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Posts Tagged AMRDEC
AMRDEC, NASA work together on propulsion research
By Heather R. Smith, AMRDEC Public Affairs
Collaboration between the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center and NASA is almost a no-brainer. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is just two miles from the Army’s aviation and missile research facilities.
Dr. Jaime Neidert, AMRDEC chief scientist for energetics said the organizations share much more than just proximity.
Several years ago, Neidert recalled a briefing about the kind of propulsion research going on at the NASA center.
“We realized that we in the DoD and in propulsion have a lot of common interests with NASA, although our payloads are different,” Neidert said. “When it comes to propulsion, both energetic components – the oxidizer – as well as the inert components, such as fuels, adhesives and insulators, have a lot of commonalities.”
Researchers, engineers work to improve safety of munitions
By William H. Ruppert, IV, P.E., Program Manager, Joint Insensitive Munitions Technology Program
It’s the year 2045 and your grandchild is deployed to the hot spot of the future, commanding a ground unit combating the latest terrorist group. The vehicle he is riding in is suddenly struck by two rocket propelled grenades. The vehicle interior is breached and the ammunition inside sustains a direct hit, but none of them explode and the crew has only minor injuries. They quickly assume their respective defensive positions from inside the vehicle and return fire on the aggressors, decisively defeating them. Their training and their equipment have not failed them. They will live to fight another day.
This may sound too farfetched or even impossible, but at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, researchers lead and support the Joint Insensitive Munitions Technology Program, or JIMTP, to develop safer munitions with the goal of ensuring the safety of our future warfighters.
The JIMTP is a unique partnership of government, industry and academic partners. The Office of the Secretary of Defense has program oversight, but it’s managed by ARL, and laboratories within the Air Force and Navy provide technical management. The partnership is essential to ensure the maximum return on investment in a time of increasing fiscal constraint.
These partners are working together to reinvent the way munitions work – making them almost impossible to ‘go off’ when the warfighter doesn’t want them to – while at the same time improving the lethality, reliability, safety and survivability of munitions.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Nov. 13, 2013) — The Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center’s Prototype Integration Facility teamed with the Utility Helicopter Program Management Office to deliver two customized UH-60M Black Hawk aircraft for the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.
PIF Government Project Lead Katie Bush said the work included the design and integration of Forward Looking Infrared Radar, a Traffic Avoidance System, an Environmental Control System, and an upgraded cabin seating.
The aircraft will be used by the 12th Aviation Battalion for its VIP missions to carry senior leadership and visiting heads of state in the National Capital Region.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., October 3, 2013–The Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center announces the award of four Technology Investment Agreements under Broad Agency Announcement W911W6-12-R-0021 Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator Phase 1 to AVX Aircraft Company, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Karem Aircraft Inc., and Sikorsky Aircraft Company.
JMR-TD is a Science and Technology demonstration intended to mitigate risk for the Future Vertical Lift development program through the testing of advanced technologies and efficient configurations.
The purpose of the JMR-TD is to demonstrate an operationally representative mix of capabilities to investigate realistic design trades and enabling technologies. Emerging results from JMR-TD Phase 1 will be used to inform the Future Vertical Lift effort regarding promising vehicle configurations, the maturity of enabling technologies, attainable performance and capabilities , and highlight the affordable technical solutions required to achieve those capabilities.
REDSTONE ARSENAL (Sept. 25, 2013) — Army tactics and training are constantly changing to meet the threat on the battlefield, and one such example is the attack helicopter.
Originally the AH-1 Cobras were designed to arrive on station quickly, eliminate the threat, and move on to the next target. But in today’s battlefield, attack helicopters like the AH-64 Apaches are providing air support to ground convoys, and often hovering over convoys to eliminate any sign of threats.
These combat operations result in increased exposure to enemy ground fire and increased need for ballistic protection systems, and the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Prototype Integration Facility has developed that expertise.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Sept. 3, 2013) — The next version of the America’s Army video game was released today and is now available for download.
Players can register their Soldier name for the game at the America’s Army: Proving Ground website, www.americasarmy.com, and then jump into the Army action.
America’s Army is developed out of the Software Engineering Directorate of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal. While more than a decade old, the game stays new and relevant with frequent updates and new product lines.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (June 10, 2013) — A recently retired Army research scientist was the focus of honors June 7 during ceremonies here.
The Army honored senior research scientist Dr. Jester (Jay) Loomis during a small ceremony with family and coworkers hosted by Eric Edwards, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center director.
Loomis’s award, signed by Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh, was the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service and it is the highest Department of the Army honorary award granted by the Secretary of the Army.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (May 13, 2013) — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s aviation and missile center is leveraging micro-electro-mechanical systems research in a new application to detect potentially damaging vibrations encountered by missiles during handling, transport and operation.
Stephen Marotta, Engineering Directorate project principal investigator, said MEMS research has been ongoing at Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center for many years and many different applications have been successfully transitioned from the lab to the Soldier in the field.
In an effort to improve missile health monitoring, Marotta began collaborating with Mohan Sanghadasa, from AMRDEDC’s Weapons Development and Integration Directorate, and Stephen Horowitz, an engineer with Ducommun Miltec.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army science advisors are embedded with major units around the world to speed technology solutions to Soldiers’ needs.
The Field Assistance in Science and Technology program’s 30 science advisors, both uniformed officers and Army civilians, provide a link between Soldiers and the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s thousands of subject matter experts.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 10, 2013) — Deep in a maze of corridors at the Army Game Studio here, the worlds of graphic art, gaming and military collide.
This is where artists, Soldiers and gaming experts collaborate to use games and comic books to communicate to the public the reality of being a Soldier in the U.S. Army.
Developed out of the Software Engineering Directorate of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, the America’s Army game, at www.americasarmy.com, is more than a decade old. Yet it stays new and relevant with frequent updates and new product lines.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Former Naval Air Systems Command test project engineer James Lackey has joined the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center as director of the Engineering Directorate.
A native of Maryland, Lackey had a near 25-year career at the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, Md. He was a strike aircraft flight test project engineer for more than a decade, and between 1999 and 2008 held a variety of program management assignments.
Lackey said he is looking forward to applying his background from the Navy to the Army and multiple-service customers supported by AMRDEC.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — From an early age, Anna Locke wanted to be an engineer.
“Since I was just a child, I remember hearing stories of my father’s efforts to help our Soldiers as an engineer for [the Department of Defense]. I thought he had the most interesting job in the world,” Locke said. “I knew from a young age that I wanted to pursue an exciting career that results in helping those that risk their lives to protect this country.”
Today, Locke is fulfilling that dream as an electrical engineer at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s aviation and missile center.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — The Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Engineering Directorate has received an Alabama Performance Excellence Award.
The award is administered by the AlaQuest Center for Performance Excellence, which assists organizations to achieve excellence and efficiency through training and education, workforce development and best practice sharing.
Former ED director Patti Martin said the award demonstrates the commitment of the work force to technical excellence and the effectiveness of the directorate’s technical processes and partnerships. Martin was director at the time the award application was submitted.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Transitioning a technology prototype from an Army engineer’s laboratory to the Soldier on the ground is filled with potential obstacles.
To overcome challenges associated with manufacturing Soldiers’ equipment, from helicopters to helmets, the U.S. Army enlists the Manufacturing Technology Program, commonly known as ManTech.
Andy Davis, ManTech program manager with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said his team is focused on addressing issues in affordability and producibility.
“[Scientists and engineers] develop technologies in the labs. They can make one or two [prototypes] in the lab, but they can’t make them in quantity,” Davis said. “ManTech bridges that gap. In terms of the Warfighter impact, it helps get items more quickly to the [field].”
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.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A team of U.S. civilian engineers and technicians deployed to Afghanistan recently marked one year of solving Soldiers’ technological hurdles.
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, Forward Deployed Prototype Integration Facility provides a platform for its subject matter experts’ knowledge and talents to be translated into battlefield solutions, said Michael Anthony, the team’s director.
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ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – U.S. Army officials announced the winners of its greatest inventions competition Sept. 19.
A team of combat veteran non-commissioned officers, as well as U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command field-grade officers, reviewed and voted for the Army Greatest Inventions of 2011.
Dale Ormond, director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, commended the scientists and engineers for their efforts to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers.
“The contributions made by these teams promise to improve the well-being of Soldiers and the Army’s capability to contribute to quality of life and our national security,” Ormond said. “All of the nominated inventions demonstrate significant contributions to the warfighter.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — PVC pipe, screws, an irrigation valve cover, an aluminum paint grid and a bicycle inner tube. What do they have in common? They’re all part of a kit to build a robot according to Lucas Hunter, a mechanical engineer with the U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center.
“This is my third year volunteering to work for the BEST competition,” Hunter said. “BEST means Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology. It’s a competition for middle and high school students that centers around robotics.”
Hunter serves as AMRDEC’s science and technology representative to the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga. He provides guidance, advice and support in the areas of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — The same team of Picatinny Arsenal engineers that brought the Objective Gunner Protection Kit (OGPK) to service members has completed development of a new armor system that is customized for integration with the Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command-link guided (TOW) missile and Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS).
TOW gunners, soon you too can enjoy the benefits of added protection while atop MRAPs that non-TOW gunners have enjoyed for some time now. It just seemed fair.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s senior noncommissioned officer, returned May 13 from a nine-day mission to Afghanistan.
In an interview with RDECOM public affairs, Beharie discussed how the command is providing the technological edge to Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
What were your objectives during your first visit to Operation Enduring Freedom as RDECOM’s command sergeant major?
“It was two-fold. First, we have folks who are doing great work in harm’s way, supporting the Warfighter. I wanted to pay them a visit, let them know who I am, and talk with them; get their concerns and issues they are dealing with; hear about some of the opportunities they had to support our Warfighter; technologies they were able to help field.
Second, [I wanted] to meet the senior enlisted Soldiers in the battlespace and hear from them how [RDECOM is] doing providing them the resources and technology to fight on the battlefield. That part is just as important. If they don’t know that we’re there or don’t know what value we add, we quickly become low-hanging fruit. As [the Army] ramps down in theater, we become the first to go home. That would be a tragedy to leave the Soldiers without the technology or the connection to the technology that we are able to give from our labs.”
As you talked with the Soldiers and civilians supporting OEF, what support do they need from RDECOM?
“When I was a Warfighter, I did not know what RDECOM provided me. Throughout the [Army Force Generation] process and the re-set process, there was a lot of technology that came my way that we, as a unit, had to integrate into our organization.
It’s the same thing with the Soldiers currently in theater. Some do not know RDECOM existed. They received technology and support from RDECOM, but we need to do better with our strategic communications and getting the word out. Part of my reasoning for going to theater is to get the word out [what] we, as RDECOM, provide and how we can better assist our Soldiers.”
How can RDECOM’s scientists and engineers in the United States do better to provide timely solutions to address these needs?
“I think the lines of communication, the resources that we have, and the reachback capability that we have to our labs, scientists and engineers — I think that is what we need to do better.
Our scientists and engineers are doing a fabulous job supporting our Warfighters. They come to work every day energized. For us to have the reachback from [Soldiers and commanders in] theater, our [Logistics Assistance Representative and Field Service Representatives] help by telling us where the gaps are. [We] fill those gaps in our labs with an emerging technology or [with] equipment we already built to increase capabilities on the battlefield. I think our scientists and engineers are doing a great job.”
Where in Afghanistan did you go?
“I had the opportunity to tour the entire breadth of Afghanistan where major commands are. Those are the hubs. If you get the commands and hubs to understand the type of support that we provide on a daily basis, that will proliferate across the subordinate commands.
We met with [Regional Command]-South and talked with them about our lines of effort and support. [We made] sure we are linked [for] them reaching back to us. They have several ways to get to us. The [Rapid Equipping Force] 10-liner will come back to us. The [Operational Needs Statement] [Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement] process will come back to us. Our [Science and Technology Assistance Teams] in theater will bring stuff back to us to action and provide material solutions to Warfighters.”
How does the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center accomplish its mission of providing engineering solutions to Soldiers directly in theater?
“What a tremendous capability to our Soldiers. This is a big win for the Army. This is a battlefield enabler having the RFAST-C that forward in theater. In six months, they have done over 177 projects for theater. That is throughout the [Combined Joint Operation Area], throughout the battlespace. While I was there, they were working on projects for the [Afghanistan Working Group] for the Afghan Army. They are working on engineering projects for the Air Force’s AC-130.
You name it, they are working on it. You have a Soldier who walks up to the RFAST-C and says, ‘Hey, I have a problem.’ I met that Soldier, a specialist. He showed me how he came up with the design, his drawings, what he envisioned, and the problem he had. He walked up to one of our engineers and said, ‘Hey, here is a problem that I have. Here is what I think a solution could be. Can you do something about this?’ Our scientist said, ‘Absolutely we can do something about it.’ They put the engineering mental muscle behind it and came up with a great product to fill that Soldier’s problem. This proliferates on the battlefield. It was a game-changer. This was an adjustment that had to be made because of new technology that we sent to theater to protect our Soldiers. We had to adjust how we placed certain items on vehicles.
I cannot speak enough about how great of a resource [the RFAST-C] it is for theater. I spoke to RC-South, RC-East, RC-Capital. I’ve talked to every command, all the way through [International Security Assistance Force] Command, and they all are singing the praises of what we are doing in theater.”
How will RDECOM leverage the experience gained from establishing RFAST-C in OEF to set up a similar capability for future Army or joint operations?
“The Army is looking at what it calls ‘RFAST-C in a Box.’ It probably will not have all the capabilities that our current RFAST-C has, but it will have a lot of those capabilities. There are some capabilities that the Army had previously within the [Army Field Support Brigades] that are provided in theater; however, not in the quality and quantity that is provided through the RFAST-C. With our emerging technologies, I can see sometime in the future that we are going to have an ‘RFAST-C in a Box’ traveling around the battlespace. I think this was the birth of a great idea that will help the Warfighter for a long time to come.”
How can RDECOM continue to share its initiatives and contributions with the Army?
“[RDECOM Director] Mr. [Dale] Ormond sat down with the Board of Directors and came up with six lines of effort. One of the lines of effort is strategic communications. I think I can impact that in a big way through the senior enlisted leaders engagement throughout the Army.
Seeing the senior enlisted leaders in theater is great. However, I think that communication needs to start back here at home. One of the initiatives that I have started is to go out and see the divisions and the major unit commands at home before they go to theater. Let them know what we are and what we do. The Army has an educational process for deployers. Give them ways that they can enhance the performance of their Soldiers and equipment on the battlefield. One of those resources is RDECOM.
I think that we need to make ourselves part of that educational process. Let RDECOM be one of those stops that those commands will make prior to going to theater. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be an enormous game-changing opportunity for those commands. I will take the message out and let them know what we are, who we are, and what we can do for them as they fight our nation’s wars.”