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Spectra, Winter 2014

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Welcome to the fourth issue of SPECTRA, a magazine designed to inform you of exciting science and technology developments at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory NRL. In the spring of 2012, NRL opened the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research LASR. Our vision for this shining, state-of-the-art facility was that it would be a focal point for basic and applied research related to unmanned and autonomous systems a place to develop, integrate, and test systems and prototypes, to advance the Navy s scientific leadership in this domain. Now, a little more than two years later, the LASR has become the collaborative and energetic research space we envisioned, with scientists and engineers from all across NRL working together on interdisciplinary projects in the one-of-a-kind facilities and environments that LASR offers. Autonomy research for the Navy and Department of Defense benefits greatly from this convergence of diverse talent and expertise. In its simulated desert, jungle, and littoral environments and other well-equipped laboratories, the LASR is hosting creative and innovative research in intelligent autonomy, sensor systems, power and energy systems, human system interaction, networking and communications, and platforms. This issue of SPECTRA provides a snapshot of some of the LASR projects now moving forward an autonomous underwater vehicle named WANDA that borrows its design from a coral reef fish, a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell built using 3-D printing, a battery that draws its power from the ocean bottom sediment, a robot that is learning to understand how people think, and a vehicle that travels through air and through water a flying submarine.

Subject Categories:

  • Cybernetics
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Underwater and Marine Navigation and Guidance

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