The U.S. Navy is visiting Chattanooga for a week full of fun and learning.

Mike Kings, an Aerographer's Mate First Class is part of a group that uses some cool tools like the Slocum Electric Glider for measuring temperature, pressure and salt content in the oceans.    

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"Everything from mapping the ocean bottom to undersea warfare, it's an extremely important facet of water space sub-management," Kings said.

This helps to fine tune sonar systems used by Navy vessels, making sure they have the right "prescriptions" to see properly. The Glider, along with the Apex Profiling Float can go up to 3,000 feet deep.

"So we get a fix on what the deep ocean currents are doing. How far they carried it and in what direction, and the vertical profiles going up and down those areas," Kings explained.

These devices are like weather balloons for the oceans, using iridium antennae to send data back to scientists. Some data are received in real-time. Some are collected over days or months, however.

Navy oceanographer Lauren Odom-Boring says the measurements help steer vessels away from trouble.

"To know where fronts and eddies are. So if a submarine's going through and it hits a front or something, SONAR is going to act differently," Odom-Boring said.

Long-range weather forecasts are done by huge supercomputers.

"It takes a lot of power to crunch all those numbers and forecast out for 10 days," Odom-Boring added.

Because meteorological data is so sparse across our vast oceans, the Naval Oceanographic Office is working hard to fill in the gaps. This not only helps with tracking hurricanes but with clearing harbors after storms strike.

"We can get in and get that SONAR survey done because of teams of ours that can open up those harbors," Kings said. "You're getting supplies in faster to relief and aid."

The Naval Oceanographic Office is located at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. It employs about 800 civilian, military and contract personnel.

Navy Week in Chattanooga runs through Sunday, June 17.