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July 2011 Issue

Independence Completes First Launch, Recovery of Remote Multimission Vehicle From an LCS
The USS Independence (LCS 2) has had the first successful launch and recovery of the remote multimission vehicle (RMMV) from a littoral combat ship (LCS), Navy officials announced in June.

The testing spanned two days and was conducted in Panama City, Florida, by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City. The deployment and recovery demonstration of the unmanned, remotely-operated RMMV was conducted from Independence while underway.

"The vehicle went through five cycles of deployment, towed operations and recovery successfully," said Capt. Bill Guarini, coordinator for test and evaluation of the system.

The RMMV and the AN/AQS 24A towed-body, sonar sensor make up the remote minehunting system, which is part of the larger mine countermeasures mission package and is scheduled for further testing this summer.

Mabus Shares Details on Navy's Energy Initiatives
The Navy is leading the nation in the quest for alternative energy sources, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at an industry conference in early May.

As examples, he highlighted two forward operating bases in Afghanistan that are run entirely on solar power. Other examples of advances in energy technology, Mabus said, include the hybrid propulsion system on the USS Makin Island (LHD-8), which uses less fuel, and a demonstration project by the Navy to use a 50-50 blend of biofuels and a mustard seed alternative in a supersonic F-18 Hornet flight.

The Navy now includes energy in total ownership costs of equipment, Mabus said. The Navy has three rules for alternative fuels: they must be "homegrown," they can't impede food production, and they must be usable with existing vehicles.

DOD Awards Three Grants to Scripps
The Department of Defense (DOD) announced in June three Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grants were given to Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers whose projects are designed to help Navy SEALs mount amphibious assaults, improve ocean weather and climate prediction, and help navigators understand Pacific currents.

One of the grants will support research involving fluorometers developed by Scripps oceanographer Robert Guza. Information from these fluorometers can guide nearshore movements of military personnel in areas where polluted waters present hazards to troops, Scripps said.

Another grant will support instrument packages for ship-deployed and recovered unmanned aerial vehicles developed by researcher Ken Melville. The vehicles, Scripps said, will enhance the reach and effectiveness of ship-based air-sea interaction research and lead to improved models and predictions of ocean weather and climate.

The final grant will support a new generation of robotic floats to be acquired by Scripps oceanographer Dan Rudnick, which will aid efforts to predict the dynamics of the key ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean. The DURIP award will fund acquisition of up to 30 SOLO-II floats. The new floats, also used in the international Argo network that monitors all ocean basins, are now equipped with Iridium satellite equipment that enables two-way communication.

DOD Funds 27 Basic Research Projects
Via the research offices of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, the Department of Defense (DOD) said in April that it had approved 27 multidisciplinary university research projects totaling $191 million. Timothy Duda of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will lead one of the projects, an ONR-selected study on integrated modeling and analysis of physical oceanographic and acoustic processes.

Mabus Outlines Plan to Improve STEM Education
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced in June his plan to strengthen the service's future workforce at the Naval Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Forum in Alexandria, Virginia.

Mabus used his keynote speech to introduce an education road map that aims to increase participation by students and teachers in under-represented communities and also address gaps in the current naval STEM portfolio. The move will increase the Navy's funding to STEM education initiatives to more than $100 million by 2015, from $54 million in 2010.

The Navy's emphasis on STEM initiatives is due in part to an aging science and technology workforce. More than 50 percent of the Navy's scientists, engineers and related disciplines will be eligible for retirement by 2020.


2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2011:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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