Robert Arnone's expertise is in the coupling biological optical and physical processes using ocean color satellite combined with ocean models. He has developed bio-optical algorithms from satellites and applied to ecological forecasting models using data assimilation from ship and gliders. He has developed new at sea optical instrumentation for measuring optical properties of ocean waters.

Robert Arnone leads the National Ocean calibration and validation efforts for the Joint Polar Satellite System for NOAA, NASA, and Navy the NPP satellite ocean calibration and validation team with NOAA and university for SST and ocean color. He managed NRL’s Hyperspectral satellite Hyperspectral Imaging of the Coastal Environment (HICO) which was successfully launched to the International Space Station (Aug 2009). He serves on science teams for NASA, NOAA, EPA and Navy for developing future satellite systems and for establishing policy for ocean and coastal research (MODIS, SeaWIFS, VIIRS, GEOCAPE ,HICO).

He has over 120 scientific publications and >250 presentations in the areas of physical and bio-optical ocean processes. He has lead over 15 major national and international scientific oceanographic expeditions in the world oceans including Arabian Sea, Mediterranean, Japan East Sea, Iceland Greenland, and Gulf Stream . He has received awards for honors for “science to operations” transitions and NRL publication awards 1998 , 2002, 2008. He has received 2 Navy patents and NASA honors for astronaut training programs. He has received awards for Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award ; US Dept of Navy - honors, and; NASA - honors for Shuttle Astronaut Training program, Navy Royalty Transition award. Her has served on graduate student committees at USM, RSMAS, and University of Southern Alabama.

Robert Arnone retired from the Navy Research Laboratory as head of the Ocean Science Branch.