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NEWS | Jan. 19, 2023

National Science Foundation Visits NSWC Dahlgren Division Ahead of Future Partnership

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) hosted a visit for members of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Jan. 5 at the division’s headquarters in Dahlgren, Virginia.

The visit is ahead of a partnership between NSWCDD and NSF, which reflects a strategic collaboration in key fields of fundamental science and engineering and provides immense value as the U.S. seeks to maintain an edge in these critical areas by enabling the transfer of technology from government to industry and academia.

In a recent letter to the NSF, U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, VA 1st District, applauded the collaboration saying, “At a time when our adversaries attempt to out-pace the nation in key fields, innovation and technology are crucial. The NSF 2030 Vision and NSWCDD Strategic Plan 2025 both look to the value of increased engagements that strengthen the frontier of science and sustain the security of the nation.”

NSWCDD Technical Director Dale Sisson, Jr., SES, welcomed Dr. Barry Johnson, NSF division director of the Translation Impacts (TI) Division, Dr. Carol Bessel, NSF section head of the TI Division and Dr. Jesus Soriano-Molla, NSF program director of the Partnerships for Innovation Program within the TI Division, to Dahlgren for technical briefings and tours to include Command Overview, Technology Office, Dahlgren Proving Ground (DPG), DPG-23, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Hypersonic Materials Research, High Energy Laser, Potomac River Test Range (PRTR) and Hypersonic Research and Integration Facility for Surface Engagement.

“NSWC Dahlgren greatly appreciates the opportunity to partner with the National Science Foundation.  Partnerships like this are key for us as we strive to gain a strategic advantage over our adversaries,” said Sisson. “By having NSF leadership visit the Dahlgren Proving Ground, we were able to describe our focus on warfare systems development and integration while providing firsthand knowledge of our hands-on research, development, test, and evaluation capabilities.  Without a doubt, this visit will benefit our current and future collaboration efforts.”

During the visit, the group received briefings on the DPG from Daniel Ross, Test and Evaluation division head and Mike White, Range Operations Center lead within the Integrated Engagement Systems Department, highlighting the divisions’ coupling of the digital world with the analog. The DPG is at the heart of Dahlgren’s push to be a world class research facility by combining the live fire capability of the PRTR with the modeling and simulation capability the digital world brings to the table.

In order to focus more on system of systems, there is a need for a more complex test architecture. System of systems testing is the type of work performed on the DPG when a group of systems are tested as a single entity. According to Sisson, the ultimate goal of the DPG is to determine whether one can distinguish between a simulation or reality environment upon entering into a control room.

The partnership between NSWCDD and NSF will yield benefits for a variety of reasons according to Jennifer Clift, NSWCDD chief technology officer. The resources of NSF present warfare centers like NSWCDD broader access to research and development tools. In line with the goals of NSF, public and private partnerships further the organization’s role as a global leader in innovation. This research translates into measurable products and services that will ultimately benefit the warfighter and American citizens as a whole.