Army Technology Live is the official blog of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. It was created to advance the conversation about Army technologies, inform the public about Army initiatives and showcase the work the Army technology team does to make our Warfighters safe and effective.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 30, 2015) — U.S. Army science advisors traveled to Exercise Keris Strike 15 in Malaysia to discuss technological and equipment issues with Soldiers.
Lt. Col. David Scooler, director of the U.S. Army International Technology Center in Singapore, said 25th Infantry Division Soldiers shared their challenges operating in a jungle environment.
“We went out there looking for problems that Soldiers are encountering and capturing those. Many of the Soldiers were concerned about the current boots versus the old jungle boots from Vietnam,” he said. “The current treads on boots have poor gripping capability in the muddy jungle. It has a soft heel instead of a rugged heel where they could dig in when climbing up wet terrain.
“There is ongoing research to develop a better combat boot.”
Keris Strike is an annual, bilateral exercise hosted by the Malaysian Armed Forces. This year marks the 19th iteration. Continue reading →
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Oct. 27, 2015) — Software engineers at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, orARDEC, have developed a new mobile application that allows users to research laboratories across the Department of Defense.
The Defense Laboratory Enterprise eSmartbook application, which is open to the public and available on both Apple and Android devices, was designed and developed in-house at the ARDEC Armament Software Engineering Center through coordination with the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering) Defense Laboratory Office.
It contains facts and media about each laboratory, as well as an RSS news feed that pulls science and technology articles from across the Defense Laboratory Enterprise.
The app improves upon information previously provided as a portable document file, or PDF, and hard, printed copy. Continue reading →
Autumn Kulaga is a biomedical illustrator at ARL. She uses CT scans to create a variety of 2-D and 3-D medical illustrations and animations, other graphic designs, data visualizations and 3-D models. All of these are used to clearly and succinctly communicate and visualize the injuries sustained.
Depicting injuries is not always easy using injury photographs and medical imaging, such as computerized tomography, or CT, scans. Scans do not necessarily highlight the injury of interest and, as a result, include unnecessary information such as unaffected body tissue and non-related injuries. They also sometimes reveal personally identifying features. Also, customers served by the ARL Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate, known as ARL-SLAD, are often not experts in anatomy, and benefit from illustrations to understand and analyze the injury depicted. ARL develops custom medical art and illustrations to help analysts visualize, archive and communicate pertinent information about injuries.
“I have always gravitated towards art and science,” Kulaga said. “To me these subjects are symbiotic, and therefore medical illustration seemed like a great path forward for my career. Not only does this let me use my creative talents on a daily basis, but I am constantly learning new material as I become involved in different projects.” Continue reading →
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (October 27, 2015) — A U.S. Army environmental test facility provides capabilities to test design integrity, ensure equipment adheres to military specifications and troubleshoot design prototypes to ensure the most comprehensive equipment reaches the warfighter.
Explosive atmospheres, extreme temperature fluctuations and powerful vibrations — these are just some of the punishing environmental conditions military communications equipment must endure on the battlefield or in the sky.
Field survivability tests are an effective means to test the equipment’s functionality and ensure Soldier safety, but Army and industry developers also use environmental test labs as a viable alternative to real-life testing.
“Using a lab to replicate the harshest environmental conditions expedites the testing process at a fraction of the cost,” said Christopher Manning, Command Power & Integration Directorate’s Prototype Integration & Testing Division chief, under the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC. Continue reading →
The Joint Insensitive Munitions Technology Program convenes biannually to exchange research information focused on improving the lethality, reliability, safety, and survivability of munitions and weapon systems, as well as ensuring IM compliance. IMs describe those munitions that will not react to unintentional triggers causing catastrophic damage that impairs warfighting capability.
By Ellen Crown, USAMRMC Deputy Public Affairs Officer
FORT DETRICK, Md. (Oct. 21, 2015) — The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency will soon begin fielding a new 12-pound portable oxygen generator that will drastically reduce logistical issues related to oxygen supply for patient care in the field.
The USAMMA, a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, plans to field the generators in its kits, such as air ambulance and ground ambulance, as well as unit assemblages provided for forward surgical teams, EMT/trauma and pre-op and intensive care ward/post-op. The generator will augment the ‘D’ cylinder for patient care and transport, providing a continuous supply of oxygen for non-critical patients using standard electrical power.
“Instead of lugging around 10 cylinders, which weigh 9 pounds each, a medic will now bring this one 12-pound device, which runs on a rechargeable battery and can produce three liters of 93 percent oxygen per minute,” said Maj. Norland James, assistant program manager of health care technologies at the USAMMA. “This is going to save the government countless dollars and reduce the giant logistical footprint that we have when it comes to patient care oxygen in the field.” Continue reading →
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md.(Oct. 22, 2015) — Members of the Maryland General Assembly visited one of the state’s largest employers to meet with Army leaders, tour high-tech laboratories and gain a better understanding of the cyber work conducted here Oct. 19.
Team APG leadership said they are moving forward with mapping the future of the installation’s cyber contributions to the Army to include lifecycle management, system vulnerability analysis, training the current and future military and government workforce, and partnering with industry, academia, international allies, and other government labs to develop future tactical cyber capabilities. Continue reading →
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Oct. 19, 2015) — Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, saw the latest in Army night-vision and power technologies for the Army of 2030 and beyond during a visit to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, Oct. 16, 2015.
Via received demonstrations that included the evolution of the thermal weapon sight; target handoff with coded spot tracker; third generation forward-looking infrared technologies; infrared cameras for future applications in heads up navigation, tracking and reporting; and multifunction video displays.
Via was pleased by the strides in technology that CERDEC is making to improve technologies and unburden the logistics load on the Soldier, he said. Continue reading →
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 16, 2015) — The U.S. Army introduced its newest supercomputer, Excalibur, which will help to ensure Soldiers have the technological advantage on the battlefield, officials said.
The Excalibur is the 19th most powerful computer in the world. About 50 officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Oct. 13, 2015) — As consumers, many of our items contain a “use by” or “best before” date. In the aviation and missile community, the same principle applies to its weaponry arsenal.
“This program tests missiles to make sure they are still safe and reliable as the system ages,” said Megan Shumate, AMRDEC general engineer. “All missiles have an initial shelf life from the date of manufacture. The Stockpile Reliability Program [SRP] evaluates the missiles as they approach their shelf life expiration to see if we can extend the useful life of system to make the Army’s return on investment greater.”
The SRP is the sole mechanism for assuring the continued safety, reliability, performance and availability of the U.S. Army missile inventory per Army Regulations 702–6 and 740–1. AMRDEC, PEO MS and Army Aviation and Missile Command, or AMCOM, collaborate to plan, execute and manage the SRP for all U.S. Army missile systems. Continue reading →
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 20, 2015) — Army researchers have developed a simple, comfortable wrap-style respiratory protective mask for protection against riot control agents. The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, known as ECBC, is making it as a simple as putting on a surgical mask.
ECBC researchers Dave Caretti, Dan Barker, and Doug Wilke, developed the idea for the solution from specialized operators who expressed a need for a protective mask to protect against riot control agents such as 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, also known as CS, or tear gas.
The operators also wanted a mask that could protect users who have beards, or must operate with other unique head-borne equipment.
Currently, users wear a traditional full general protective mask when disseminating riot agent. This mask is a hard material and the user must remove any existing equipment on their face in order to put it on. This process can take time that operators might not have during emergency situations.
“The solution we envisioned would easily integrate with the user’s helmet, communications headphones and protective eyewear, so that it could provide a simple solution for all users,” Caretti said.
Members of law enforcement who use CS and other riot control agents could also use this type of mask when necessary and avoid wasting time with a traditional full face piece respirator that requires the removal of protective helmets and other head-borne items.
In order to begin work on this proposed solution, Caretti, Barker and Wilke entered their proposal for the mask they called the “Integrated Respiratory and Eye Protective Scarf,” or IREPS to to the research center’s Internal Innovative Development of Employee Advanced Solutions Program. Continue reading →
WASHINGTON (Oct. 20, 2015) — Ground combat vehicle modernization efforts are moving forward, on schedule and under budget, the ground combat systems program executive officer told reporters last week.
Designs and engineering change proposals for existing vehicles have been largely finished, contracts are being awarded and some vehicles are being delivered and tested, said GCS PEO Brig. Gen. David Bassett.
“It’s a really exciting time,” he said. There’s “plenty to keep us busy, new requirements emerging, and really great partnerships on how we can tailor the acquisition process, look hard at appropriate requirements, help our user understand what those requirements cost and make meaningful trade offs between desired capabilities.”
The Stryker, for example, is undergoing a lethality upgrade that will include better turret fire control and advanced sensors and cannon systems for the Germany-based 2nd Calvary Regiment.
By Kashia Simmons & Kelly White, CERDEC Public Affairs
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (October 20, 2015) — The Army’s first of its kind modular, open system architecture is setting the stage for the future of hardware and software convergence after months of development from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC.
The Modular Open Radio Frequency Architecture, or MORA, will open radio frequency interfaces to enable rapid insertion of new capabilities and broader interoperability as well as reduce size, weight and power, or SWaP, for future ground vehicles.
“One thing we know about the future is that we don’t know what the future holds,” said Ben Peddicord, chief, CERDECIntelligence and Information Warfare Directorate’s Intel Technology and Architecture Branch. “The interfaces that have been exposed to MORA were chosen based on an analysis of the capabilities we’ve wanted to field over the last 15 years.”
Compared to a traditional radio solution, MORA provides the system integrator with greater flexibility when addressing technical challenges and the ability to insert third-party capabilities.
According to Peddicord, nearly all military platforms — to include Soldiers — have RF devices on them, making MORA an important element of hardware and software convergence because of its ability to share hardware assets across the platform.
NATICK, Mass. (Oct. 15, 2015) — Army researchers are partnering with universities to improve Soldier capabilities and protection.
At the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, senior research biologist Kris Senecal collaborates withNorth Carolina State University, which has resulted in the development of nonwoven, multifunctional materials. Senecal partnered with NC State’s Nonwovens Institute, or NWI.
DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. (Oct. 7, 2015) — Representatives of the national leadership for the High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum, or HTUF, visited the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, Sept. 30, 2015, to exchange information on the newest military and commercial vehicle capabilities.
The forum is in its 14th year, and this is the first time the meeting is being held at TARDEC. HTUF is a program managed and funded mostly by TARDEC’s National Automotive Center, or NAC.
A private organization known as CALSTART, which is dedicated to the growth of clean transportation technologies industry, has operated the program since its inception. It brings fleets, truck original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, suppliers and other industry stakeholders together to ensure future product offerings are capable of meeting high-efficiency military needs.
HTUF includes OEMs and their major suppliers that market both military and commercial products with common technologies. The members envisioned this meeting to be a catalyst for making change happen in the high-efficiency truck and bus arena.
“HTUF is focused on driving high-efficiency technology adoption in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that support military and commercial requirements,” said Bill Van Amburg, CALSTART Senior Vice President.
Dozens of small off-the-shelf drones sit idle while program officials conduct system checks to prepare them for flight preceding Network Integration Evaluation 16.1. (U.S. Army photo by John Hamilton)
By John Hamilton
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (Sept. 30, 2015) — In this season’sNetwork Integration Evaluation, or NIE, taking place on White Sands Missile Range, or WSMR, and Fort Bliss, Texas, coordinated units of remotely-operated and automated aircraft will be used to represent a possible threat on tomorrow’s battlefields.
Members of the Targets Management Office with U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation Training and Instrumentation, or PEO STRI, are using off-the-shelf quad and octocopters and flying them in groups. The endeavor is part of an U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, or ATEC, program to study possible use, effectiveness and countermeasures for the deployment of large numbers of synchronized drone aircraft.
“ATEC is our customer, they tasked us to come out and look at swarming, the variations and the payloads we can apply to this,” said James Story, an engineer with the Targets Management Office, PEO STRI. “We saw this as a threat that wasn’t being addressed and ATEC agreed.”
While drones are seeing expanded use, with many different countries building, deploying, and selling large airplane-sized drones for military purposes, small-scale drones are still gaining a foothold, mostly due to the technical limitations involved. That technology is expected to improve, and the small-scale drone become more viable as a possible weapon, and it’s that preparation for the future that is driving the swarming project.
“Right now there’s hardly anyone doing swarms, most people are flying one, maybe two, but any time you can get more than one or two in the air at the same time, and control them by waypoint with one laptop, that’s important,” Story said. “You’re controlling all five of them, and all five of them are a threat.”
By Lauren Poindexter and Ed Lopez, Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Oct. 7, 2015) — Engineers are using ultrasound technology to more easily find defects during the manufacture of ordnance as a way to lower costs, produce more effective ordnance and provide an added measure of safety for Soldiers in the field.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Dismounted Soldiers carrying full battle gear are pushed to their physical limits. Soldiers often heft 100 pounds or more of essentials. How the Soldier of the future maintains a decisive edge may lie in innovations developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA.
“That load is a critical issue,” said Lt. Col. Joe Hitt, a former Warrior Web program manager. “In Warrior Web, we want to explore approaches which make that kind of load feel, in terms of the effort to carry it, as if its weight has been cut in half. That’s the goal.”
DARPA launched the Warrior Web program in September 2011, seeking to create a soft, lightweight undersuit to help reduce injuries and fatigue while improving mission performance.
“The number one reason for discharge from the military in recent years is musculoskeletal injury,” Hitt said. “Warrior Web is specifically being designed to address the key injuries at the ankle, knee, hip, lower back and shoulders.”
Army researchers have been evaluating prototype devices for DARPA at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
Researchers from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering spent the past several years developing a biologically inspired smart suit that aims to boost efficiency through a new approach. A series of webbing straps contain a microprocessor and a network of strain sensors.
“The suit mimics the action of leg muscles and tendons so a Soldier’s muscles expend less energy,” said Dr. Ignacio Galiana, a robotics engineer working on the project.
Galiana said the team looked to nature for inspiration in developing cables and pulleys that interact with small motors to provide carefully timed assistance without restricting movement.
DARPA selected the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to evaluate several Warrior Web prototypes at the Soldier Performance and Equipment Advanced Research facility, or SPEAR.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Oct. 7, 2015) — The U.S. Army has fully launched the free America’s Army: Proving Grounds game on Steam. The game, which was released in beta in August 2013, had more than 920,000 player accounts created during the beta period and over 7.7 million hours of play.
Players can register their Soldier name for the game at the America’s Army: Proving Ground website and download the game from Steam.
“We received great feedback from our fans during the beta and with the help of our community we greatly improved the AA:PG game and experience,” said Daniel Kolenich, executive producer for America’s Army. “We’ve also been blown away by some of the great creations by our fans who used our AA Mission Editor to recreate some of their favorite maps from the franchise and develop new styles of game play that AA players are already loving.”
Bringing the best features of the previous versions to a new America’s Army environment, AA: PG stresses small unit tactical maneuvers and training that resembles the current day Army. AA: PG showcases the Army by emphasizing Army values, teamwork, training and completing the objectives through game-play that reflects the Soldier’s Creed.