To conduct basic and applied research to understand and predict the dynamical evolution of ocean phenomena and processes. The target phenomena are ocean currents, waves, optical properties and biological distributions that interact via dynamical processes. Research results are applied to the solution of U.S. Navy problems.


The Ocean Sensing and Processes Branch conducts basic and applied research in ocean physics, air-sea interaction, ocean optics, and marine microbially influenced corrosion. Emphasis of this research is on understanding the oceans' physical processes and their interactions with the atmosphere and biological/chemical systems at scales ranging from basin-scale to microscale. Numerical and analytical models are developed and tested in laboratory and field experiments. The results of this research support the Navy's operational capability for predictions of oceanic atmospheric exchanges, acoustic propagation/detection, light transmission/emissi on, and influences of microbes on marine corrosion.

The seagoing experimental programs of the branch range worldwide. Unique measurement systems include: towed sensor profiler systems for studying meso- and finescale ocean structure, integrated absorption cavity and optical profiler system for studying ocean optical characteristics, and self-contained bottom-mounted upward-looking acoustic profilers for measuring ocean variability. In the laboratory, the division operates an environmental scanning electron microscope and a laser confocal scanning microscope for detailed studies of biocorrosion in naval materials.


  • Bio-Optical Physical Processes & Remote Sensing Section

    As a team, members of the Bio-Optical/Physical Processes and Remote Sensing Section have broad experience and expertise in many aspects of remote sensing and coupled physical/ecological modeling. We conduct research to better understand oceanographic processes in coastal and open-ocean environments. Our overarching goal is to exploit this knowledge of the marine environment to address a wide variety of navy needs related to optical variability, underwater light penetration, and physical/optical forecasting. However, we also work closely with external agencies and universities to address a wide variety of oceanographic science questions. Our state-of-the-art facilities include satellite receiving and image processing/analysis systems, in situ and laboratory optical instrumentation, advanced physical and ecological models, and access to high-performance super computers. Recent instrumentation acquisitions include gliders (one with an Optical Plankton Discriminator), trawl-resistant physical/optical moorings, and a flow cytometer. Research interests within the section include ocean color algorithm development for multi- and hyperspectral sensors, sensor calibration/algorithm validation, atmospheric correction, time-series analyses, uncertainty analyses, optical water mass classification, surface/subsurface linkages, spatial coherence scales, regional/basin-scale coupled physical/bio-optical modeling, 3D optical distributions, and hypoxia modeling, among others. Furthermore, our products are transitioned to Navy end-users and external agencies, so we participate in a full spectrum of basic and applied research. More about 7331

  • Physical Oceanographic Processes

    The Physical Oceanographic Processes Section (Code 7332) conducts basic and applied research in coastal and open ocean physics on macroscale to submesoscale to mesoscale processes.

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  • Ocean Hydrooptics Sensors & Systems