Science and Technology News

Thursday, June 11, 2015

SPAWAR Offers Rare Glimpse of Technology

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio Turretto Ramos, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SPAWAR) invited news reporters and family members of employees to see what top researchers, scientists and engineers are creating for today's Navy and fleet of the future during an open house June 5-6, celebrating 75 years of service.

"The 75th anniversary really reflects the heritage, innovation and development that we provide for the warfighter," said Commanding Officer of SPAWAR Capt. Kurt Rothenhaus.

In a rare veil lifting, technologies still in the early stages of development were on display and demonstrated for visitors and reporters that highlighted the important work that SPAWAR does. Capabilities like 3-D imaging, underwater optical communications and virtual-reality simulators were among other technologies highlighted.

"This is an opportunity to invite families and friends inside what is usually a restricted compound to take a glimpse of the important work their spouse or friend does for the Navy and nation," said Rothenhaus.

The Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality (BEMR) Lab was one of the demonstrations available to visitors. The BEMR Lab provides mixed reality environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. This mixed reality provides Sailors the opportunity to train more effectively and in a variety of different scenarios.

SPAWAR is the only warfare center in a major fleet concentration area, located on the cusp of the Pacific area of responsibility and operates at the niche between military requirements and industry. The workforce here is a uniquely qualified multidisciplinary group of researchers working alongside experienced military operators.

According to Rothenhaus, what makes an environment like SPAWAR so special is the ability for the integration of so many different disciplines and fields of study working together toward the common goal of innovating and developing capabilities for the warfighter.

"I don't think there's anywhere else in the world where a cyber engineer is sitting next to a C4I communications specialist sitting next to an autonomous systems command and control systems developer as well as a photonics and quantum computing expert," he said. "They all come together here and work on these significant products for the Navy."

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