NRL Technology Recognized for Innovative Operational Use

05/20/2013 07:00 EDT - 41-13r
Contact: Donna McKinney, (202) 767-2541

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.

NRL's Steven Spansel is pictured with an environmental component of the Pirate Attack Risk Surface (PARS). NRL's Steven Spansel is pictured here with an environmental component of the Pirate Attack Risk Surface (PARS).
(Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory/Shannon Mensi)

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.

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About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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