The Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Littoral Geosciences and Optics program (322LO) supports basic and applied research for expeditionary warfare, naval special warfare, mine warfare and antisubmarine warfare in shelf, near-shore, estuarine, riverine and riparian environments, with a particular emphasis on robust 4D prediction of environmental characteristics in denied, distant, or remote environments.
ONR 322LO undertakes comprehensive field experiments around the globe to develop and validate predictive models and test remote sensing technologies in support of the Naval Science and Technology Strategy goal to assure access to the maritime battlespace. The products of the program investments, transitioned to the operational forecast centers, provide warfighters with a common environmental operating picture to enable safe and effective mission planning and execution. Motivation for new, or greater understanding of any one particular process/dynamics or proposed modeling improvement should be tied to shortcomings in operational forecasting capabilities.
322LO supports basic and applied research efforts directed at understanding and modeling coastal and riverine dynamics; developing remote sensing capabilities for quantifying dynamics in coastal and riverine environments, above and below the sea surface and canopy; understanding and modeling optical processes in these areas, and pursues new methodologies and/or observing technologies (6.1), or utilization of organic, through the sensor techniques which can increase battlespace awareness (6.2). Topics of interest are motivated by ongoing and future Navy and Marine Corps planning and operational needs.
Studies by individual investigators and collaborative teams are often undertaken in conjunction with other programs at ONR, including the Physical Oceanography, Marine Meteorology, Ocean Engineering and Marine Systems, and Ocean Acoustics programs. Focused, field-oriented research programs are undertaken as departmental research initiatives (DRIs) or as Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURIs), each of which typically has 7-15 investigators, a five-year timeframe and substantial funding for field studies and modeling.
The Planning Letter and Proposal Process
The Littoral Geosciences and Optics Program encourages submission of informal planning letters or pre-proposals from prospective investigators as the first step in the proposal process. The planning letter process efficiently allows researchers to submit ideas for consideration and feedback before preparation of a full proposal. Newcomers to the Littoral Geosciences and Optics program are advised that the program is committed to bringing the very best new investigators on board.
Planning letters are generally requested in mid-May for consideration for funding in the upcoming fiscal year (begins 1 Oct), but are welcome throughout the year. Delays in receiving appropriated funds from Congress, will delay decisions and awards, accordingly.