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Naval Research Laboratory

Naval Research Laboratory
Naval Research Laboratory Logo.png
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory logo
Active 1923–present
Country United States
Branch Navy
Type Research and development
Size 2,538 civilian
86 military (2015)
Part of Office of Naval Research
Commanders
Commander CAPT Mark Bruington
Director of Research Dr. Edward R. Franchi

The United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is the corporate research laboratory for the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps and conducts a wide range of basic scientific research, applied research, technological development and prototyping. A few of the laboratory's current specialties include plasma physics, space physics, materials science, and tactical electronic warfare. NRL is one of the first US Government scientific R&D laboratories, having opened in 1923 at the instigation of Thomas Edison, and is currently under the Office of Naval Research. NRL's research expenditures are approximately $1.1 billion per year.

The Naval Research Laboratory conducts a wide variety of basic and scientific research and technological development of importance to the Navy. It has a long history of scientific breakthroughs and technological achievements dating back to its foundation in 1923. In many instances the laboratory's contributions to military technology are declassified decades after those technologies have become widely adopted. In 2011, NRL researchers published 1,398 unclassified scientific & technical articles, book chapters and conference proceedings. In 2008, the NRL was ranked #3 among all U.S. institutions holding nanotechnology-related patents, behind IBM and the University of California.

Current areas of research at NRL include:

Among a wide range of other specific topics and technologies NRL is currently researching: armor for munitions in transport, high-powered lasers, remote explosives detection, spintronics, the dynamics of explosive gas mixtures, electromagnetic Railgun technology, detection of hidden nuclear materials, graphene devices, high-power extremely high frequency (35–220 GHz) amplifiers, acoustic lensing, information-rich orbital coastline mapping, arctic weather forecasting, global aerosol analysis & prediction, high-density plasmas, Millisecond pulsars, broadband laser data links, virtual mission operation centers, battery technology, photonic crystals, carbon nanotube electronics, electronic sensors, mechanical nano-resonators, solid-state chemical sensors, organic opto-electronics, neural-electronic interfaces and self-assembling nanostructures.


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