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    NRL 100th Anniversary

    (July 2, 1923 - July 2, 2023)

From the Sea Floor to the Outer Reaches of Space 

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory celebrates its 100th anniversary on July 2, 2023. Since opening its doors 100 years ago, NRL has served as the cornerstone of science and technological invention and innovation for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

Throughout its rich history, NRL has literally tipped the balance of power in favor of our Armed Forces on numerous occasion. Examples include NRL's invention and development of the first U.S. radar prior to World War II; NRL's development and launching of the world's first intelligence satellite, GRAB I; and NRL's TIMATION concept in the 1960s that led to the laboratory's invention and development of the first satellite prototypes of the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) in the 1970s

During the years since World War II, the laboratory has conducted basic and applied research pertaining to the Navy’s environments of Earth, sea, sky, space, and the information domain. Investigations have ranged widely — from monitoring the sun’s behavior, to analyzing marine atmospheric conditions, to measuring parameters of the deep oceans. 

Today, NRL is the Navy’s lead laboratory in space systems research, as well as in fire research, tactical electronic warfare, microelectronic devices, and artificial intelligence.

NRL now focuses its research efforts on new Navy strategic interests in the 21st Century, a period marked by global terrorism, shifting power balances, and irregular and asymmetric warfare — while maintaining its programs of basic research that help the Navy anticipate and meet future needs.

The interdisciplinary and wide-ranging nature of NRL’s work keeps this “great research laboratory” at the forefront of discovery and innovation, solving naval challenges and benefiting the nation as a whole.


More About NRL's Centennial Celebration and Heritage 

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