Dahlgren, Virginia

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD)
Established in 1918, Dahlgren was named after Civil War Navy commander Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren.

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) conducts scientific research in areas including, but not limited to, chemistry, laser, computer science, and physics. Physicists including Albert Einstein, Edward Teller ("father of the Hydrogen Bomb"), and Carl Norden (Norden bombsight) have worked for NSWCDD.

A prototype railgun system in development at the NSWC will be demonstrated aboard a joint high speed vessel in fiscal year 2016.

1968 - When an analyst needed to write a computer program, the first step was to write the program on programming paper. A key punch operator then used that information to punch the cards that would be fed into the computer to execute the program. Each card contains eighty columns and ten punch positions in each column.

1950s-1970s - Early computers used coded punch cards to run programs. The standard 80-column card stored around 70 bytes of data and described one instruction in the program. Each card, each instruction, had to be ordered in a very precise manner and missing one character could cause an error in the whole program. In November 1960, when the USS George Washington departed for its first operational patrol with sixteen POLARIS A1 missiles, it took with it some 300,000 targeting cards prepared by Dahlgren.

5" Guided Projectile

The IBM 7030 was IBM's first supercomputer. It was originally designed to meet a requirement formulated by Edward Teller, the "father of the Hydrogen Bomb".

This 48,000-bit memory unit equipped the Control Data Corporation (CDC) 6700 computer in use at Dahlgren in 1972. The CDC machine could perform up to 3 million instructions per second, three times faster than its predecessor at Dahlgren. These powerful units supported much of the workload for the Navy's worldwide strategic systems.

The ZEPPO (Zuni Expendable Pulsed Power Oscillator) program developed a quick and cheap method of delivering an electronic jammer over the enemy while a strike was underway. The jammer was a high-repetition-rate spark gap noise generator that could be forward fired from a Zuni rocket and descend slowly by parachute while jamming enemy electronics. The jamming package was developed, built, and tested at Dahlgren in the late 1970s.

Path through the woods

Deeper into the woods, a patch of snow is found in a clearing.

Squirrel tracks are found in the snow.

Wider than an adult human foot, short black bear tracks lead into the forest.


Between D.C. and Dahlgren, a market just after Accokeek



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