Federal Research and Development Facilities

Virginia is home to a strong presence of federal research and development activities, including 11 Federally Funded R&D Centers and 23 FLC Laboratories such as the Homeland Security Institute, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.

FLC Laboratories:

Air Combat Command: Air Combat Command, with headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, VA, is a major command created June 1, 1992 by combining its predecessors Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command. ACC is the primary provider of air combat forces to America's warfighting commanders. As a force provider, ACC organizes, trains, equips and maintains combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime air defense. ACC numbered air forces provide the air component to U.S. Central and Southern Commands with Headquarters ACC serving as the air component to U.S. Northern and Joint Forces Commands. ACC also augments forces to U.S. European, Pacific and Strategic Commands.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR): AFOSR continues to expand the horizon of scientific knowledge through its leadership and management of the Air Force's basic research program. As a vital component of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), AFOSR's mission is to support Air Force goals of control and maximum utilization of air and space. AFOSR accomplishes its mission by investing in basic research efforts for the Air Force in relevant scientific areas. Central to AFOSR's strategy is the transfer of the fruits of basic research to industry, the supplier of Air Force acquisitions; to the academic community, which can lead the way to still more accomplishment; and to the other directorates of AFRL, which carry the responsibility for applied and development research leading to acquisition.

ARL - Vehicle Technology Directorate - Structures Program: The Vehicle Technology Directorate (VTD) of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory conducts basic and exploratory research in structural and propulsion technologies. Structural research is performed at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, where Army and NASA scientists and engineers work jointly on programs involving structural mechanics and integrity, air/ground vehicle loads and dynamics, crashworthiness, active noise and vibration control, and non-destructive evaluation methodologies. This research provides the enabling technology needed to extend the life of existing Army vehicles and to design affordable future platforms having greater durability, lighter weight, improved crashworthiness, and reduced operational and support costs. The Army partnership with the NASA Research Centers started in 1969 and has been an enduring success story ever since. The arrangement has enabled Army scientists and engineers to leverage over 550 specialized NASA state-of-the- art, world-class research facilities, and to collaborate on joint programs with highly regarded national and international experts in air and ground vehicle technology.

U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI): ARI is one of the lead research institutes for training, leader development, and soldier research. ARI provides the Army with technical expertise and analytical support, along with decision making techniques for soldiers and leaders. ARI keeps track of information on soldier and leader attitudes and concerns. The employees range from research psychologists, to those with a Ph.D., military officers, and graduate students acting as research assistants.

Aviation Applied Technology Directorate: The Aviation Applied Technology Directorate is a tenant activity located at Ft. Eustis. It is a Directorate of the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), and a part of the Research, Development & Engineering Command (RDECOM). The main thrust of this Directorate is to demonstrate the application of effective, affordable technology for current and future Army Aviation systems; and to provide rapid response, development, and qualification of special mission applications, all through a balanced in-house and contracted R&D program.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA): The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was established in 1958 as the first U.S. response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik. Since that time DARPA's mission has been to assure that the U.S. maintains a lead in applying state-of-the-art technology for military capabilities and to prevent technological surprise from her adversaries. The DARPA organization was as unique as its role, reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense and operating in coordination with, but completely independent of, the military research and development (R&D) establishment. DARPA comprises approximately 220 government employees in six technical offices, including nearly 100 program managers, who together oversee about 250 research and development programs. Strong support from the senior DoD management has always been essential since DARPA was designed to be an anathema to the conventional military and R&D structure and, in fact, to be a deliberate counterpoint to traditional thinking and approaches.

Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): Is the premier provider of DoD technical information. DTIC serves as a vital link in the transfer of information among DoD personnel, DoD contractors and potential contractors and other U.S. Government agency personnel and their contractors. DTIC is a DoD Field Activity under the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, reporting to Director, Defense Research & Engineering (DDR&E).

FHWA Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center: TFHRC is a federally owned and operated research facility in McLean, VA. TFHRC is the home of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Office of Research, Development, and Technology. TFHRC provides FHWA and the world highway community with the most advanced research and development related to new highway technologies. The research focuses on providing solutions to complex technical problems through the development of more economical, environmentally sensitive designs; more efficient, quality controlled constructions practices; and more durable materials. The end result is a safer, more reliable highway transportation system.

Institute for Water Resources (IWR): The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' IWR provides services ranging from studying and evaluating new water resources policy issues to examining potential new Civil Works missions; and from researching new and improved planning methods to training Corps field planners in the used of these techniques. IWR is involved in several types of work: research and development; policy studies; reimbursable projects and studies; navigation analysis; education and training; and national studies. Reports, technical papers, computer programs, bulletins, newsletters, conferences, seminars, and training courses are all products of IWR work.

Marine Corps Systems Command: The Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) is the Commandant of the Marine Corps' agent for acquisition and sustainment of systems and equipment used to accomplish their warfighting mission. The command outfits United States Marines with literally everything they drive, shoot and wear. Their mission is to serve as the Commandant's principal agent for acquisition and sustainment of systems and equipment used by the Operating Forces to accomplish their warfighting mission.

Marine Corps Network Operations and Security Center: MCNOSC provides engineering functions related to the effective integration and employment of hardware, software and computer network practices that comprise the Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN). MCNOSC engineers, develops, and tailors the Marine Corps' network defense infrastructure, and its engineering efforts have resulted in key innovations that have become recommended practice in adjacent DOD network operations commands.

Mine Safety and Health Administration: The U.S. Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) helps reduce deaths, injuries, and illnesses in the nation's mines with a variety of activities and programs. The agency develops and enforces safety and health rules applying to all U.S. mines, helps mine operators who have special compliance problems, and makes available technical, educational and other types of assistance. MSHA works cooperatively with industry, labor, and other Federal and state agencies toward improving safety and health conditions for all miners.

NASA Langley Research Center: Langley Research Center continues to forge new frontiers in aviation and space research as it has since 1917, when it was established as the nation's first civilian aeronautics laboratory. Langley's mission and contributions to aerospace, atmospheric sciences and technology commercialization are improving the way the world lives. More than half of NASA Langley's research is in aeronautics. Many of the facility's 3,300 civil service and contract employees focus on improving today's military and civilian aircraft, while designing tomorrow's jets. Not only does Langley develop Airframe Systems, scientists also examine the layers of air planes and spacecraft fly in Atmospheric Sciences. Researchers have expanded their studies into other atmospheres, the kind spacecraft will find on distant planets. Next generation spaceships will be able to survive unforgiving extraterrestrial environments, because of work done at Langley in NASA's Center of Excellence for Structures and Materials and in wind tunnels and test facilities. Langley leads NASA initiatives in aviation safety, quiet aircraft technology, small aircraft transportation and aerospace vehicles system technology. It supports NASA space programs with atmospheric research and technology testing and development.

Naval Air Systems Command: With multiple locations across the United States, NAVAIR’s Naval Air Warfare Centers (Aircraft and Weapons Divisions) provide the capabilities, facilities (labs and ranges) and specialized expertise necessary for conducting research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) of naval aircraft, weapons and associated systems.

Naval Medical Center - Portsmouth: Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth occupies a 112-acre site along the Elizabeth River in downtown Portsmouth, VA. Naval Medical Center Portsmouth is one of three major teaching hospitals in the Navy with residency programs in 13 specialty areas. Each year, approximately 75 officers complete internships at the Naval Medical Center. In June 1990, the Naval Medical Center broke ground on a major construction project designed to build a modern replacement hospital with extensive support structures and services over the next 10 years. The project was completed in 1998 and began operations in 1999. The Charette Health Care center is a 1.02 million square foot facility and the most modern available in the Naval inventory. The center contains over 300 clinical exam rooms, 140 specialty exam rooms and 17 operating rooms. In its first year there were over 392,000 outpatient visits, 859,115 pharmacy visits and over 5,500 inpatient surgeries. In addition to the eight clinics in Hampton roads The Charette Health Care center is well poised to serve the medical needs of the half-million military beneficiaries well into the next century.

Naval Safety Center: Provides safety assistance and advice to the CNO, CMC, and the Deputy Assistant SECNAV for Safety in order to enhance the warfighting capability of the Navy and Marine Corps, preserve resources and improve combat readiness by preventing mishaps and saving lives.

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division: NSWCDD is one of the six divisions of the Naval Surface Warfare Center. The Dahlgren Division comprises three major sites: Naval Surface Warfare Center, NSWC Dahlgren in Dahlgren, VA; NSWC Panama City in Panama City, FL.; and the NSWC Dam Neck at Dam Neck in Virginia Beach, VA. NSWCDD is one of the U.S. Navy's principal research, development, and test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support activities for surface warfare, surface ship combat systems, ordnance, strategic systems, amphibious warfare, mines and mine countermeasures, and amphibious and special warfare systems. The Division conducts analysis, systems engineering, research, test, evaluation, and integration of important naval and joint warfare systems.

Navy Warfare Development Command: NWDC is home to the Navy Center for Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NCAMS). NCAMS conducts state-of-the-art, high-fidelity modeling and simulation that enable training, support concept generation and development, execute key Fleet exercises, and provide high-end analytical wargaming and experimentation.

Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate: NVESD is responsible for enhancing the Army's day and night combat effectiveness under adverse environments. Through this mission, NVESD conducts R&D in image intensification, infrared, lasers, and signal processing and performance modeling.

Office of Naval Research (ONR): The Office of Naval Research coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps through schools, universities, government laboratories, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. It provides technical advice to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy and works with industries to improve technology manufacturing processes.

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility: Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) is funded by the Office of Science for the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) with strong support from the City of Newport News, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the United States Congress. As a user facility for scientists worldwide, its primary mission is to conduct basic research of the atom's nucleus at the quark level. With industry and university partners, it has a derivative mission as well: applied research for using the Free-Electron Lasers based on technology the laboratory developed to conduct its physics experiments. As a center for both basic and applied research, Jefferson Lab also reaches out to help educate the next generation in science and technology. This facility is also a Federally Funded Research and Development Center.

Virginia Water Science Center: For more than 100 years, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been collecting information on Virginia’s water resources and conducting hydrologic investigations in cooperation with State, Local, and Federal agencies. USGS personnel in Virginia operate stream gages, observation well networks, and water-quality monitoring stations to provide reliable scientific information needed to make informed management decisions. Staff also conduct interpretive investigations of specific water-resources problems.

Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs):

Center for Advanced Aviation System Development: As the federally-funded research and development center for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), CAASD is dedicated to improving aviation system safety, security, and performance. In addition to the FAA, customers include the Transportation Security Administration, NASA, the Federal Communications Commission, and other government organizations. CAASD collaborates with civil aviation authorities around the world, all of which face similar challenges in the areas of safety, security, and efficiency.

Center for Communications and Computing: Administered by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), the Communications and Computing Center supports the National Security Agency. Since the 1950’s IDA’s Center for Communications and Computing focuses on cryptology regarding foreign signals intelligence and the security of information and communication of the U.S. government.

Center for Enterprise Modernization: MITRE's Center for Enterprise Modernization (CEM), sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, works to advance the technology infrastructure of our nation's civilian government agencies. Other agencies that CEM supports include the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at the Department of the Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Census Bureau, Small Business Administration, U.S. Mint, and the Department of Energy.

CNA's Center for Naval Analyses: The Center for Naval Analyses is a federally funded research and development center serving the Navy and Marine Corps. The Center also provides research and analyses services to other military and government agencies to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. national defense efforts. For over 50 years, the CNA has provided "full-service" research and analysis services that have helped the military become more effective and efficient. CNA analysts pioneered the field of operations research through their ground-breaking work with the Navy during World War II.

Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute: HS SEDI provides systems engineering, acquisition, and program management expertise in support of the overall homeland security mission. Its purpose is to provide expert technical advice to help the Department integrate plans and processes to enhance acquisitions and IT systems development across its entire organization.

Judiciary Engineering and Modernization Center: Administered by the MITRE Corp., the Judiciary Engineering and Modernization Center supports the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the federal judiciary, located in McLean, VA.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory: The National Radio Astronomy Observatory designs, builds and operates the world's most sophisticated and advanced radio telescopes. Scientists from around the world use these powerful tools to study the Sun, planets and other objects in our own solar system, as well as distant stars, galaxies, and other mysterious objects many millions, or even billions of light-years away. The NRAO's Charlottesville operations are located both on the grounds of the University of Virginia and in the NRAO Technology Center.

National Security Engineering Center (NSEC): Established in 1958 to support the development and fielding of electronically based air defense systems. Today, the NSEC supports a broad and diverse set of sponsors within the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. These include the military departments, defense and intelligence agencies, the combatant commands, and elements of both the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Systems and Analyses Center: The Systems and Analyses Center is the largest of the Institute for Defense Analyses’ (IDA) three FFRDCs and is co-located with the IDA headquarters in Alexandria, VA. The center supports the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the unified military commands. It consists of eight research divisions whose work focuses on a broad range of issues spanning diverse disciplines. Its work involves assessing technology feasibility, performance, producibility, demonstrations, and development risks. IDA also assists its sponsors in developing technology strategies, plans, standards, and investment priorities as well as assessing the domestic and international implications of trade and technology cooperation, plans, and controls.


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