NRL’s Ocean Sciences Division Connects Research with Industry and Academia

An arial view of sandbar features near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Researchers at NRL’s Ocean Sciences Division study coastal features to determine how they evolve and impact coastal infrastructure. The division is a partner in the new Gulf Coast Tech Bridge announced Dec. 9, 2020. (NRL photo by Shawn Harrison)

US Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Ocean Science Division at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, has joined a broader Navy effort to connect scientific discovery with civilian industry and universities across the nation and beyond.

NRL joins the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, and the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, to form the new Gulf Coast Tech Bridge, which spans four states – Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

“Developing new partnerships with industry and academia will accelerate the transition of our science and technology for the benefit of the Navy, Marine Corps, and the public,” said research physicist Joe Calantoni of the Ocean Sciences Division. “We are excited about the long-term potential of this new venture.” 

The Tech Bridge is future-focused, growing coastal science and unmanned vehicle development, assured maritime access, operational meteorology and oceanography, hosting industry events and expanding strategic partnerships.

2 NRL MantasNRL’s Ocean Science Division research includes the Unmanned Surface Vehicles Mantas to conduct a detailed survey near Panama City Beach, Florida. Mantas’ power is recharged with solar panels making able to survey nearly continuously, and its multiple communication features enable remote control from almost anywhere on Earth. (NRL photo by Kara Koetje).

“We want to enable our scientists and engineers to transform their discoveries into commercial products,” Calantoni said. NRL’s Ocean Sciences Division conducts research in ocean physics, coastal remote sensing, coastal and seafloor sciences, and geospatial sciences. Researchers work to understand the complex interactions between the ocean and atmosphere through a combination of sensing and simulation.

Since the establishment last year of Tech Bridges under a Navy program called NavalX, the initiative has harnessed collaboration and creativity to address naval concerns and capabilities.

NavalX serves as the Department of Navy’s research, development and technology “super-connector” focused on delivering and facilitating rapid implementation of proven technology with high impact and broad applicability. Over the past year, NavalX has expanded the number of Tech Bridges to 15 across the United States and the United Kingdom.

By Kevin McAndrews, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Corporate Communications

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