NEWS | Oct. 12, 2012

Naval Research Laboratory Dedicates Marine Meteorology Center

By Dick Thompson

Naval Research Laboratory 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 Naval Research Laboratory Monterey Marine Meteorology Division's (MMD) new 15,000-square-foot Marine Meteorology Center research facility on Friday, October 12.

This new $10 million laboratory will consolidate the Meteorological Applications Development Branch; which includes the Satellite Meteorological Applications, On-Demand Systems, and Aerosol and Radiation Sections; and Division Administration — now in three different buildings — into a single location.

This environmentally engineered laboratory can provide state-of-the-art research facilities for more than 60 NRL MMD meteorologists, physicists, mathematicians, and other researchers investigating air/sea interaction effects on operations, data assimilation techniques, global/regional forecasting, tactical database development, meteorological tactical decision aids, and other atmospheric research in direct support of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. NRL MMD's research not only supports the warfighter, but also has been successfully transitioned to the civilian-forecasting sector providing weather and hurricane/tropical cyclone prediction tools.

This consolidation will foster increased collaboration between NRL MMD researchers and colleagues at the Naval Postgraduate School and NOAA's National Weather Service, and primary operational customer the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanographic Center (FNMOC) who use environmental prediction systems developed by NRL. High-speed fiber optic connectivity to the FNMOC Computer Center will permit efficient access to NRL's Dedicated High Performance Computer (HPC) Project Investment (DHPI) Cray Supercomputer and Navy Operational computer systems. This will allow research on a fast computer system and development on the same high-speed computers of the future operational systems.

A rooftop observation platform and aerosol/radiation laboratory will host a suite of state-of-the-art instruments to collect atmospheric aerosol optical and radiation properties for the Monterey Bay area. This will complement the weather and climatological meteorological observations made by the adjacent National Weather Service Forecast Office.

NRL's Marine Meteorology Center is a Green building with LEED Gold, and possibly Platinum Certification, which features rooftop photovoltaic panels, a rainwater recovery system, zoned environmental controls, low-water usage landscaping, and a bicycle storage facility to encourage further reduction of the carbon footprint.