NRL, ONR Team Researches Fleet of the Future

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Twelve Navy researchers wrappped up a four-day underway period July 9 aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike), during which they conducted research for future improvement on U.S. Navy ships.

The team consisted of nine researchers from the Naval Research Lab (NRL) and three from the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The team included electrical engineers, electronics engineers, a chemical engineer, meteorologist, research physicist and research chemist.

One ship has been chosen every summer for the past three years for research opportunities and the current one-week underway period on board Ike offered a perfect opportunity for the team to conduct their research.

“We are here to meet the challenges of ship improvement,” said ONR escort, Cmdr. David A. Riddle. “One challenge the team is facing is converting multiple radars into one.”

If one radar takes the place of many, the maintenance and operating expenses will decrease while effectiveness will increase. Cost effectiveness plays a major role in the improvements being made for the future.

“Another project currently in the works is creating a less expensive tactical satellite for the battle group,” said NRL Electronics Engineer Supervisor, Mark Johnson.

A tour of the entire ship and observation of drills, such as a mass casualty drill and general quarters (GQ), is the type of firsthand experience the researchers needed to supplement the theory and design behind each and every vessel.

“If a change can be made to a ship in order to improve the outcome of a mass casualty drill or GQ, it will definitely be implemented,” said ONR escort, Lt. Cmdr. Felix A. Martinez.

The mission of ONR is to foster, plan, facilitate and transition scientific research in recognition of its paramount importance to enable future naval power and the preservation of national security.

Ike is currently underway conducting Carrier qualifications.

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Adrian J. Escobar, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

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