Tag Archives: ARDEC

U.S. Army engineers develop safer, ‘greener’ propelling charge for 105mm artillery cartridges

Engineers at Picatinny Arsenal are developing a new propelling charge for the family of 105mm artillery cartridges that are safer for the warfighter by eliminating the use of lead and other toxic substances present in the current charge. Above, Oklahoma National Guardsmen from Battery A, 1st Battalion, 160 Field Artillery, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, fire 105mm Howitzers during annual training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, June 3, 2015. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Bruce, 145th MPAD, Oklahoma Army National Guard)

By Ed Lopez, Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Nov. 9, 2015) — Engineers from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, are developing a new propelling charge for the family of 105mm artillery cartridges that are safer for the warfighter by eliminating the use of lead and other toxic substances present in the current charge.

The current propelling charge, called M67, contains seven bags to achieve desired range.

The charge uses a thin lead foil sheet sewn into the zone 5 bag to chemically remove copper that is deposited on the gun tube when a round is fired.

The lead is toxic, and the warfighter is exposed to it in the form of lead foil protruding and flaking from the bags before firing, along with exposure to lead liquid and particulates in the air after the propelling charge is fired.

When a round is fired, copper from the rotating band on the projectile is deposited on the inside of the gun tube. If the copper is not removed, it will begin to affect performance of subsequent rounds, such as decreased muzzle velocity and range.

Arsenal receives $1.3M to upgrade Army howitzers

Arsenal metal processor Sean Stephenson applies resin to seal in the composite winding on 120mm bore evacuators. (U.S. Army photo by John B. Snyder)

By John B. Snyder, Watervliet Arsenal

WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. (Oct. 30, 2015) — Former Army Secretary John M. McHugh said earlier this year that the way ahead for the Army is to build weapon systems that can be incrementally upgraded to adapt to the realities of the day, but the Watervliet Arsenal isn’t waiting for the future as it is already modifying current weapon systems for the realities of today.

The Arsenal announced today that it has received orders totaling nearly $1.3 million to provide the Army with a new, lightweight bore evacuator for the self-propelled howitzer system, the M109A7. The M109 series howitzer was originally fielded throughout the Army decades ago.

This new evacuator will reduce the weight of the current version, which is made from steel, from 203 pounds to about 110 pounds for the new fiberglass version. Making the gun system lighter is only secondary, however, to the effect of making a rather difficult maintenance job much easier for the artillerymen.

What is also great about going after “incremental” improvements, such as what McHugh suggested, is that the arsenal can field a new product that will provide dramatic improvements for the Soldier in a significantly reduced acquisition window. Continue reading

Picatinny launches app to search laboratories across the DOD

The app 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. (U.S. Army illustration)

By Audra Calloway, Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs

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

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

Armament engineers use ultrasound to develop safer, better ordnance

Viral Panchal and Rajen Patel, engineers at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, display the pieces that make up the ultrasound technology for propellants. (U.S. Army photo by Todd Mozes)

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.

At the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC, engineers want to remove the “black box” that surrounds the production of energetic materials. In the context of defense research, “energetics” is a short-hand term for materials such as explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics.

“We have this black box and it’s currently hard to see inside with the technology that is available,” said chemical engineer Viral Panchal.

“Ultrasound gives us the ability to open up the box, leading to more effective research, development and manufacturing,” Panchal added.

ARDEC engineers have been working with Wes Cobb at the University of Denver, who has decades of experience developing ultrasound technology for the food, oil and medical industries.

Army engineers demonstrate anti-drone technology

 

(U.S. Army illustration)

(U.S. Army illustration)

By Ed Lopez, Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Oct. 5, 2015) — Army engineers, who are seeking to adapt ongoing research to counter aerial systems that could threaten Soldiers, successfully shot down two aircraft as part of their final technology demonstration.

Although the research project began with the objective to counter rockets, artillery and mortars, the project scope was expanded to include threats from unmanned aerial threats, sometime called drones, whose use has expanded rapidly.

“It’s unbelievable how much it’s exploded,” said Manfredi Luciano about the use of drones.

“Every country has them now, whether they are armed or not or what level of performance. This is a huge threat has been coming up on everybody. It has kind of almost sneaked up on people, and it’s almost more important than the counter-RAM threat.”

Continue reading

Army research center graduates first armament graduate students

Hats off to the first graduates of the Armament Graduate School at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. The first class of the Armament Graduate School, part of the U.S. Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center graduates Sept. 10 at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. Joining the students (center left ) Mr. John F. Hedderich III, director of ARDEC and (center right) Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton, Commanding General, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. (U.S. Army photo by Erin Usawicz)

Hats off to the first graduates of the Armament Graduate School at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. The first class of the Armament Graduate School, part of the U.S. Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center graduates Sept. 10 at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. Joining the students (center left ) Mr. John F. Hedderich III, director of ARDEC and (center right) Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton, Commanding General, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. (U.S. Army photo by Erin Usawicz)

By Audra Calloway, Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Sept. 10, 2015) — A new chapter in developing and educating world-class armament engineers and scientists took place here Sept. 10th when eight students were recognized during the Armament Graduate School’s first commencement ceremony.

The school is unique: No other graduate school science and engineering curriculum is known to exist specifically to address armaments. Armament Graduate School course titles include esoteric topics such as “Gun-Hardened Electronics and Components,” “Warheads & Fuzing,” and “Lethality Analysis and War Gaming.”

The Armament Graduate School is part of the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC at Picatinny, whose mission is to empower, unburden, and protect the Warfighter by providing superior armaments solutions that dominate the battlefield. The center reports to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, or RDECOM.

Continue reading

Army maximizes efficient fire strikes

Looking at their chest-mounted screens, Soldiers practice accessing the Leader/Soldier Effects Tool Suite during a hands-on demonstration in July on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The three Soldiers are assigned to the Experimental Force, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment in Fort Benning, Georgia. (U.S. Army photo by Edric Thompson)

Looking at their chest-mounted screens, Soldiers practice accessing the Leader/Soldier Effects Tool Suite during a hands-on demonstration in July on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The three Soldiers are assigned to the Experimental Force, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia. (U.S. Army photo by Edric Thompson)

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Sept. 8, 2015) — Crouched on the desert floor, a Soldier watches an enemy vehicle rolling in the distance and gauges its range to her platoon. However, when she’s calculated the distance, rather than radio her platoon leader, the Soldier grabs her phone and relays the information with a software system called the Leader/Soldier Effects Tool Suite.

The tool suite, also known as LETS, is designed to provide the dismounted Soldier the capability to plan, coordinate and execute fires quickly and efficiently.

LETS functions on hand-held devices, such as mobile phones, and vehicle platforms. Its users can share firing details including range assessment, battle damage assessment, weapon emplacement, and control measures.

Read more …

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

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

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

By Eric Kowal, Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

Improved mortars

U.S. Army Rangers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, fire a 120mm mortar during a tactical training exercise on Camp Roberts, Calif., Jan. 30, 2014. Rangers constantly train to maintain the highest level of tactical proficiency. (US Army photo by Pfc. Nathaniel Newkirk)

U.S. Army Rangers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, fire a 120mm mortar during a tactical training exercise on Camp Roberts, Calif., Jan. 30, 2014. Rangers constantly train to maintain the highest level of tactical proficiency. (US Army photo by Pfc. Nathaniel Newkirk)

Redesign to help infantrymen become more lethal, safer

By John B. Snyder, Watervliet Arsenal Public Affairs

The U.S. Army has lightweight mortar systems, range and a significant amount of lethal and destructive fire to close-range combat. Why would anyone think about tweaking something that has already been proven very capable in training and in combat?

“It is all about our troops maintaining the competitive edge over potential adversaries,” said Wayland Barber, chief of the Mortars and Recoilless Rifle Branch at Benét Laboratories at Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y. “Even without funding for new weapons research, Army scientists and engineers are always seeking opportunities to improve weapons systems that are in the field.”

“No sooner than we field a new mortar system, our customers demand that we make it better in regards to extended range, increased lethality or capability, and reduced weight,” Barber said. “This triggers the entire Army research community, from those who improve the lethality of ammunition to those who design the delivery system, to work on parallel and converging fields of science to achieve a common goal.”

Continue reading

Enhanced grenade lethality: On target even when enemy is concealed

Army engineers worked to integrate sensors and logic devices to scan and filter the environment and autonomously airburst the fuze in the ideal spot. (U.S. Army graphic by Chris Boston)

Army engineers work to integrate sensors and logic devices to scan and filter the environment and autonomously airburst the fuze in the ideal spot. (U.S. Army graphic by Chris Boston)

By Eric Kowal, ARDEC Public Affairs

How does the warfighter launch a grenade at the enemy and ensure it hits the target, especially when the enemy is in what is known as defilade, or concealment, behind natural or artificial obstacles?

Steven Gilbert and a team of about 10 engineers within the Joint Service Small Arms Program are trying to solve that counter-defilade puzzle, which also doubles the grenade’s lethality in the process.

Gilbert is a project officer with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. The engineering team is in the final phase of a project known as Small Arms Grenade Munitions, or SAGM.

The goal is to provide warfighters with the capability of shooting a 40mm low-velocity grenade out of an M203 or M320 rifle-mounted grenade launcher–with the certainty that if their target is hiding under cover or behind an object, damage will still be inflicted.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Army program secures critical component for artillery, mortar ammunition

Soldiers assigned to Bulldog Battery, Field Artillery Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment load a M777A2 Howitzer during 2CR's Maneuver Rehearsal Exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 13, 2013. The U.S. Army is nearing completion on a project to eliminate its dependency on foreign countries for a critical energetic component in artillery and mortar ammunition.

Soldiers assigned to Bulldog Battery, Field Artillery Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment load a M777A2 Howitzer during 2CR’s Maneuver Rehearsal Exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 13, 2013. The U.S. Army is nearing completion on a project to eliminate its dependency on foreign countries for a critical energetic component in artillery and mortar ammunition.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army is nearing completion on a project to eliminate its dependency on foreign countries for a critical energetic component in artillery and mortar ammunition, officials said.

Because of changes in the global cotton industry, the United States no longer has a domestic source of quality raw material for manufacturing nitrocellulose for combustible cartridge cases that are used extensively by the military. A domestic source is necessary to ensure a sufficient supply of quality cartridge cases, which is vital to maintaining readiness of the armed forces, according to Army experts.

Read more:

http://go.usa.gov/ZtYJ

STEM Starters: The World of Pressure

Diagram 1. Pressure in relation to airflow.

Diagram 1. Pressure in relation to airflow.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Nov. 8, 2013) — Most of us are more than accustomed to pressure, both in the scientific and human sense of the word. Many, however, do not equate the significance of pressure with everyday observations.

We all know about pressure’s relationship to weather patterns, bottle rockets, and air travel. Examples of pressure are not limited to these gaseous examples however. As you may remember from school, pressure is obtained by dividing a force by an applied area.

Example: The pressure you exert on the floor doubles as you switch from standing on two feet to one. It is much safer to peel an apple with a sharp knife rather than a dull knife because the sharp knife has a relatively smaller cutting surface area, thus increases the pressure applied to the apple per unit force. Being able to cut the apple with less force means a lower probability that one will slip with the knife.

Read more …

Picatinny’s new doctorate program stays on course

George Fischer teaches an advanced mathematics course to students enrolled in the doctorate program at the Armament Academy at Picatinny Arsenal.

George Fischer teaches an advanced mathematics course to students enrolled in the doctorate program at the Armament Academy at Picatinny Arsenal.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Oct. 30, 2013) — The Armament Academy, the first-of-its-kind doctorate degree-granting institution at Picatinny Arsenal, welcomed the first cohort of students, Sept. 6.

Admission into the program was competitive with 17 students admitted out of 25 applications.

The program offers a unique curriculum that is catered to the specific needs of the students drawn from the Armament Research, Development and Engineering workforce.

Read more …

Secretary of the Army visits Picatinny, assesses sequestration impact on R&D

Secretary of the Army John McHugh looks at a technology display during a visit to Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. McHugh visited the New Jersey military installation, which has been designated the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, Sept. 26, 2013, to assess the effect of sequestration on the installation's efforts in research, development, acquisition and lifecycle management of weapon systems and ammunition. (U.S. Army photo by Erin Usawicz)

Secretary of the Army John McHugh looks at a technology display during a visit to Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. McHugh visited the New Jersey military installation, which has been designated the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, Sept. 26, 2013, to assess the effect of sequestration on the installation’s efforts in research, development, acquisition and lifecycle management of weapon systems and ammunition. (U.S. Army photo by Erin Usawicz)

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Sept. 26, 2013) — Secretary of the Army John McHugh was at the Picatinny Arsenal Thursday, to assess the effect of sequestration on the installation’s efforts in research, development, acquisition and lifecycle management of weapon systems and ammunition.

“This is a unique facility with a critically important mission; there really is no other government or industry counterpart to Picatinny,” McHugh said, underscoring the arsenal’s contribution to national security. “The workforce possesses knowledge and expertise that increases the lethality of the joint services warfighter.”

Picatinny Arsenal was designated the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, providing products and services to all branches of the U.S. military.

Read more …

Picatinny advances ‘computer chip of the future’

The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny recently won the 2013 Federal Laboratory Consortium Northeast Region Award for its excellence in technology transfer as demonstrated by its HyperX chip technology.

The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., recently won the 2013 Federal Laboratory Consortium Northeast Region Award for its excellence in technology transfer as demonstrated by its HyperX chip technology.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (September 25, 2013) — As the power and popularity of mobile devices grows, so does the desire for faster data processing without consuming much power.

The HyperX computer chip technology, under development by researchers at Picatinny Arsenal holds the promise to deliver that goal for both commercial and military users.

The small, HyperX chip was intentionally designed to meet high volume, low power processing requirements.

Read more …

New guided munition sensors are greater than sum of their parts

A sensor array next to a quarter to reflect relative size.

A sensor array next to a quarter to reflect relative size.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (September 18, 2013) — When preparing to face a more talented opponent, coaches tell their players that the path to victory is pulling together as a team to somehow obtain more than a sum of each player’s talents.

For Army scientists, that same concept may have been expressed in the form of an advanced algorithm that gets optimum performance from a team of inertial sensors, which could be used to guide cannon-fired munitions to a target with near precision, even without Global Positioning Satellite navigation.

In addition to high performance, a big advantage to the team of sensors is greatly reduced cost.

Click here to read more.

Former “Cheers” actor visits Picatinny to learn military manufacturing techniques

During a tour of Picatinny Sept. 4, James Zunino (right), Picatinny Materials Engineer, shows actor John Ratzenberger a modular tool that can be added onto the Multi-Axis Modular Manufacturing Platform for additive manufacturing. Different tools allow the machine to perform different manufacturing techniques. Photo Credit: Erin Usawicz

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Actor John Ratzenberger, best known for his iconic role as postal worker Cliff Clavin on the TV show “Cheers,” is promoting manufacturing in the U.S.

His interest led him to visit Picatinny Arsenal Sept. 4, where he saw first-hand a number of the advanced manufacturing techniques the installation uses to equip the nation’s warfighters.

Ratzenberger’s interest in manufacturing previously inspired him to produce and host shows like “Made in America,” a Travel Channel TV production highlighting manufacturing companies that produce interesting products across the nation.

Click here to read more.

Picatinny to remove tons of toxins from lethal rounds

Belts of .50 caliber ammunition await U.S. Soldiers with the 6th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Engineer Brigade, as they prepare to conduct qualifications on the M2 .50 caliber machine gun at a range in Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 14, 2012. The Pyrotechnics Division of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is developing an alternate formula for certain armor-piercing incendiary projectiles that is friendlier to the environment than the chemicals currently being used.

Belts of .50 caliber ammunition await U.S. Soldiers with the 6th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Engineer Brigade, as they prepare to conduct qualifications on the M2 .50 caliber machine gun at a range in Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 14, 2012. Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (August 22, 2013) — An enemy convoy transporting a supply of fuel rumbles across the desert floor, an ideal target for armor-piercing incendiary projectiles.

These projectiles are most useful for “after-armor effects,” such as an incandescent flash immediately after penetrating a hard target. The resulting plume may be useful for devastating any fuel-storage facilities by igniting the fuel vapors.

The Army uses a formulation called IM-28 that is charged into certain armor-piercing incendiary projectiles, which can be fired from such weapons as the M2, M3, and M85 machine guns.

Read more …