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 WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) issued the following:
 Advanced Fouling Release Coating
 An environmentally safe advanced fouling release coating that permits easy removal of marine organisms from ship hulls is being studied at NRL. Using fluorinated polyurethane and/or silicone-based coatings on the hull of an NRL service boat stationed at Mobile Bay, Ala., provides an ideal platform, say NRL researchers, to test fouling release coatings. The hull of this boat, which has been silicone coated for the past two years, partially self-cleans itself by using the friction of the water across the hull as the boat moves through the water.
 Halon Replacement
 -- Environmental concerns about stratospheric ozone layer depletion have mandated finding replacements for Halons. NRL has demonstrated that sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), a non-toxic friendly gas, could be used as a simulant for Halon 1301 during naval discharge tests. To date, this approach has prevented the release of close to 40 tons of Halon 1301 into the atmosphere, thereby making a substantial contribution to an improved environment.
 -- NRL has successfully demonstrated the use of water mist to fight fires in vented compartments and pressurized chambers. Current NRL experiments are directed to developing highly effective and environmentally safe water-mist technology for use in the fleet.
 -- Because a non-ozone-depleting simulant is needed for training crash and rescue personnel on various types of fires, such as engine, crash and cascading fuel fires, NRL is developing portable fire extinguishers using non-ozone-depleting simulants with the same discharge characteristics as Halon 1211. This, in turn, will eliminate the discharge of Halon into the atmosphere during fire/crash training.
 -- NRL is looking at nitrogen as an ideal fire suppression replacement for Halons in closed spaces. Nitrogen is nonpolluting, presents no health hazard, and will not impair the function of ship systems. The current goal of the NRL nitrogen fire suppression program is to develop solid-state sources for the production of nitrogen for total-flooding fire-fighting systems.
 Instrument for Locating Buried Ordnance and Toxic Materials
 The Multisensor Towed Array Detection System (MTADS), a towed-array magnetic anomaly detection system, capable of scanning up to 20 acres a day, has demonstrated detection confidence levels of between 90 and 95 percent for a wide range of ordnance to depths of 15 feet. In addition to locating unexploded ordnance at target and bombing ranges, MTADS can also detect materials buried at hazardous waste sites.
 Portable Dechlorination System
 A portable unit for dechlorinating shipboard seawater systems has been developed by a team of scientists from NRL and ARINC Research Corporation. The unit will provide environmental compliance for the Navy's use of electrolytic chlorination needed to control marine biofouling in ship seawater cooling systems.
 Flame-Retardant Resins for Marine/Aerospace Applications
 NRL scientists are exploring the use of phtalonitrile-based flame- retardant composite resins that show superior strength values and have the potential for long-term use in systems requiring exposures to temperatures as high as 550 degrees. These newly-developed advanced composites offer the Navy potential benefits in areas ranging from weight improvement, corrosion control, and less maintenance to lower thermal conductivity, reduced acoustic and magnetic signatures, and greater versatility in component design.
 Space Object Collision Prediction System
 Researchers at NRL have developed a new software program, for use on parallel processor computers, that can predict close approaches, in space, between all 7,000 objects in the Naval Space Command's space surveillance catalog. Earlier software programs, used on serial computers, were designed for predicting collision hazards for single objects at a time, such as for space shuttle operations.
 Soft X-Ray Microscope for High Resolution Images
 A team of NRL researchers has designed and successfully implemented a soft X-ray microscope that has recorded images of laser-produced plasmas, at a wavelength of 130 A, with the highest spatial resolution ever achieved. The microscope may be modified and used to image biological specimens to the level of DNA, or individual cells, with improved spatial resolution; for X-ray projection lithography in the fabrication of high-density computer chips; and to study the sun and astrophysical sources of soft X-ray radiation.
 Instruments Gather Data on Ozone Depletion and Solar Radiation
 Two NRL instruments were launched into space recently to study atmospheric and solar science. The Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor measures the radiation from the sun that drives chemical reactions in the middle atmosphere. The Millimeter-Wave Atmospheric Sounder instrument uses a parabolic antenna that scans the earth's limb to study atmospheric ozone loss. Plans call for the two instruments to fly again on the space shuttle, approximately on an annual basis, with the next flight scheduled for the fall of 1994.
 HERCULES Camera System
 NRL scientists report excellent results from a camera system that allows astronauts aboard the space shuttle to photograph and geolocate specific features on Earth. The NRL-developed, hand-held Earth-oriented real-time cooperative user-friendly location, targeting, and environmental system (HERCULES) is attached to a modified Nikon camera and employs a process that determines in real time the latitude and longitude of the feature (at the center of each image) within two nautical miles. HERCULES has flown successfully aboard STS-53 and STS-56. Future plans include using HERCULES with the Global Positioning System to provide a geolocation accuracy better than one nautical mile.
 Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Coupling Model
 Scientists at NRL have developed a computer model that simulates the way the ionosphere and magnetosphere interact. The model combines collisionless magnetospheric effects with collisional ionospheric processes. As a result of this development, a quantitative description of the evolution of low-frequency, long-wavelength plasma dynamics and structure at high latitudes can now be made. Advances in theory and modeling of the structure and dynamics of the high latitude near-earth space plasma have been made by emphasizing the coupled nature of the ionosphere and magnetosphere.
 Optical Fiber Bragg Gratings for "Smart" Structures
 Scientists at NRL have successfully fabricated over 450 optical fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors during a one-hour, continuous fiber drawing, using a newly developed in-line process. The new process demonstrates that FBGs can be made using interfering beams of a single pulse of KrF excimer laser light during the draw process and prior to applying the protective polymer coating. Not only is the surface quality of the pristine fiber maintained, but fabrication of FBGs can be automated and inexpensive. Applications include "smart" structures such as an aircraft, buildings or bridges that could continuously monitor and adjust to conditions like vibration or strain.
 Subpicosecond All Fiber Laser
 NRL scientists have developed a simple, ultrashort-pulse erbium all- fiber laser suitable for integration into fibers systems operating at the 1.5 um communications wavelength. The ultrashort-pulse erbium laser, also known as the figure-eight laser (F8L) because of the shape of the laser cavity, is compact, efficient and inexpensive. The F8L can be applied to high-speed optical communications, short-pulse optical sensors and the optical probing of high-speed electrical circuits.
 Radar Location of Oil Fields
 In a cooperative research and development effort with industry, scientists at NRL have completed an initial investigation to evaluate the effectiveness of radar to detect gas seeping from natural petroleum deposits. Data obtained by these studies may lead to a low-cost and highly effective means of locating oil fields.
 NRL has major facilities on the banks of the Potomac River in southwest Washington; at the Stennis Space Center, Miss.; in Monterey, Calif.; and in Orlando, Fla. NRL was dedicated on July 2, 1923, and is the Navy's only corporate laboratory, charged with the mission of conducting a broadly based, multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development.
 -0- 11/1/93
 /CONTACT: J. Schultz of the Naval Research Laboratory Public Affairs Office, 202-767-2541/

CO: Naval Research Laboratory ST: District of Columbia IN: ARO CHM SU:

KD-IH -- DC023 -- 9264 11/01/93 15:20 EST
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Date:Nov 1, 1993

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