given to individuals who have shown outstanding leadership qualities in accelerating the development of fusion.
December 6, 2012
Keith Whitener, a researcher in the Chemistry Division, had a successful run on the television quiz show, Jeopardy!, winning seven games and qualifying for the Tournament of Champions.
December 28, 2012
Dr. Katharine Blodgett Gebbie. director of NIST’s Physical Measurement Laboratory, gave an illuminating presentation about physicist Dr. Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898–1979), a pioneer in molecular film technology, inventor of nonreflective glass, and above all, Dr. Gebbie’s aunt and inspiration.