Army researchers connect with partners at APG Open Campus Open House

Dr. Thomas Russell (right), director of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, speaks during the Open Campus Open House at Aberdeen Proving Ground’s Mallette Auditorium Nov. 4, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

Army researchers connect with partners at APG Open Campus Open House

By Dan Lafontaine, RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Nov. 5, 2015) — The U.S. Army research community joined its counterparts in academia and industry to discuss better collaboration techniques during a conference Nov. 3–4.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, held its second Open Campus Open House at APG’s Mallette Auditorium with about 700 fellow researchers from across the country.

ARL Director Dr. Thomas Russell led an hour-long question-and-answer panel discussion with the audience. Eight ARL researchers who manage the lab’s Science and Technology Campaigns joined Russell.

The dialogue focused on improving shared research interests to support U.S. national security priorities.

“Any partnership that is successful is going to be based on mutual trust. Engage as early as possible to develop a true relationship,” Russell said.

U.S. Army science advisors engage in technology discussions in Malaysia

A Soldier assigned to Commanche Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, shows a member of the 9th Royal Ranger Regiment, Malaysian Armed Forces, how to properly adjust a M240L machine gun while it is mounted on a tripod during the academics week of Keris Strike 2015. (U.S. Army photo)

By Dan Lafontaine, RDECOM Public Affairs

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.”

 
Members of the Malaysian 9th Royal Ranger Regiment ask questions to U.S. Soldiers about the M240L Machine Gun after a rate of fire demonstration during the academic week of Exercise Keris Strike Sept. 15, 2015. (U.S. Army photo)

Keris Strike is an annual, bilateral exercise hosted by the Malaysian Armed Forces. This year marks the 19th iteration. Continue reading

Natick researcher collaborates with North Carolina State on textile technologies

Researchers say Soldiers will have extra power capabilities built into the uniform, with no added weight penalty. Here, Spc. Travis Williams, a grenadier with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, looks through the the sights of his M320 grenade launcher March 24, 2013, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

By Jane Benson, NSRDEC Public Affairs

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.

 
Natick researcher Kris Senecal collaborates with North Carolina State University to develop nonwoven, multifunctional materials. In a separate effort, she is working with the NC State Nanotechnology Initiative, to develop textile coatings to increase capabilities on existing fabric systems. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

In a separate effort, Senecal is developing novel textile coatings using atomic layer deposition, or ALD, with Dr. Gregory Parsons, director of the NC State Nanotechnology Initiative. Continue reading

Army researchers build partnerships through international assignments

Dr. Gordon Videen, a U.S. Army Research Laboratory physicist, participated in the Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program at the Spanish National Institute of Aerospace Technology. (U.S. Army photo by Doug LaFon)

Dr. Gordon Videen, a U.S. Army Research Laboratory physicist, participated in the Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program at the Spanish National Institute of Aerospace Technology. (U.S. Army photo by Doug LaFon)

By Dan Lafontaine, RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Aug. 18, 2015) — U.S. Army scientists and engineers combine forces each year with America’s allies to advance the state of military technology.

The Army bolsters its relationship with foreign partners and promotes international research cooperation through the Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program, officials said.

ESEP is a professional-development program that provides career-broadening work assignments for U.S. government employees in foreign defense establishments and vice versa.

Mid-career level Army engineers and scientists in Career Program 16 can apply through ESEP to work with an American ally for a year, with the possibility of an extension. Applicants may arrange for an assignment to one of 17 countries. Nine ESEP participants from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command returned to the United States in June 2015 after a year abroad.

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New flight center takes off

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contruct Flight Activity Center in Lakehurst, New Jersey. (U.S. Army photo)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contruct Flight Activity Center in Lakehurst, New Jersey. (U.S. Army photo)

By JoAnne Castagna, Ed.D.

In the skies somewhere above the Middle East, several Black Hawk helicopters hover. Their doors open and American service members exit and swiftly descend by rope to the ground.  They move in on high value targets of interest and confiscate their weapons, ammunition and intel.

What helped to make this mission a success was the fast rope system installed on the Black Hawks by the Flight Activity Center that is part of the U.S. Army Communications Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

In order for the center to continue to create these much needed technologies, they realized they had to upgrade their facilities to match the challenges being presented during their missions. As a result, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District is constructing a new energy-efficient multi-purpose complex that will help the center to continue their important mission while at the same time save the base and taxpayers considerable money.

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Adaptive zoom riflescope prototype has push-button magnification

A member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, left, demonstrates the Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles prototype developed at Sandia National Laboratories. (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories)

A member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, left, demonstrates the Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles prototype developed at Sandia National Laboratories. (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Oct. 22, 2014) — When an Army Special Forces officer-turned engineer puts his mind to designing a military riflescope, he doesn’t forget the importance of creating something for the Soldiers who will carry it that is easy to use, extremely accurate, light-weight and has long-lasting battery power.

Sandia National Laboratories optical engineer Brett Bagwell led the development of the Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles, or RAZAR, prototype. At the push of a button, RAZAR can toggle between high and low magnifications, enabling soldiers to zoom in without having to remove their eyes from their targets or their hands from their rifles.

“The impetus behind the idea of push-button zoom is you can acquire what you’re interested in at low magnification and, without getting lost, zoom in for more clarity,” Bagwell said.

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DOD honors Army Civilians for eliminating Syrian chemical weapons

The DOD recognized 45 U.S. Army Civilians for their efforts to destroy Syria's declared chemical weapons stockpile at an awards ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland Oct. 8, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

The DOD recognized 45 U.S. Army Civilians for their efforts to destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile at an awards ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland Oct. 8, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 9, 2014) — Department of Defense officials honored 45 Army Civilians in a ceremony Oct. 8 who voluntarily deployed to the Mediterranean Sea to destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile.

U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center mission commander Tim Blades got up from his seat and walked across the stage without looking at the handful of DOD stakeholders sitting to his left. He didn’t look out to the nearly 500 friends, families and colleagues sitting offstage to his right either. When he reached the podium, he looked only at the 45 honorees sitting in the front rows.

“I think I’d rather be out at sea,” he said with a laugh. It wasn’t like Blades to feel comfortable in the spotlight. Instead, he directed the attention to the crew of which he said he was simply a part.

Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Alan Estevez, presented 12 Meritorious Civilian Service Awards and 33 Superior Civilian Service Awards to members of the multi-agency team that completed the historic mission.

“Today’s ceremony is an example of how science and technology, combined with a world-class workforce and the great teamwork of all you players out there, can deliver unique capabilities to our nation,” said Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton, commanding general of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. “To me, it’s another great example of rapid acquisition process to meet the operational needs of our nation.”

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ECBC Field Operations and Laboratory Analysis support OPCW mission

ECBC had only six months to produce an operational model of a new transportable elimination technology that could neutralize chemical warfare materiel: the FDHS. Through unprecedented collaborative efforts across multiple government organizations, ECBC led the FDHS effort through full lifecycle development, from design and fabrication to engineering and test evaluation of the system.

ECBC had only six months to produce an operational model of a new transportable elimination technology that could neutralize chemical warfare materiel: the FDHS. Through unprecedented collaborative efforts across multiple government organizations, ECBC led the FDHS effort through full lifecycle development, from design and fabrication to engineering and test evaluation of the system.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center has long supported the non-proliferation of chemical weapons and the demilitarization of their stockpiles and destruction facilities. These two areas reflect the mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which will be awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Dec. 10 “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.”

Sixteen years after the independent, autonomous international organization based in The Hague, The Netherlands, administered the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997, 190 member states have ratified the treaty, including the newly joined Syrian Arab Republic on Oct. 14, 2013. The CWC is an arms control agreement that outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. The OPCW also has a working relationship with the United Nations to promote peace, disarmament and international cooperation; and ECBC has supported these efforts in significant ways.

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Picatinny cultivates today’s teacher’s, tomorrow’s innovators

So much learning going on here.

So much learning going on here.


PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Why stop at just getting students more interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics when we can get local teachers involved and excited as well? Well that’s just what we did and we’re quite pleased with the results.

Click here to read more.

Picatinny and NJIT invite middle school girls to get excited about science and technology

Njit_seal

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Picatinny Arsenal and the New Jersey Institute of Technology coordinated a visit here for middle school girls to get them excited about careers in science and technology. How’d it go? You’ll have to find out yourself.

Click here to read more.

Picatinny engineers help West Point cadets patent their inventions

This man wants to help you patent your invention.

This man wants to help you patent your invention.

WEST POINT, N.Y. — Two West Point cadets invent something suspiciously similar to Batman’s grappling hook gun. Picatinny engineers rush to help cadets secure patents ahead of Wayne Enterprises.

Click here to read more.

Digital howitzer fielded by 82nd Airborne Division

Digital howitzer still requires some manual work to achieve maximum utility.

Digital howitzer still requires some manual work to achieve maximum utility.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — The digital M119A3 105 mm howitzer was fielded by Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division. It was a PEO Ammunition project, but ARDEC helped out too.

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Army, universities partner for aviation research

Auburn University mascot Aubie learns how to hand-launch an RQ-11A Raven with engineer Daniel Hiatt, holding a Puma, during a 2012 visit to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

Auburn University mascot Aubie learns how to hand-launch an RQ-11A Raven with engineer Daniel Hiatt, holding a Puma, during a 2012 visit to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 19, 2013) — College students conducting research into remotely piloted unmanned aerial systems are testing their ideas on actual Army hardware.

In 2012, four Raven-A small unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, were transferred to Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Alabama A&M and Auburn University.

This unique opportunity is the result of partnerships between the Program Manager of Unmanned Aerial Systems; the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as AMRDEC, and the four universities.

Under Educational Partnership Agreements, each university was provided with a RQ-11A aircraft, ground control station and Toughbook computer.

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Greater than the sum of its parts

Collectively, we’re the Lucius Fox for the U.S. Army.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Dale Ormond, director of RDECOM, stopped at Picatinny to deliver an important message. Click the link to find out what he had to say.

Click here to read more.

Saving time, effort and $$$ with 3-D plans and schematics

When the Ds are 3, things are better all around for manufactures working with our plans and schematics.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — See how the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center teamed up with the Army Research Lab to get our plans and schematics up to speed with the rest of industry saving time, effort, and $$$. Because saving $$$ is kind of a big deal.

Click here to read more.

U.S. Military Academy seeks to enhance science, technology ties with RDECOM

The U.S. Military Academy seeks to enhance science, technology ties with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

The U.S. Military Academy seeks to enhance science, technology ties with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

WEST POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 17, 2012) — The U.S. Military Academy educates and trains future Army leaders. The school produces 19 percent of the Army’s officers each year, but officials said they account for 75 percent of those with STEM degrees — Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics.

The school partners with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command for internships, funding and special projects. Leaders from across the Army’s technology command met at the school Sept. 11, to discuss enhancing their partnership.

“As what we give to Soldiers becomes more technologically complex, it becomes even more important that officers have a strong foundation in math, science and engineering to understand the basis for these systems,” said RDECOM Director Dale A. Ormond. “As you increase the technical complexity of the equipment you use, it’s very important to have technical competence.”

Read more on Army.mil



YouTube DoDLive

It’s like that Avatar movie

Motion-capture suits were worn to create avatars for the M777A2 trainer. No blue cat-people were rendered.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Like something out of a Hollywood sci-fi production, Soldiers and Marines donned motion-capture suits and underwent face scans to render computer avatars of themselves. But this was no movie set and there would be no red carpet premiere.

Click here to read more.

Soldier’s science project may benefit entire Army (with help from Picatinny Arsenal)

1st Lt. Derek Wales (shown in photo with green screen background prior to his promotion) shows his "DemonEye" invention that rapidly tells a Soldier where he is on the battlefield and can be produced on the cheap.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — A Soldier’s quest started small, with a simple inspiration during a cadet field exercise in 2010.

His West Point electrical engineering and computer science class instructor gave him the “go-ahead” to follow that inspiration to the completion of his senior class project.

Now, that simple and popular invention could find a place with Soldier’s Army-wide.

Click here to read more.

Student robotic challenges also place emphasis on teamwork

The Roxbury Township basketball robot takes a shot at the basket during a recent FIRST Robotics Competition. Standing in back cheering in a red jumpsuit, his right arm raised, is Shahram Dabiri, the Roxbury team coach and mentor. Dabiri is also the DoD Ordnance Technology Consortium Technology Manager at Picatinny Arsenal.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Eight high school robotics teams mentored by engineers at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) competed March 31st to April 1st at the Mount Olive High School in some friendly robot basketball.

The teams participated in a competition called “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” (FIRST), which challenges student teams to design, build and compete against one another with…

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Army scientists develop deployable renewable-energy solutions

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Soldiers stationed in remote combat outposts face logistics and safety challenges to power their radios, laptops and GPS units.

U.S. Army scientists are researching methods to harness the sun and wind to ease the burdens associated with transporting fossil fuels to dangerous areas.

Marnie de Jong, an electrical engineer with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, is helping to develop renewable-energy based microgrids that work independently of traditional grid power.

Microgrids help to integrate different sources of energy for more efficient use and storage, she said.

“There has been a larger demand from the field for fuel reduction and power in remote locations,” de Jong said. “As that demand has increased, we have increased our focus in those areas.

“Microgrids will be able to take solar, wind and batteries and use them together. You can use solar when there is no wind available. Different pieces of the puzzle work better in different places. By making this a solution set, you can take what you need given your location.”

To provide alternative power sources to Soldiers in combat, de Jong and her colleagues at RDECOM’s Communications–Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center are developing two systems — Reusing Existing Natural Energy from Wind and Solar, or RENEWS, and Renewable Energy for Distributed Undersupplied Command Environments, or REDUCE.

EASING LOGISTICS CHALLENGES

CERDEC started work on RENEWS in 2009 under an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act program for photovoltaics in which it partnered with RDECOM’s Army Research Laboratory and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. The team has developed RENEWS prototypes and is finishing internal testing, de Jong said.

Units are being sent for operational assessments from Soldiers at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., and U.S. Africa Command.

“The RENEWS system is completely renewable energy [with] solar and wind components,” de Jong said. “It’s meant for smaller, mostly communications systems in very remote locations that are difficult to get to re-supply fuel or [where] it might be dangerous. It would be a self-sustaining system.”

RENEWS is designed to power two or three laptops continuously as long as there is power coming daily from the solar panels or wind turbine, she said. The storage component will be able to provide power at peak demand for about five hours when energy is not being generated by the renewable components.

The RENEWS components weight about 100 pounds, and it is stored in two cases weighing about 70 pounds each.

The Army intends the RENEWS and REDUCE systems to be complementary, resulting in power-grid technology that addresses power generation, distribution, load, renewables and storage.

A major concern for military logisticians is securing routes for fuel-truck convoys. According to Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, environment and technology, said one in 46 convoys suffers a casualty.

“There will be a reduction in fuel that is necessary for regular operations,” de Jong said. “That is one of the major concerns in the field in transporting fuel — logistics and safety. We are working to reduce fuel consumption by supplementing generators with renewable energy sources.”

INTEGRATED, INTELLIGENT POWER SYSTEMS

Work on the three-year REDUCE program is in the early stages, de Jong said. It is designed to be towed on a Humvee trailer.

“The key behind the system is the intelligent power management and distribution, as well as the plug and play capability for devices. Automatic-device detection and power distribution make it a network of power systems that is capable of adjusting based on mission demands and needs,” she said.

The REDUCE integrates renewables with traditional fossil-fuel generators to reduce consumption. The goal is to ease the Soldier’s work by having the system manage all the power.

“The problem with a lot of [Army] systems is that they don’t all work together. Pieces from one don’t necessarily work with pieces from another,” de Jong said. “You can’t get two systems to parallel when they’re made from different places.

“Under the REDUCE system, we’re looking to make that all happen automatically. We [will] have an interface defined for all the systems components such that you don’t run into the problem where the different pieces don’t work together.”

UNBURDENING THE SOLDIER

Scientists and engineers across the Army focus on removing obstacles for Soldiers. By integrating smart power systems, CERDEC’s aim is to allow Soldiers to concentrate on their missions instead of monitoring power systems.

“One of the biggest challenges is getting different systems to work together,” de Jong said. “It’s really frustrating for Soldiers in the field when they just want to use this cable with this battery, and it doesn’t work. One of the major technical challenges is having standardization for interfaces and smarts that make all the pieces work seamlessly so the Soldier doesn’t have to configure anything.

“Soldiers will appreciate the plug and play capability. They don’t need to be an expert in power systems. They can just turn it on, and it gives them situational awareness into their power systems. It will report back to them what is going on and if there is a problem.”

REDUCING ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT

The RENEWS and REDUCE systems will also contribute to the Army’s goal of increasing energy efficiency and lessening the reliance on fossil fuels, she said.

“Renewable energy solutions are helping to reduce the carbon footprint. They generate energy more efficiently on-site from renewable sources. It’s good for the Army, good for the Soldier, and good for the environment,” de Jong said.