CASIS Announces Partnership with Naval Research Lab

casis_new_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL., October 2, 2013 (CASIS PR) – Today, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), which was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, announced a partnership with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to launch research investigations studying factors that contribute to occurrences of harmful algal bloom (HAB), or red tide.

The NRL plans to use advanced imaging technology on the (ISS) to develop early HAB detection, quantification and classification algorithms. CASIS has awarded $250,000 enabling the principal investigator, Dr. Ruhul Amin of the NRL, to expand this research.

HABs have become a serious environmental problem affecting coastal areas across the globe. The gradual increase in concentration of harmful algal species in coastal regions worldwide has been identified as the major factor in the escalating recurrences of red tide. The term, red tide, is derived from the ocean water turning red as a result of harmful toxins released in the water from rapid algae growth which is detrimental to humans and marine life. The Hyperspectral Imager of the Coastal Ocean (HICO) housed on the ISS will allow scientists to develop a more reliable process for HAB detection and classifications. HICO is designed for the environmental characterization of the coastal oceans, specifically, ocean color studies which make it the optimal tool for this research.

“CASIS is excited to support the Naval Research Lab, and through this partnership continues to demonstrate its ability to broker research opportunities on the ISS with government organizations as well as private companies,” said CASIS chief operating officer Duane Ratliff. “By working with other government organizations such as the Naval Research Laboratory, CASIS continues to steadily diversify its research and partner portfolio. Through its research, we believe the Naval Research Laboratory will effectively utilize HICO, which is a terrific platform capable of stimulating groundbreaking earth observational investigations that will benefit humankind on Earth.”

CASIS evaluates unsolicited proposals on a regular basis for scientific and economic merit and potential impact. In some instances, CASIS can provide funding to assist highly qualified research to be performed on the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

For additional information about unsolicited proposals, including instructions on submitting research ideas, please visit: www.iss-casis.org/Opportunities/UnsolicitedProposals.aspx