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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI professor to head undersea
research team for NATO

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 30, 2000 -- An ocean engineering professor at the University of Rhode Island has been appointed project leader for Rapid Environmental Assessment at the NATO Undersea Research Center in La Spezia, Italy.

Beginning Nov. 1, Robert Tyce of Coventry, R.I., will oversee a variety of experimental programs designed to provide scientific and technical advice to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on submarine detection and mine warfare. Among the projects he will direct are studies on seabed geo-acoustic inversion techniques, satellite remote sensing and ambient noise estimation, shallow water real-time environmental profilers, and autonomous underwater vehicles.

The NATO-Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic Undersea Research Center was established in 1959 to help NATO and its member nations prevent the hostile use of submarines and sea mines. It is the only pure research laboratory operated by NATO, and serves as NATO's principal adviser on undersea research. The Center's primary work is to understand and predict the impact of the undersea environment on sonar performance and to investigate new sonar concepts.

Tyce worked at the Undersea Research Center during a sabbatical from URI in 1997-98. At that time he began research on the development of a shallow water, expendable, environmental profiler, an instrument that is deployed by ship or plane to take environmental measurements in coastal waters and then download that data via cell phone, radio or satellite. It is ideally suited to take rapid measurements during coastal military operations.

Tyce returned to Italy last year to continue this research.

The post Tyce will hold was most recently held by URI graduate William Roderick, former director for Science and Technology for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport. Since NATO selects its scientists from all 18 member nations, it is highly unusual that two consecutive Rhode Islanders have been appointed to this prestigious senior-level position.

Tyce will return to URI following his three-year appointment.

For Information: Todd McLeish 874-7892


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