NEWS | May 20, 2013

NRL Technology Recognized for Innovative Operational Use

By Donna McKinney

The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command was named a 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate in the field of Safety and Security for its application of a U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)-developed technology.

The international award was presented for the command's use of the Pirate Attack Risk Surface (PARS), developed at NRL by Dr. James Hansen. Steven Spansel and David Lalejini transitioned PARS from NRL to Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) for operational use in 2011. While NRL is not credited directly, recognition of the technology is certainly a worthy accomplishment.

PARS improved upon the Naval Oceanography Office's Piracy Performance Surface (PPS), which used only a small amount of intelligence information (historical attacks) and treated the environment separately from the intelligence information. NRL scientists developed PARS to take into account additional sources of intelligence information, such as pirate base locations and activity, details about pirate skiffs, and observations of likely pirate vessels. Instead of treating the environmental data and these additional sources of intelligence separately, PARS explicitly and dynamically couples the two.

The Computerworld Honors program, founded in 1988, recognizes organizations and individuals who have used information technology to promote and advance public welfare, benefit society and business and change the world for the better.

You should be proud of your contribution to this product and its value to the Navy and the Nation, said John Lever, CNMOC's Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Architecture.

Computerworld judges evaluated the humanitarian benefits and measurable results of applying technology to meet a specific social or business need. CNMOC's case study was selected from more than 700 nominations to become one of 269 Laureates from 29 countries.