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ONR Historical Timeline 1970-1980

  • Alvin Submersible

    Alvin Submersible

    Alvin, the product of eight years of research, is a three-person deep submergence vehicle used for research into deep ocean waters. Continually used and rebuilt over nearly 60 years, some of its most memorable missions  include discovering deep-sea hydrothermal vents and recovering a missing hydrogen bomb.

  • Global Positioning Systems

    Global Positioning Systems

    The Global Positioning System, or GPS, has revolutionized the science of navigation. NRL's Navigation Technology Satellite II, launched in 1977, was the first satellite in the Navstar GPS. The GPS incorporates NRL's concept of time range, range-rate navigation and a 12-hour orbit. This remarkable precision has proved invaluable since the 1990s in revolutionizing military and naval navigation and targeting. Apart from its primary military function, the satellite system serves numerous peacetime functions such as air traffic control, scientific surveying, harbor navigation and measurement of ocean waves.

  • Lithium Batteries

    Lithium Batteries

    The lithium battery is the highest energy density battery available commercially. The Department of the Navy is increasing its use of this battery because of its high power-to-weight and -volume ratio. ONR supported the discovery and early development of this battery system.

  • Hardiman Robotics

    Hardiman Robotics

    The Hardiman prototype's arm was the first completed and successfully tested part of a man-machine system worn by its operator like an exoskeleton. General Electric built Hardiman under contract to ONR. The prototype's two arms and two legs were planned in the design stage to mimic the movements of its operators and permit them to lift and operate leads of up to 1,500 pounds.

  • Nanotubes


    ONR's carbon nanotubes program seeks to improve the mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of polymer composites by incorporation of nanotubes, with a focus on mechanical properties enhancement. The Department of the Navy has been increasing the use of polymer composite materials on ships and aircrafts for the past 50 years. As a result of investments by ONR in materials research, large technology demonstrations have found their way into ships such as the Advanced Enclosed Composite Mast, the Quarter-Scale Corvette, the Composite Helicopter Hanger and the Composite Rudder.