United States Naval Research Laboratory

Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

    About Us

    NRL-SSC serves as the lead Navy laboratory for research in ocean and atmospheric sciences with special strengths in physical oceanography, marine geosciences, ocean acoustics, marine meteorology, and remote oceanic and atmospheric sensing. The cutting-edge research and development conducted by NRL-SSC personnel is evident in the number of awards and patents granted to NRL-SSC personnel each year.


    NRL-SSC is NRL's largest detachment, employing approximately 200 civilian scientists, support personnel, students, post-doctoral fellows and contractors. NRL values education, employing more Ph.D.s at SSC than any other federal agency.

    In addition to hiring some of the country's best physicists, physical scientists, computer scientists, geologists and oceanographers, the detachment also hires the best IT, administrative, contract, legal and financial specialists as support personnel.


    NRL-SSC encompasses more than 152,000 square feet of laboratory, office and staging space at SSC.

    NRL-SSC scientists also have use of numerous specialized laboratories and equipment, including a transmission electron microscope (TEM), X-Ray Computed Tomography (XCT) machine and an oscillatory flow tunnel.

    A Brief History of NRL-SSC

    NRL-SSC traces its roots back to 1830 with the establishment of the Navy Depot of Charts and Instruments which eventually evolved into the Naval Oceanographic Office.

    In 1976, the research and development components of the Naval Oceanographic Office were combined with parts of the Office of Naval Research to form the Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity (NORDA) at Stennis Space Center.

    In 1989, NORDA combined with the Naval Environmental Prediction Research Facility and the Institute for Naval Oceanography to form the Navy Oceanographic and Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NOARL).

    In 1992, NRL absorbed NOARL, thus the NOARL at Stennis became part of the NRL Ocean and Atmospheric Directorate and the site was designated as an NRL detachment (NRL-SSC).

    Today, NRL-SSC focuses its research and development efforts on Navy strategic interests in blue water and in the world's littoral regions.

    About SSC

    NRL-SSC is located at a secure NASA facility on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, about 45 minutes northeast New Orleans and about 45 minutes west of Gulfport/Biloxi.

    Covering more than 125,000 acres, Stennis Space Center is a unique secure worksite that is home to numerous federal and state government agencies, private corporations, non-profits, and educational institutions.

    The site is home to Mississippi's only admiral and also the largest concentration of oceanographers in the world.