Chapter 5—
Closing Comments

This report has been some time in preparation, and events during the intervening period have absolutely served to confirm some of the trends the panel has observed, make more acute some of its concerns, and positively reinforce some of its recommendations. In a short period of time, key personnel in BLD research have retired or died. The wind-wave tank facilities at NRL-E have been torn down, and satellites that once delivered critical data are no longer in orbit. The commitment to observing capabilities will be absolutely essential if progress in BLD research is to be made, and only a laboratory of the scale and sophistication of the NRL complex can provide these capabilities.

NRL researchers need access to both ship time and large laboratory facilities. Ship time is essential because the Navy's working environment is not a laboratory bench top or a computer, but rather the open ocean and coastal waters. This reality will not change. Research on coupled ocean-atmosphere models at NRL-W has led to significant advances (e.g., development of the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System [COAMPS] model). This supports the recommendation that a new center there would initiate and foster new leadership toward improvements in operational forecast models as a focus for NRL's BLD research.



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Boundary Layer Dynamics Chapter 5— Closing Comments This report has been some time in preparation, and events during the intervening period have absolutely served to confirm some of the trends the panel has observed, make more acute some of its concerns, and positively reinforce some of its recommendations. In a short period of time, key personnel in BLD research have retired or died. The wind-wave tank facilities at NRL-E have been torn down, and satellites that once delivered critical data are no longer in orbit. The commitment to observing capabilities will be absolutely essential if progress in BLD research is to be made, and only a laboratory of the scale and sophistication of the NRL complex can provide these capabilities. NRL researchers need access to both ship time and large laboratory facilities. Ship time is essential because the Navy's working environment is not a laboratory bench top or a computer, but rather the open ocean and coastal waters. This reality will not change. Research on coupled ocean-atmosphere models at NRL-W has led to significant advances (e.g., development of the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System [COAMPS] model). This supports the recommendation that a new center there would initiate and foster new leadership toward improvements in operational forecast models as a focus for NRL's BLD research.