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    Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research


About LASR

The Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research, or LASR, opened March 2012 and is a 50,000 square foot facility that supports basic and applied research in autonomous systems. The facility is host to a wide range of interdisciplinary basic and applied research in autonomous systems to include research in autonomous systems, intelligent autonomy, human-autonomous system interaction and collaboration, sensor systems, power and energy systems, networking and communications, and platforms.

The objective of  the Laboratory is to enable continued Navy and Department of Defense scientific leadership in autonomy and to provide opportunities in this complex, emerging area to identify advances in future defense technologies. The Laboratory capitalizes on the broad multidisciplinary character of NRL, bringing together scientists and engineers with disparate training and backgrounds to attack common goals in autonomous systems at the intersection of their respective fields.

Facilities *

LASR provides unique facilities and simulated environmental high bays including littoral, desert, tropical, and an instrumented reconfigurable high bay space to support integration of science and technology components into research prototype systems. The environments help to bridge the gap between bench science, where real-world conditions cannot be duplicated, and fielded experiments, which provide realism, but can be very expensive.

  • Prototyping High Bay - can be used for small autonomous air vehicles, autonomous ground vehicles. A motion capture system allows tracking and gather of high-accuracy ground truth data of up to 50 objects.
  • Littoral High Bay - features a 45 ft by 25 ft by 5.5 ft deep pool. This pool has a 16-channel wave generator, allowing for directional waves.
  • Desert High Bay - contains a 40 ft by 14 ft area of sand 2 ft deep, and contains 18 ft high rock walls that allow testing of robots and sensors in a desert-like environment. 
  • Tropical High Bay - is a 60 ft by 40 ft greenhouse that contains a re-creation of a southeast Asian rain forest, with temperatures that average 80 degrees and 80 percent humidity year round. Rain events of up to 6 inches per hour can be generated.
* For more detailed information about these and other LASR facilities you may download the LASR Facility Fact Sheet, or view online at: LASR Facilities.



NRL is a controlled-access facility. Per Department of the Navy and NRL policy, we do not offer public tours or visits to our facilities. Prior arrangements must be made with an NRL point of contact before visiting the Laboratory. Unless otherwise instructed by your NRL host, visitors must check in at the NRL Visitor Center located just outside the Laboratory's front gate. You will not be admitted without proper photo identification. Visits by foreign nationals require special processing.