Army aviation continues efforts for technology development

The tiltrotor V-280 Valor aircraft is Bell Helicopter's vision of the future as it prepares for flight demonstrations for the Army in 2017. (Artist's rendering courtesy Bell Helicopter)

The tiltrotor V-280 Valor aircraft is Bell Helicopter’s vision of the future as it prepares for flight demonstrations for the Army in 2017. (Artist’s rendering courtesy Bell Helicopter)

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 13, 2015) — The Army recently extended technology investment agreements with two commercial companies to continue concept refinement and technology maturation for future vertical lift, or FVL, research. 

The Army is continuing its ties with AVX Aircraft Company and Karem Aircraft Incorporated. 

“This is an opportunity to execute further technology maturation with these two partners and expand the knowledge base of the Joint Multirole [JMR] Technology Demonstrator [TD] efforts in support of FVL decision points,” Dan Bailey, program director for FVL/JMR, said.

AVX will mature coaxial compound design, focusing on aerodynamic stability, high fidelity computational fluid dynamic analysis and limited wind tunnel testing scheduled for 2015-2017. 

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Army science advisor discusses technology issues at Lightning Forge

Soldiers assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division execute the Lightning Forge exercise before heading to a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Soldiers assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division execute the Lightning Forge exercise before heading to a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (March 18, 2015) — A U.S. Army science advisor engaged with Soldiers during the Lightning Forge exercise to address equipment challenges.

The environment in Hawaii presents specific issues not seen in most of the Army’s areas of operations, said Maj. Jim Czora, with Army Reserve Sustainment Command, Detachment 8.

“The climate and environment in the tropics is different from what a lot of our military equipment sees in the States or Europe theater,” he said. “The Pacific is very humid and corrosive relative to other operational environments.

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Aviation and missile team selected for vertical flight research award

HMVS during flight testing at Felker Army Airfield at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

HMVS during flight testing at Felker Army Airfield at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Mar. 19, 2015) — A team from the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center were selected to receive the 2015 American Helicopter Society Grover E. Bell Award as part of the Hub Mounted Vibration Suppressor team.

The Grover E. Bell Award is given for an outstanding research and experimentation contribution to the field of vertical flight development brought to fruition during the preceding calendar year.

“The incredible accomplishments by the engineers, scientists and leaders who advance vertical flight technology and by the skilled pilots and crews who operate their products is staggering,” said Ed Birtwell, Vice President and General Manager, Turboshaft/Turboprop Engines for GE Aviation and this year’s Chair of the Board of AHS International. “The AHS International Awards Program has very high standards. Those recognized today are truly outstanding examples of the best that the technical and operational communities have to offer.”

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Combat rations database allows Soldiers to learn about meals, ready-to-eat nutrition

A Soldier digs into a First Strike Ration in the mountains of Afghanistan. Nutritional information about the First Strike Ration and other individual rations is now available at the online combat rations database.

A Soldier digs into a First Strike Ration in the mountains of Afghanistan. Nutritional information about the First Strike Ration and other individual rations is now available at the online combat rations database.

NATICK, Mass. (March 16, 2015) — When Soldiers rip open meals, ready-to-eat, also known as MRE, in a combat zone, most people probably are thinking more about flavor and filling their stomachs than about the nutrition.

However, that does not mean nutrition is not important. The new online combat rations database, or ComRaD, formally launched earlier this month by the Department of Defense’s Human Performance Resource Center, or HPRC, provides warfighters, military dietitians, food service officers and leaders the opportunity to learn more about the nutritional value of what is inside those packages.

ComRaD is the result of a collaborative effort between HPRC, the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, also known as NSRDEC, and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM, at Natick Soldier Systems Center. The database contains nutrition information about the MRE, First Strike Ration, Meal, Cold Weather, and Food Packet, Long Range Patrol.

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Army looks at the future of aircraft survivability

Mark Calafut works for the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

Mark Calafut works for the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

By Mark Calafut, CERDEC

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The interconnected world of electronic systems provides an opportunity and a challenge for Army Aviation. As the Army develops its next-generation survivability systems, it has the opportunity to cost-effectively leverage advanced commercial electronics and integration technologies. However, it also faces the challenge of maintaining its technological edge, because many of those same commercial electronics are available to potential adversaries.

Today, Army aircraft are protected by a collection of survivability technologies, including onboard electronic survivability systems. Each onboard survivability system is designed to be independently effective at detecting or defeating a specific class of weapon systems, such as electro-optic and radio-frequency guided missiles or ballistic munitions. When adversaries employ these weapon systems against Army aircraft, the appropriate onboard survivability system automatically detects and defeats the threat, protecting the aircraft and crew.

Historically, onboard survivability systems were designed and developed independently. As technology matured and new weapon systems emerged, the Army upgraded existing survivability systems, or in some cases, added entirely new survivability systems to the aircraft. Instead of a truly integrated survivability suite, the result is a piecemeal approach whereby modern aircraft are protected by a collection of proprietary systems, often developed by different contractors and generally not built with open architectures that would much more readily enable their interoperability.

This presents disadvantages. Although many onboard systems require common components, the independent design and development of the systems prevents components from being centralized and shared. The independent designs came from systems not developed from a systems-of-systems approach with an open standard that established a technical vision for interoperable systems.

In many cases, this leads to duplication of components, such as processors or displays that would be unnecessary if the systems were integrated. However, the present lack of integration also prevents onboard systems from communicating with one another and operating cooperatively, which limits reliability and adaptability. For example, if a single protection system fails or is destroyed, the other onboard systems cannot intelligently compensate for that loss.

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Army researchers design better protective gear

An Apache crew member dons the Joint Service Aircrew Mask during an operations test conducted at Fort Hood, Texas. (U.S. Army photo)

An Apache crew member dons the Joint Service Aircrew Mask during an operations test conducted at Fort Hood, Texas. (U.S. Army photo)

ECBC Communications

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Chemical-biological protective gear worn by Army pilots and aircrews has evolved to improve survivability in flight.

Engineers at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, are putting design at the forefront of new Mission-Oriented Protective Posture gear, known as MOPP, in order to carefully tailor a suit that addresses specific pilot needs during a given air mission.

Army engineers are working on a chemical-biological protective mask that mitigates thermal burden and hydration issues for flight crews that can also fully integrate with specific current and future aircraft.

“With more than 130 different platforms, five different helmets and a variety of aircrew equipment, focusing on one mask design became difficult,” said Don Kilduff, an ECBC engineer who has supported JSAM since its inception. “Over time, the program split into different systems to meet the specific needs across the DOD aviation community.”

The Joint Service Aircrew Mask, known as JSAM, was initiated in 1999 by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and the Joint Project Manager for Protection.

The goal of the program is to provide individual respiratory, ocular and percutaneous protection from chemical and biological warfare agents and radiological particulates for pilots and aircrew.

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New hangar to increase C4ISR-aviation capabilities

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District Army is overseeing the construction of a 107,000 square foot hangar by Pennsylvania-based Bedwell Company at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakhurst in New Jersey. Elements of the U.S. Army RDECOM CERDEC will occupy the engineering hangar that will aid in the support of aviation related projects for the advancement of C4ISR technologies in the spring of 2016.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District Army is overseeing the construction of a 107,000 square foot hangar by Pennsylvania-based Bedwell Company at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakhurst in New Jersey. Elements of the U.S. Army RDECOM CERDEC will occupy the engineering hangar that will aid in the support of aviation related projects for the advancement of C4ISR technologies in the spring of 2016.

By Kristen Kushiyama, CERDEC Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (March 9, 2015) — Elements of the U.S. Army will complete and occupy a state-of-the-art research, development and engineering hangar in less than a year that will aid in the support of aviation related projects for the advancement of Command, Control, Computers and Communications and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, known as C4ISR, technologies.

By Spring 2016, elements of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center are scheduled to move into the 107,000 square foot facility at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station portion of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District Army is overseeing the construction by Pennsylvania-based Bedwell Company.

The hangar will supplement a World War II hangar that has degraded over time and will no longer sufficiently support the mission of the CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate Flight Activity, which will occupy both the current and new hangar spaces for the near future.

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Army seeks to boost aircraft performance, survivability

The March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine focuses on aviation.

The March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine focuses on aviation.

By David McNally, RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (March 1, 2015) — Army researchers, scientists and engineers are moving forward to develop aviation technology solutions to support future Soldiers.

“Aviation is key to our ability to accomplish a wide range of missions in complex environments, as well as being a cornerstone of Army lethality,” said Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command commander.

From leading efforts to realize the next generation of rotorcraft, to conceptualizing technologies that may allow aircraft to heal themselves, the Army is investing in the future.

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Advanced dashboard may change the future of Army aviation

ARL's futuristic dashboard would give air traffic controllers, maintainers, and commanders a clear view of the health, usage, and location of any air, ground or unmanned vehicle in their fleet at anytime, anywhere in the world. But inside the vehicle, pilots or other operators would see the Vehicle State Awareness Capability screens, which signal to them the current maneuver capability of the vehicle as well as the health status of critical systems (e.g., propulsion, drive-train, structures) Maintenance operators, and most likely commanders, would focus on the Aviation Tactical Operation Panel, which can give them real time assessments of any vehicle damage, stress or fatigue.

ARL’s futuristic dashboard would give air traffic controllers, maintainers, and commanders a clear view of the health, usage, and location of any air, ground or unmanned vehicle in their fleet at anytime, anywhere in the world. (U.S. Army illustration)

By T’Jae Ellis, ARL Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A futuristic dashboard could change the way Army aviation operates, allowing for autonomous location tracking and updates on the health of an aircraft even at the material level.

U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists are conceptualizing technologies to deliver a more accurate and real-time view into aircraft operations of the future.

Today’s black boxes capture basic flight operational information and are not for real-time monitoring. However, possibly three decades from now, Army researchers hope to provide automated real-time solutions for aviators to safely complete their missions, according to Dy Le, an ARL division chief who specializes in sciences for maneuver.

“It’s an integrated capability designed to automatically gauge changes in air, ground, and autonomous systems vehicles’ functional state at the material level; assess vehicles’ maneuvering capabilities taken into account of measured functional state in the context of upcoming or even ongoing missions; and enable operators or Soldiers to maneuver accordingly to achieve mission requirements,” Le said.

The system is called VRAMS, or the Virtual Risk-informed Agile Maneuver Sustainment Intelligent State Awareness System.

Total awareness of location and status of all air assets would provide Army commanders with enhanced situational awareness and the decisive edge. But researchers are also aware of the importance of protecting this information.

“This is one of the challenges that we will be working on as we progress through various stages of VRAMS maturation,” Le said. “Data/information assurance to protect aircraft position/identity is one of critical pieces to safeguarding the national aviation infrastructure from real cyber attacks.”

The dashboard framework would depend on technologies that currently do not exist but would help air traffic controllers, maintenance teams and commanders detect real and potential system and component damage of aircraft.

The concept was inspired by Dr. Bill Lewis, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center Aviation Development director, whose desire was to have fatigue-free aircraft to protect from aircraft catastrophic failures, as well as to reduce operation and sustainment costs.

The project hopes to achieve the Army sustainment goal, for example, zero-maintenance, by containing or eliminating aircraft structural fatigue using the VRAMS Intelligent State Awareness System.

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Army engineers define future aviation fleet

Artist's conception of future Army rotorcraft.

Artist’s conception of future Army rotorcraft. (U.S. Army graphic by AMRDEC VizLab)

By Dan Lafontaine, RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The U.S. Army science and technology community is charting the future of military vertical lift aviation that will enable warfighters to accomplish missions not possible today.

The Army, supported by NASA and the Navy, is combining its areas of technical expertise to accomplish the aggressive scientific and engineering goals necessary to develop a new fleet of joint aircraft, said Ned Chase, deputy program director of S&T for the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator/Future Vertical Lift.

JMR TD has been established to address several of the capability gaps that cannot be satisfied by updating the current fleet.

“Let’s figure out what we want this new aircraft to do, and let’s go out and prove that we have the technologies available to meet those requirements. That’s what we’re doing with JMR TD,” said Chase, with the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

The Department of Defense is using JMR TD to design and integrate the technologies that will eventually feed into FVL and replace the military’s vertical lift fleet with a new family of aircraft.

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Commentary: Army researchers seek future aviation gains

Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton commands the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton commands the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Aviation is a foundational capability the Army brings to the joint force to prevent conflict, shape security environments and dominate the battlefield. As the Army rebalances toward the Pacific, faces unpredictable adversaries in the Middle East and supports aid to Ebola victims in Africa, we see that it would be difficult for the Army to realize its goal of a regionally aligned and globally responsive force without a robust aviation force. Aviation is key to our ability to accomplish a wide range of missions in these complex environments, as well as being a cornerstone of Army lethality.

The Army has an amazing history with aviation. Aviation platforms have remained in service for 40 to 60 years. The pace of change is accelerating, however, and technology formerly reserved to major powers is spreading.

Future challenges such as operating in megacities or against subterranean objectives makes the battlefield agility and lethality afforded by Army aviation all the more important.

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Future of Army Aviation Research: Q&A with lead researcher

Dr. Bill Lewis is the director of the Aviation Development Directorate for the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research and Development Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. (U.S. Army photo by Russ Wetzel)

Dr. Bill Lewis is the director of the Aviation Development Directorate for the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research and Development Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. (U.S. Army photo by Russ Wetzel)

RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Dr. Bill Lewis is the director of the Aviation Development Directorate for the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research and Development Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

He manages and directs the execution of the Army Aviation Science and Technology portfolio, including basic and applied research, and advanced technology development. A career Army aviator and experimental test pilot, his duties also include serving as the Office of the Secretary of Defense lead for rotorcraft technology, and as director of the National Rotorcraft Technology Center.

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New training system helps aircraft crews defend against ground-fired missiles

A Soldier uses the Man-Portable Aircraft Survivability Trainer as an M176 Pyrotechnic Simulator launches in the background. (U.S. Army photo)

A Soldier uses the Man-Portable Aircraft Survivability Trainer as an M176 Pyrotechnic Simulator launches in the background. (U.S. Army photo)

By Eric Kowal, Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Army engineers have developed an advanced system to train aircraft crews to protect aircraft and crewmembers against threats such as shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles.

Since the Vietnam War, such anti-aircraft missiles, especially those known as man portable anti aircraft missiles or MANPADS, have played a critical role in the shooting down military aircraft and their crews.

In order to enable aircraft and crews to survive these missile threats, the U.S. military has developed and deployed a continuously improving suite of aircraft survivability equipment , or ASE assets, that include electronic jammers, lasers and counter-measure flares.

These ASE assets have proven to be very effective at decoying or destroying these threat MANPADS, said James Wejsa, chief of the Pyrotechnic Technology and Prototyping Division of the U. S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.

However, there has been no significant development and deployment of any realistic improvements in aircraft MANPAD threat training. That is about to change, as Army researchers complete the new system called Man-Portable Aircraft Survivability Trainer. Picatinny engineers said the system is entering the production and fielding support phase.

“This is a realistic training system that we are very excited to be a part of developing and fielding for use in training our aviators,” Wejsa said. “These MANPAD threats are real and very deadly to combat and combat support aircraft if not properly protected.”

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Army aviation researchers focus on rotorcraft

The March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine focuses on aviation.

The March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine focuses on aviation.

AMRDEC Public Affairs

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Army rotorcraft of the future will depend on the imaginations and engineering prowess of scientists, researchers and aviators at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Center.

AMRDEC’s Aviation Development Directorate maintains a deep portfolio of science and technology project looking at current and future rotorcraft, including survivability, performance and affordability.

Rusty Graves, the directorate’s acting chief engineer, hopes to use science and technology to enhance the legacy fleet while supporting Future Vertical Lift until it transitions to the Program Executive Office Aviation.

“We manage and conduct basic and applied research, and advanced technology development to provide one-stop life cycle engineering and scientific support for aviation systems and platforms,” Graves said.

AMRDEC divides the directorate’s S&T efforts into six focus areas.

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Aerial resupply lands on ground troops

Soldiers prepare to the Enhanced Speed Bags System, or ESBS, from a helicopter during the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment Speed Bag Operation held Jan. 28, 2014, at Fort Benning, Georgia. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright)

Soldiers prepare to the Enhanced Speed Bags System, or ESBS, from a helicopter during the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment Speed Bag Operation held Jan. 28, 2014, at Fort Benning, Georgia. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright)

By Jeff Sisto, NSRDEC Public Affairs

NATICK, Mass. — The U.S. Army is streamlining efforts to provide squad- and platoon-level ground Soldiers operating in austere environments with an organic aerial resupply capability that will empower and sustain them on the battlefield.

The Enhanced Speed Bag System, or ESBS, fills this capability gap by drastically increasing the survivability rate of critical resupply items such as water, ammunition, rations and medical supplies, which must be air-dropped from helicopters to small units on the ground. The system includes a hands-free linear brake, rope, and a padded cargo bag that can hold up to 200 pounds and be dropped from 100 feet.

ESBS was originally developed by engineers from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Aerial Delivery Directorate and the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Logistics Research and Engineering Directorate to standardize the improvised airdrop methods used in theater to resupply units in remote locations where traditional resupply methods, such as truck convoys, are too impractical or threat laden.

“The goal was to standardize ad-hoc techniques used with body bags and duffle bags by providing a material solution and giving units enough knowledge and training to utilize it,” said Dale Tabor, NSRDEC’s Aerial Delivery Design and Fabrication team leader.

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Future of Army Aviation: Q&A with AMCOM leader

U.S. Army Commanding General Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson, Aviation and Missile Command, is the featured interview in the March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine.

U.S. Army Commanding General Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson, Aviation and Missile Command, is the featured interview in the March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine.

RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Army aviators depend on the Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, to ensure aviation readiness with seamless transition to combat operations.

Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson commands the organization of 8,000 civilian workers and 175 soldiers. His unit performs vital work on aviation and missile systems and the supporting equipment required to operate them.

The March/April issue of Army Technology Magazine focuses on aviation and interviewed Richardson on his vision of the future.

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Army scientists improve early bio-threat detection

The Joint U.S. Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition, or JUPITR, provides unique biological detection capabilities for stronger biosurveillance capabilities on the Korean peninsula. (U.S. Army photo)

The Joint U.S. Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition, or JUPITR, provides unique biological detection capabilities for stronger biosurveillance capabilities on the Korean peninsula. (U.S. Army photo)

ECBC Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Jan. 12, 2015) — Army researchers are looking at novel ways to test the latest technologies, including a systems-approach to sensor installation and compatibility.

Advanced sensor technology is making its way into the hands of Soldiers through the Distance Detection Devices, or D3 program. Army scientists and engineers from the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, work with Soldiers and other end-users and provide the most effective handheld biological detectors needed for a given mission.

“Handheld biological detection is critical for warfighters today and in the future,” said Janet Betters, ECBC’s D3 lead. “These users are out in the field, and away from the laboratories. They need to be able to tell if they are in danger or not, and quickly.”

The D3 program is part of the broader Joint U.S. Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Reduction Advanced Technology Demonstration program, known as JUPITR ATD. The multi-year program provides the Republic of Korea and others in the Asia-Pacific region with improved biosurveillance capabilities.

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Sensors move Army closer to Common Operating Environment

Army researchers say dynamic discovery will improve situational awareness by enabling the Soldier to query different sensors as he or she moves through an area. (U.S. Army illustration)

Army researchers say dynamic discovery will improve situational awareness by enabling the Soldier to query different sensors as he or she moves through an area. (U.S. Army illustration)

By Edric Thompson, CERDEC Public Affairs

The Army envisions a future where sensors dynamically interact with each other while sharing information with Soldiers. Its researchers are now one step closer to enabling this common operating environment through the development of a foundational software architecture.

The Integrated Sensor Architecture establishes standards that bring together sensors within an area of operation so they can talk without requiring physical integration.

“You have this fundamental architecture enabling sensors to not only recognize the systems they want to interact with, but to also broker the information exchanges,” said Joe Durek, deputy director for the Modeling and Simulation Division of the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate.

As Army researchers and engineers develop ISA, they hope to put together fundamental interoperability so future sensors can come online to a network, register and communicate its capabilities to the network and other assets and sensors on the network can subscribe to the types of information they need.

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Natick researchers integrate Soldier sensors

Natick researcher Dr. David Darkow is working to bring Full Motion Video sensing sources to the Nett Warrior System. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

Natick researcher Dr. David Darkow is working to bring Full Motion Video sensing sources to the Nett Warrior System. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

By Jeff Sisto, NSRDEC Public Affairs

To the modern dismounted warfighter, the saying “knowledge is power” is true, especially when making quick decisions based on limited information.

Scientists and engineers from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, are working hard to make information assets a fundamental component of the Soldier’s kit.

“The ability to collect, process and share battlefield information can greatly improve the chances of mission success and troop survival,” said Dr. David Darkow, the Mission Information team leader with NSRDEC’s Warfighter Directorate.

Army researchers are developing a fully-integrated, mobile platform that provides dismounted Soldiers at the squad level with organic and shared sensor information to enhance situational awareness on the battlefield.

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Virtual Roundtable: Sensors

In this virtual roundtable discussion, we sit down with three of the Army’s top minds who are the driving force behind advanced sensors research. Dr. Philip Perconti (left) from ARL is director of ARL’s Sensors & Electron Devices Directorate at Adelphi, Maryland. He is responsible for leading and transitioning the Army’s primary basic and applied research programs in sensors, electronics, signal processing and power and energy component technologies. Dr. Donald A. Reago Jr., (center) is director of CERDEC's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He is responsible for planning and executing the Army's applied and advanced science and technology investments in Electro-Optical/Infrared and Countermine/ Counter-Improvised Explosive Device sensors and signal processing and for leading the DoD Sensors Community of Interest, which informs the sensor development strategy for the entire U.S. military. Dr. Michael S. Richman (right) is AMRDEC’s director of Missile Development Division at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. He is responsible for the execution of all missile science and technology basic research, applied research and advanced technology development programs.

Dr. Philip Perconti (left) from ARL is director of ARL’s Sensors & Electron Devices Directorate at Adelphi, Maryland. He is responsible for leading and transitioning the Army’s primary basic and applied research programs in sensors, electronics, signal processing and power and energy component technologies. Dr. Donald A. Reago Jr., (center) is director of CERDEC’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He is responsible for planning and executing the Army’s applied and advanced science and technology investments in Electro-Optical/Infrared and Countermine/ Counter-Improvised Explosive Device sensors and signal processing and for leading the DoD Sensors Community of Interest, which informs the sensor development strategy for the entire U.S. military. Dr. Michael S. Richman (right) is AMRDEC’s director of Missile Development Division at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. He is responsible for the execution of all missile science and technology basic research, applied research and advanced technology development programs.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command feeds the technology pipeline from concept to prototypes with more than 11,000 scientists, researchers and engineers in its six centers and the Army Research Laboratory collaborating and coordinating across many disciplines.

In this virtual roundtable discussion, we sit down with three of the Army’s top minds who are the driving force behind advanced sensors research.

ARL is the Army’s corporate lab, which provides basic and applied research for materiel technology to support the Soldier.

The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, develops and engineers the technologies for mission command and intelligence, as well as applications and networks designed to connect and protect the Soldier.

The Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, provides RD&E technology and services for aviation and missile. AMRDEC engineers focus on game-changing technologies to detect and destroy threats; enhance performance, lethality, survivability and reliability of aviation and missile systems.

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