Navy Grant Aids Indian Ocean Oceanographic Research
The US Navy's Office of Naval Research Global (ONR Global) announce a financial grant to the University of Melbourne that will provide new insights into ocean conditions-crucial information for Navy planners involved in tactical and strategic decision-making.
The project, in collaboration with Kenyan and Indian scientific organizations, is intended to improve understanding of conditions in the Indian Ocean, including validating satellite data on salinity, or salt, levels. Confirming satellite findings with actual field-level research is an area scientists have deemed essential to improving the Navy's oceanographic models.
ONR explains that the need for improved environmental ocean research has long been recognized by the military and civilian seafaring community. Naval researchers point out that insufficient data on water and weather conditions can impact even the largest vessels, and recall the tragic losses of ships under Adm. William Halsey in World War II in storms that today would be easier to predict.
"The major goal of this kind of research is to be able to provide the best information possible on the environmental, or battlefield, conditions, so that tactical and strategic decisions can be properly made," said Dr. Augustus Vogel, the ONR Global program manager coordinating the research. "It is because of this kind of information that U.S. Navy ships can now more easily avoid hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones, for example."
As with many ONR Global efforts, there will be a double benefit to the research, officials say, as the University of Melbourne grant represents increased ties between U.S. and allied scientists. The grant is an example of the kind of support President Barack Obama called for in his recent State of the Union speech, when he said: "Let's remember that our leadership is defined not just by our defense against threats, but by the enormous opportunities to do good and promote understanding around the globe."