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May 9, 2012 7:20 AM by AP

UNO, Miss State, get DoD grants for equipment

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Mississippi State University and the University of New Orleans are among 100 schools around the country that have won U.S. Department of Defense grants for new equipment costing $50,000 or more.

Brandon Taravella, an assistant professor in UNO's naval architecture and marine engineering program, has a grant for equipment that uses cameras and lasers to help analyze how water flows around an object, according to a DoD news release.

Mississippi State's Matthew Berg, an assistant professor of physics, is getting a grant for equipment to help analyze the size and shape and composition of tiny particles as they float in the air.

The list of grant winners did not give the size of each grant. It said they are expected to average about $288,000 and range up to $1.9 million.

Taravella said the equipment he needs will show information such as whether there's a wake and how big it is when models of ships and other marine equipment are tested in its 125-foot-long towing tank.

Berg said his research will have many uses outside defense. For instance, he says the way sunlight is scattered and absorbed by atmospheric particles is important in climate studies.

The Department of Defense said it is giving a total of $54.7 million to help buy state-of-the-art research equipment at 100 academic institutions. It said they are getting a total of 190 grants under the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program.

The program is meant to improve or develop universities' ability to do cutting-edge defense research.

It said its research offices received more than 700 proposals for a total of $226 million in research equipment.

All awards are subject to the completion of negotiations between DoD research offices and the academic institutions.

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