We are the Navy's corporate laboratory.

In 1992, the Secretary of the Navy consolidated existing Navy Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Engineering facilities and Fleet Support facilities to form a corporate community. This community consists of a single corporate research laboratory (NRL) aligned with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and four warfare-oriented centers aligned by mission with the Systems Commands. The four centers are the Naval Air Warfare Center, the Naval Command Control and Ocean Surveillance Center, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

As part of the consolidation, the Naval Oceanographic and Atmospheric Research Laboratory, with locations in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, and Monterey, California, merged with NRL to become what is today, the Navy's corporate laboratory.


NRL operates as the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development directed toward maritime applications of new and improved materials, techniques, equipment, systems and ocean, atmospheric, and space sciences and related technologies. In fulfillment of this mission, NRL:

  • Initiates and conducts broad scientific research of a basic and long-range nature in scientific areas of interest to the Navy.
  • Conducts exploratory and advanced technological development deriving from or appropriate to the scientific program areas.
  • Within areas of technological expertise, develops prototype systems applicable to specific projects.
  • Assumes responsibility as the Navy's principal R&D activity in areas of unique professional competence upon designation from appropriate Navy or DOD authority.
  • Performs scientific research and development for other Navy activities and, where specifically qualified, for other agencies of the Department of Defense and, in defense-related efforts, for other Government agencies.
  • Serves as the lead Navy activity for space technology and space systems development and support.
  • Serves as the lead Navy activity for mapping, charting, and geodesy (MC&G) research and development for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

NRL, the Navy's single, integrated Corporate Laboratory, provides the Navy with a broad foundation of in-house expertise from scientific through advanced development activity. Specific leadership responsibilities are assigned in the following areas:

  • Primary in-house research in the physical, engineering, space, and environmental sciences.
  • Broadly based applied research and advanced technology development program in response to identified and anticipated Navy and Marine Corps needs.
  • Broad multidisciplinary support to the Naval Warfare Centers.
  • Space and space systems technology, development, and support.


Heading the Laboratory with joint responsibilities are the Commanding Officer, Captain Scott D. Moran, USN, and the Director of Research, Dr. Bruce Danly. Line authority passes from the Commanding Officer and the Director of Research to four Associate Directors of Research and the Director of the Naval Center for Space Technology.

NRL's parent organization, ONR, coordinates, executes, and promotes Navy and Marine Corps science and technology programs through universities, government laboratories, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. ONR provides technical advice to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy, and works with industry to improve technology manufacturing processes. ONR, located in Arlington, Virginia, maintains an ONR IFO Asia field office in Japan, and an ONR IFO Europe field office in England.

Link to the NRL Review publication

Link to the Institute of Nanoscience page