ARL teams with university partners to transform future materials

Army researchers are designing materials for the future.

Army researchers are designing materials for the future.

By T’Jae Gibson ARL Public Affairs

Army researchers are forging new paths in material development to bring to Soldier equipment and supplies tougher than steel, from materials that don’t yet exist.

As part of a 10-year program involving partners from universities and industry, Army Research Laboratory scientists are investigating novel approaches that will result in the development of new classes of materials to protect Soldiers, their warfighting and communication equipment and the combat vehicles they rely on to get them in and out of warzones. Building upon expertise in coupling materials together to arrive at the best soldier solutions like ballistic vests and helmets, the ARL-led collaborative research team is forging a new path to develop new materials. They’re taking unprecedented approaches to examine materials. They will design the atomic level structures down to the crystal and molecular level to create transformational materials that will be used in future uniforms, electronic devices, armored vehicles and anything else Soldiers touch, or touch Soldiers.

When researchers achieve this understanding, Soldiers could then be outfitted with 30 percent lighter weight, more robust but less cumbersome protection equipment; weapon systems that have five to 10 times their current energy output; 30 percent more battlefield power; and electronics with 30 percent longer battlefield lifetimes. These improvements will free up Soldiers to focus on devastating the enemy’s willpower and ability to act.

This program requires Army scientists to model and examine materials in extreme environments.

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ARL, University partnerships

Bringing together research and development talent to improve the ability of the Army’s Future Force

By Jenna Brady, ARL Public Affairs

To develop revolutionary capabilities for Soldiers on the battlefield, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory brings together world-class research and development talent by leveraging the vast intellectual capital of the nation’s universities.

The lab makes this possible through programs and alliances including University Affiliated Research Centers, Collaborative Technology Alliances and Collaborative Research Alliances.

UARCs are university-led collaborations among universities, industry and Army laboratories that conduct basic, applied and technology demonstration research.

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Bio-technological advances

Army Research Office extends University of California at Santa Barbara at the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies research.

Army Research Office extends University of California at Santa Barbara at the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies research.

Army Research Office extends University of California at Santa Barbara at the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies research

ARL Public Affairs

Army experts, along with leading university professors and industry partners have been collaborating over the last decade to explore biological systems that have the potential to drive sweeping bio-technological advances for Soldiers.

The research is led by the University of California at Santa Barbara at the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, or ICB, a university affiliated research center.

The Army Research Office extended the contract in December 2013, providing an additional $48 million over three years to study high-performance biological systems and the translation of these to engineering systems of benefit to Soldiers.

“Looking ahead, the value first and foremost will be a more comprehensive integration between the ICB and partners in Army and industry,” said Robert J. Kokoska, who manages the relationship with the center for ARO.

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