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U.S. Naval Research Laboratory


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NRL Stennis postdocs, students and summer interns visited the The National WWII Museum in New Orleans to participate in a STEM workshop yesterday.

The workshop focused on the failures and successes of science and engineering used during WWII, highlighting historic, real-world examples of applied research within the Department of Defense.

Interns participated in hands-on, scenario-driven activities and were challenged to solve STEM-centric problems related to the war. Section Head of Geology and Geophysics at NRL Stennis, Dr. Warren Wood, engaged interns and expounded on the science behind the museum’s exhibits and workshop demonstrations.

The coordination of the workshop is in alignment with the U.S. Navy’s goal to improve capability through information sharing and connecting professional networks.

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

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Welcome to Labstracts, the NRL Weekly Email Digest!

This week is awards, awards, awards! Tune in to see what our scientists have been up to lately.

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Yesterday afternoon, Dr. Matthew Yates, a research biologist with NRL's Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, gave an educational lecture on microbial fuel cells to a group of school teachers participating in this summer's Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers, or SSEATs.

Dr. Yates spoke to the group of teachers about NRL's microbial fuel cell research and the ways they can teach their students how fuel cells work through simple experiments.

Through the SSEATs program, a group of 17 teachers from across the country are given a chance to partake in professional development behind-the-scenes at the Smithsonian museums and other research facilities throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area. The program bridges the gap between classroom education and actual science and research at work.

Smithsonian Science Education Center

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Happy Independence Day from our NRL family to yours! NRL is proud to support our U.S. Navy and servicemembers around the world who continue to fight for our nation's independence.

The bald eagle is a symbol of freedom in the United States, so enjoy this video of the majestic bird from one of our own NRL-ers, Bobby Gignilliat, who filmed it at NRL's Chesapeake Bay Detachment site near Chesapeake Beach, Maryland.

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Phil Jenkins, head of the Photovoltaics Section in NRL’s Electronics Science & Technology Division, talked solar cell technology at RIMPAC’s Innovation Fair this weekend.

Jenkins spoke with attendees about NRL’s work in underwater solar cell research, and discussed NRL’s development of lighter, more efficient solar cells that can enable UAVs to fly for longer periods of time.

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During the second day of RIMPAC’s Innovation Fair, Dr. Brandy White, a chemist with NRL’s Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering spoke with attendees about her research in self-decontaminating fabric and biodiesel refinement.

Dr. White and her team developed and patented a self-decontaminating fabric that can be worn by the warfighter to protect against chemical threats.

Her and her team also developed an environmentally friendly method to separate glycerol from biodiesel so that it can be used as a fuel source for the U.S. Navy.

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This weekend, NRL is at RIMPAC displaying technologies at the exercise’s first Innovation Fair from June 28 to July 1 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

As experimentation and innovation have become more central to the mission of RIMPAC, NRL is excited to share with exercise participants how our researchers use innovative methods to ensure a greater lethal capacity for the warfighter each day.

Scientists and researchers from NRL will be discussing their research efforts in solar cell technology, marine meteorology and materials science throughout the fair.

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Welcome to Labstracts, the NRL Weekly Email Digest!

This week, we talk intern tours and building platforms in space!

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The U.S. Navy and other military and law enforcement rely heavily on detection dogs to save lives. NRL teamed up with the National Association of Canine Scent Work, the DC Woodrow Wilson High School robotics club Team 2914: Tiger Pride, and Florida International University to help improve the way working detection dogs are trained. Check out our video about the research trial held at the high school June 24.

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A current push in the scientific community involves reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the air and sea by actively capturing it from the atmosphere. Collaboration between NRL and UC Santa Cruz is exploring technology that can potentially convert the carbon dioxide into a fuel source.

Leading technology in this field comes from NRL's Dr. Heather Willauer with the creation of an electrolytic-cation exchange module designed to produce hydrogen and remove carbon dioxide from seawater. While Willauer's technology is currently intended to combine the hydrogen and carbon dioxide to create hydrocarbon fuel cells for the U.S. Navy, the process could be modified to transform and store the carbon dioxide as ocean bicarbonate, generating energy through negative emissions.

Pictured, Willauer gave a simple carbon capture demonstration using balloons at the The Smithsonian's Lemelson Center's Military Invention Day in May.

Rain couldn’t stop the shine of the Astronomy Festival on the National Mall this past weekend!

On Saturday, after moving to DC’s School Without Walls because of weather, NRL researchers and interns supported the ninth annual Astronomy Festival on the Mall. Astronomy enthusiasts, college and grade-school students and general public interest stopped by to learn how researchers at NRL study the stars.

NRL interns from Radar Division discussed astronomy-related research performed at our lab, particularly the exploration into Coronal Mass Ejections.

CMEs occur when the Sun’s corona releases large amounts of plasma into the magnetic field, which significantly effect events in Earth’s atmosphere.

In an effort to groom a more capable science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce, NRL interns are involved in near-peer STEM outreach engagements, like the Astronomy Festival on the National Mall, as a chance to develop essential skills communicating complex research to various audiences.

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Inspiring a new generation of researchers to pursue graduate and doctoral school, the Historically Black College and University/ Minority Institution internship program at NRL organized tours of the George Washington University graduate school of Engineering & Applied Science’s research facilities.

This particular effort was designed to introduce the program’s undergraduate interns to highly-competitive academic environments that will make them more capable in the STEM workforce at places like NRL.

The tour of GW’s S&E research facilities included its state-of-the-art engineering high bay and chemistry labs. NRL’s HBCU/MI interns were greeted by GW Engineering faculty and staff, while tours were led by current graduate students who engaged with interns about their scholastic experiences.

The Department of the Navy’s HBCU/MI internship program at NRL is always looking for talented, competitive candidates for each year’s cohort. For more details, check out this link for information.

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A group of students, post-docs and mentors from NRL's Stennis Space Center climbed NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center A-2 Test Stand earlier this week to learn more about its capabilities.

The A-2 test stand was built in the 1960s and continues to be used to test engines associated with the space launch system.

NRL Stennis interns have the opportunity to go on several field trips throughout the summer in an effort to expose them to the variety of STEM careers available at Stennis.

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Welcome to Labstracts, the NRL Weekly Email Digest!

This week, we talk intern field trips, award winning canine odor detection units, and the NRL Alumni Association!

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Scientists and engineers from NRL's Radar and Biomolecular Sciences Divsions toured the USS Mitscher (DDG-57) yesterday afternoon.

Organized by NRL military deputies, the tour gave researchers an opportunity to engage with Sailors and Marines in the fleet, and to see how their work supports the U.S. Navy.

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Today, NRL’s 2018 cohort for the U.S. Navy's Historically Black College and Universities/Minority Institutions internship program sat for a resume writing and interview workshop.

The workshop is a feature of the program’s professional development efforts, and was led by Arlene Hill representing the Chicago School of Psychology.

Over a 10-week period, working 40-hours per week alongside research scientists and engineers, interns actively perform hands-on research with state-of-the-art science and technology at NRL.

Program Director of the HBCU/MI internship program and research scientist at NRL, Paul Charles explained the program’s ability to identify and groom a more capable and diverse workforce.

“Interns from this program are identified through an intense selection process before gaining admission,” said Charles. “Our goal at NRL is to facilitate a functional pipeline through the program that leads to graduate school, acquiring a PhD - then hopefully we can employ and retain that talent.”

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Welcome to Labstracts, the NRL Weekly Email Digest!

This week, we talk photovoltaics, CanSat, and the Optical Society!

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The Solar-Soaring UAV was a hit at the World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion: Hosted by the IEEE PVSC this week as the NRL team of photovoltaic experts gave presentations and attended the world's leading conference on solar technology.

Since NRL launched the world's first satellite, Vanguard, 60 years ago with solar cells, it has continued to lead the U.S. Navy's effort to advance solar technology.

For more on the endurance enhancing technology, click the link below.

This year's CanSat competition was a success!

Check out the video below for a behind the scenes look of this past weekend.

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And the winner is...

CanSat 2018 has officially ended. Spirits ran high last night as the winning teams were announced at last night’s award ceremony!

In 1st place , Team Manchester CanSat Project from the University of Manchester, England.

In 2nd place, Team Grizu 263 from Bulent Ecevit University, Turkey.

In 3rd place, Team APIS AR-GE from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey.

In 4th place, Team CERVOS from Hacettepe University, Turkey.

And finally, in 5th place Team BUTTER from Arizona State University, United States.

Thank you to all the teams who participated and the sponsors who made CanSat 2018 a success!

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As CanSat approaches its end, teams are debriefing judges from research laboratories who support the competition including NRL, on the results from yesterday’s launches.

Judges will score teams based on mission criteria and specifications. The winning team will be announced at tonight’s award ceremony.

Stay tuned as we cover what teams placed best throughout this weekend’s event!

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The CanSat competition is ready for take off as NRL’s Ivan Galysh conducts inspections on launch control systems and teams make last minute adjustments to their CanSat payloads.

Through the competition, NRL is helping to groom a more capable STEM workforce, sharing technical information and connecting academic networks as more than 30 national and international university teams gear up to showcase their engineering and aeronautical talent.

Visit NRL’s Twitter for more on today’s launches!

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This afternoon the American Astronautical Society kicked off their annual student design-build-launch,mission-based CanSat competition in Stephenville, Texas.

The competition is sponsored by NRL, NASA Goddard, Tarleton State University, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Praxis Inc., and Kratos Defense, and is designed to give students the opportunity to be involved with the end-to-end life cycle of a complex engineering project in order to build a more agile future STEM workforce.

CanSat is now in full-swing as teams from colleges and universities undergo flight readiness review before check-in and receive USBs that will capture data as a sensor for each team’s rocket launch.

Research engineer, Ivan Galysh from NRL’s Naval Center for Space Technology stands-by as teams attempt to meet misson-based specifications of the CanSat competition’s drop test, a quality assurance procedure to ensure stability during the launch phase.

We wish all the teams good luck on their launches tomorrow! 🚀

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Welcome to Labstracts, the NRL Weekly Email Digest!

This week, we talk Battle of Midway, MIGHTI, and the new vice president of research at the University of Texas at Dallas!

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Last week, U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Vehicle Technology Directorate visited NRL to tour our facilities and explore ways in which we can collaborate to ensure that our U.S. Navy and U.S. Army are the most technologically advanced armed forces in the world.

“There are numerous challenging DoD specific research areas that are mutually beneficial between our two organizations, where we share a similar goal to discover and transition technology to the warfighter to ensure multi-domain dominance," said Dr. Jaret C. Riddick, director of ARL's Vehicle Technology Directorate.