Tag Archives: AMRDEC

Army, industry, academia partner to demonstrate new technologies

A U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center UH-60MU Black Hawk helicopter transports an autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle. (U.S. Army photo)

AMRDEC Public Affairs

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Nov. 9, 2015) — Carnegie Mellon University and Sikorsky Aircraft, using a U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center UH-60MU Black Hawk helicopter enabled with Sikorsky’s MATRIX™ Technology and CMU’s Land Tamer autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle, recently participated in a joint autonomy demonstration that proved the capability of new, ground-air cooperative missions.

Future technology may prevent warfighter exposure to hazardous conditions, such as chemical or radiological contaminated areas.

“The teaming of unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles like what was demonstrated here has enormous potential to bring the future ground commander an adaptable, modular, responsive and smart capability that can evolve as quickly as needed to meet a constantly changing threat,” said Dr. Paul Rogers, director, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC.

“The cooperative effort between the Army labs, academia and industry to bring solutions to the warfighter is exciting to see,” Rogers said. Continue reading

DOD collaboration researches munition safety

U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center Chief Scientist for Energetics, Dr. Jamie Neidert presents an overview for the Munitions Area Technology Group II concerning minimum signature rocket propulsion goals. (U.S. Army photo)

By Nikki Montgomery, AMRDEC Public Affairs

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Oct. 23, 2015) — Government, industry, and academic partners are working together to improve the way munitions function to protect the safety of our future warfighters.

The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, hosted a Department of Defense collaboration to discuss Insensitive Munitions at the Dynetics Solutions Complex Oct. 20–23.

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.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense directs the approximate $32 million dollar program while it is managed by the U.S. Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center, another U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command organization.

JIMTP Program Manager, Anthony Di Stasio expressed the anticipated improvements gained from the Fall Review. Continue reading

Unmanned aircraft: New kid on block flexing muscle

An unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, operator, with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, assembles a Raven during a UAV refresher course, on Fort Bragg, N.C., Feb. 5, 2013. The Raven is slightly smaller than the UAVs that infantry units commonly operate in Afghanistan, but the skills to fly them both are the same. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

By Keith Oliver, Army News Service

WASHINGTON (Oct. 14, 2015) — WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 14, 2015) — “It’s a tactical capability working at a strategic distance.”

That’s what Army Col. Courtney Cote told a gaggle of mostly aviation and aerospace media at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition, or AUSA. He was talking about unmanned aerial systems — the new player on the battlefield that, Cote asserts, is here to stay. Continue reading

Army researchers extend missile system shelf life

Due to the success of an Army inspection program, the average shelf life for missile systems has been extended from 7.9 to 22.6 years. Here, an Air Defense Artillery Patriot missile blazes forth from a remote launch site at McGregor Range, New Mexico, Dec. 8, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Nathan Akridge)

AMRDEC Public Affairs

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.

The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, in conjunction with Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, or PEO MS, and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, has designed a program to determine if missiles can be used past their initial shelf life.

AMRDEC, one of six U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command centers, executes this program within its Engineering Directorate.

“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

America’s Army: Proving Grounds launches on Steam

The free game has more than 920,000 player accounts, created during the beta period, and over 7.7 million hours of play. (U.S. Army illustration)

AMRDEC Public Affairs

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.”

America’s Army is developed by the Army Game Studio, which falls under the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Software Engineering Directorate. The Studio operates in support of the Army Marketing and Research Group.

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.

The future of Army aviation research

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)

“As we progress to a more expeditionary force, an essential component will be more capable air assets. I can’t envision an expeditionary force that doesn’t include aircraft capable of self deployment and extended range operations,” — Dr. Bill Lewis

Army Technology Magazine interviewed one of the U.S. Army’s leading aviation researchers, Dr. Bill Lewis, asking about the future of Army Aviation.

Q&A with a leading Army aviation engineer

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.

Army Technology: What is the focus of Aviation science and technology research?

Lewis: The primary mission of the aviation development group is to formulate the technology advances that we’re going to implement in the future, both for current fleet and future fleet. This includes upgrades of our current fleet, development of new air vehicles, both manned and unmanned, as we progress toward the future of vertical lift.

Army Technology: What are some significant programs in AMRDEC’s current portfolio?

Lewis: Our two most visible programs are the Joint Multi-role and Degraded Visual Environment Mitigation. JMR is the S&T precursor to the Future Vertical Lift program; a family of rotorcraft vehicles.

In the DVE-M program we are developing a new warfighting capability by exploiting adverse environments. Remember, however, that 50 percent of our portfolio supports the current fleet.

Breakthrough in solar cell research results in patent

Research physicists Domenico de Ceglia, Neset Akozbek, Dr. Michael Scalora and Maria Antonietta Vincenti (left to right), assess the solar cell transmission, reflection, absorption properties using a tunable laser source. (U.S. Army photo by Nikki Montgomery)

Research physicists Domenico de Ceglia, Neset Akozbek, Dr. Michael Scalora and Maria Antonietta Vincenti (left to right), assess the solar cell transmission, reflection, absorption properties using a tunable laser source. (U.S. Army photo by Nikki Montgomery)

By Nikki Montgomery, AMRDEC Public Affairs

U.S. Army researchers have developed a tiny photovoltaic solar cell for the conversion of light energy into electrical energy that it resulted in a patent.

The patent reveals a new kind of photovoltaic solar cell with significantly reduced size and cost compared with current solar cells.

Dr. Michael Scalora, a research physicist at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, described the invention as a “breakthrough,” which he hopes will be the basis for further technological progress.

Continue reading

Miniaturization: Where good ideas and technology meet

Shane Thompson, an electronics engineer with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, displays a compact processor board, developed by AMRDEC's Image and Signal Processing Function, which performs both target acquisition and tracking. (U.S. Army photo by Nikki Montgomery)

Shane Thompson, an electronics engineer with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, displays a compact processor board, developed by AMRDEC’s Image and Signal Processing Function, which performs both target acquisition and tracking. (U.S. Army photo by Nikki Montgomery)

AMRDEC Public Affairs

Miniaturization and advances in computing have had an enormous impact on all aspects of life — especially in the realm of digital image and signal processing.

Only a decade or two ago, appreciable computing power required to perform military-grade image and signal processing tasks necessitated large, clunky computers or racks of dedicated processors.

Now, powerful processing speeds and computational capability are common in tablet computers and even smart phones.

The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center now has advanced computational power capabilities in a package small enough to bring complex image and signal processing technology to small battlefield weapons.

“We are leveraging advances in computer technology to push the Army’s state-of-the-art in a diverse range of military applications,” said Steven Vanstone, AMRDEC Image and Signal Processing Function acting chief.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Own the Weather: Flying in Degraded Visual Environments

Military aircraft are vulnerable in conditions of degraded visibility due to pilots’ inability to discern obstacles, cables, or other aircraft during flight or while landing. (Photo illustration courtesy DARPA)

Military aircraft are vulnerable in conditions of degraded visibility due to pilots’ inability to discern obstacles, cables, or other aircraft during flight or while landing. (Photo illustration courtesy DARPA)

By Bill Crawford, AMRDEC Public Affairs

Army researchers are going after solutions to help aircraft crews navigate in degraded visual environments, where weather, obscurants or obstacles may prove hazardous and even lethal.

Operations in degraded visual environments, known as DVE, are the primary contributing factor to a vast majority of Army aviation mishaps over the last decade: 80-percent of rotorcraft losses in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were due to “combat non-hostile or non-combat factors” including DVE, according to U.S. Army Program Executive Office Aviation officials.

At the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, the Army advances and implements technologies to address DVE safety issues and operational limitations.

“Reduced visibility of potentially varying degree, wherein situational awareness and aircraft control cannot be maintained as comprehensively as they are in normal visual meteorological conditions and can potentially be lost,” said Todd Dellert, an experimental test pilot and Acting Project Director, DVE Mitigation, or DVE-M.

Continue reading

Engineers test bio-fuel in helicopters

During an April 1 test flight, a UH 60A Black Hawk utilizing an Alcohol to Jet bio-fuel blend performs maneuvers above the Redstone Airfield. (U.S. Army photo)

During an April 1 test flight, a UH 60A Black Hawk utilizing an Alcohol to Jet bio-fuel blend performs maneuvers above the Redstone Airfield. (U.S. Army photo)

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Oct. 16, 2014) — The Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, in conjunction with the Redstone Test Center, has completed a historic test program demonstrating the effectiveness a bio-fuel commonly referred to as Alcohol to Jet, in two Army aircraft — a UH-60A Black Hawk and a CH-47D Chinook.

Tests were conducted as a part of a congressionally-funded program to determine whether jet fuel made from non-food stock corn could safely power rotary wing aircraft and perform to Army requirements. The effort was part of a broader Department of Defense strategy initiated in 2009 to reduce dependency upon fossil fuels. ATJ-blends provide a renewable alternative to current aviation fuels, and address the Army Energy Security Strategy and Plans mandate that the Army certify 100 percent of its air platforms on alternative/renewable fuels by 2016.

Bio-fuels are made from renewable sources, such as algae, sugar, switch grass, plant oils and wood. Isobutanol is an alcohol-based bio-fuel produced from non-food stock corn.

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Propulsion Collaboration

AMRDEC, NASA work together on propulsion research.

AMRDEC, NASA work together on propulsion research.

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.”

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Joint Insensitive Munitions

Researchers, engineers work to improve safety of munitions.

Researchers, engineers work to improve safety of munitions.

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.

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Army Upgrades Black Hawks for Military District of Washington

The Prototype Integration Facility at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. 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. (U.S. Army photo)

The Prototype Integration Facility at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. 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. (U.S. Army photo)

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.

Army announces Technology Investment Agreements for its Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator

The Army's Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration 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 Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration 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.

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.

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Army develops lightweight ballistic protection for aircraft

The AMRDEC Prototype Integration Facility designed, qualified, fabricated and installed a prototype of an enhanced Ballistic Protection System for the cabin of the UH-60 Black Hawk aircraft.

The AMRDEC Prototype Integration Facility designed, qualified, fabricated and installed a prototype of an enhanced Ballistic Protection System for the cabin of the UH-60 Black Hawk aircraft.

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.

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Latest version of America’s Army ready for download

The next version of the America's Army video game was released today and is now available for download. This newest version emphasizes small unit tactical maneuvers and training that reflects the current day Army and emphasizes Army Values, teamwork, training and completing the objectives through gameplay that reflects the Soldier's Creed.

The next version of the America’s Army video game was released today and is now available for download. This newest version emphasizes small unit tactical maneuvers and training that reflects the current day Army and emphasizes Army Values, teamwork, training and completing the objectives through gameplay that reflects the Soldier’s Creed.

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.

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Army scientist honored for exceptional service

Dr. Jay Loomis, recently retired Senior Research Scientist from the US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, addresses a small crowd at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. after receiving the highest honorary award granted by the Secretary of the Army, the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.

Dr. Jay Loomis, recently retired Senior Research Scientist from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, addresses a small crowd at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., after receiving the highest honorary award granted by the Secretary of the Army, the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.

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.

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Stephen Marotta, principal investigator with the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, watches as Stephen Horowitz, a Ducommun Miltec engineer, displays a fully functional prototype MEMs sensor being developed to monitor vibration in support of missile health monitoring.

Engineers work to better monitor missile health

Stephen Marotta, principal investigator with the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, watches as Stephen Horowitz, a Ducommun Miltec engineer, displays a fully functional prototype MEMs sensor being developed to monitor vibration in support of missile health monitoring.

Stephen Marotta, principal investigator with the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, watches as Stephen Horowitz, a Ducommun Miltec engineer, displays a fully functional prototype MEMs sensor being developed to monitor vibration in support of missile health monitoring.

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.

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