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Chesapeake Beach, MD

The Chesapeake Bay Detachment [CBD] occupies a 168-acre site near Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, and provides facilities and support services for research in radar, electronic warfare, optical devices, materials, communications, and fire research. Because of its location high above the Chesapeake Bay on the western shore, unique experiments can be performed in conjunction with the Tilghman Island site 16 km across the bay from CBD. Some of these experiments include low clutter and generally low background radar measurements. By using CBD's support vessels, experiments are performed that involve dispensing chaff over water and radar target characterizations of aircraft and ships. Basic research is also conducted in radar antenna properties, testing of radar remote sensing concepts, use of radar to sensor ocean waves, and laser propagation. CBD also hosts facilities of the Navy Technology Center for Safety and Survivability, which conducts fire research on simulated carrier, surface, and submarine platforms.

The main site at Randle Cliff (Chesapeake Beach), MD, covers 157.4 acres contiguous to the Chesapeake Bay with a 0.75-mile waterfront. It is located in a relatively clear area away from congestion and industrial interference. In addition to six moderate-size laboratory buildings, there are several new structures. The facility maintains towers for antenna support and a ship motion simulator for dynamic testing of components. Off-site facilities include a 2-acre site with a 75-ft tower located 10 nmi east at Tilghman Island, MD, and small-craft berthing located in the town of Chesapeake Beach, 2 nmi north of the main site. A test control center for air and sea operations is available to researchers who use the NRL/CBD test range. The test range is a restricted zone directly east of the main site and extends across the bay. Research watercraft include a 74-ft LCM-8, a 65-ft Adams support craft, a 36-ft LCPL, and a 22-ft Boston Whaler. These are used primarily in support of research projects and secondarily as transport to Tilghman Island.

The Large-Scale Damage Control Facility at Chesapeake Beach consists of five buildings and three test beds. Two of the buildings are for enclosed fire experiments, qualification of firefighting agents, efficacy of dispensing these agents, and control and visibility through smoke. A third building a staging area and a fourth is for storage. The fifth building contains a hydraulics laboratory and is equipped with a full-scale shipboard balanced pressure proportioner for aqueous film forming foam. A test bed simulates the lower section of a submarine for studying bilge fires and their extinguishment. A simulated 930 m 3 (10,000 ft 2) flight test bed is used to develop fire scenarios and suppression technologies. The third test bed has two test compartments, with internal volumes of 28 and 300 m 3 (1,000 and 10,500 ft 3 ), which are used for fire suppression experiments.

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