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Posts Tagged CERDEC
By Mark Calafut, CERDEC
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The interconnected world of electronic systems provides an opportunity and a challenge for Army Aviation. As the Army develops its next-generation survivability systems, it has the opportunity to cost-effectively leverage advanced commercial electronics and integration technologies. However, it also faces the challenge of maintaining its technological edge, because many of those same commercial electronics are available to potential adversaries.
Today, Army aircraft are protected by a collection of survivability technologies, including onboard electronic survivability systems. Each onboard survivability system is designed to be independently effective at detecting or defeating a specific class of weapon systems, such as electro-optic and radio-frequency guided missiles or ballistic munitions. When adversaries employ these weapon systems against Army aircraft, the appropriate onboard survivability system automatically detects and defeats the threat, protecting the aircraft and crew.
Historically, onboard survivability systems were designed and developed independently. As technology matured and new weapon systems emerged, the Army upgraded existing survivability systems, or in some cases, added entirely new survivability systems to the aircraft. Instead of a truly integrated survivability suite, the result is a piecemeal approach whereby modern aircraft are protected by a collection of proprietary systems, often developed by different contractors and generally not built with open architectures that would much more readily enable their interoperability.
This presents disadvantages. Although many onboard systems require common components, the independent design and development of the systems prevents components from being centralized and shared. The independent designs came from systems not developed from a systems-of-systems approach with an open standard that established a technical vision for interoperable systems.
In many cases, this leads to duplication of components, such as processors or displays that would be unnecessary if the systems were integrated. However, the present lack of integration also prevents onboard systems from communicating with one another and operating cooperatively, which limits reliability and adaptability. For example, if a single protection system fails or is destroyed, the other onboard systems cannot intelligently compensate for that loss.
By Kim Bell, CERDEC NVESD Public Affairs
In science fiction, technology problems are solved with the stroke of a writer’s pen. In reality, science and technology research takes time and a lot of effort.
“If you’ve seen the movie Predator, you’ve seen a perfect illustration of the process of lethality,” said Dr. Don Reago, director of the Night Vision Electronics Sensors Directorate of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at Fort Belvoir, Va. “First, you must identify your target and if in fact it is a target, then you can move in and eliminate the threat.”
In the movie, the predator identifies targets using thermal technology and deducing whether or not they are carrying weapons.
“If potential targets were unarmed they went unharmed, much like how our warfighters operate at present,” Reago said. “Today, the Army’s goal is to improve situational awareness for Soldiers, resulting in increased survivability, decreased civilian casualties and accurate lethality when necessary.”
At NVESD, Army researchers are developing sensors, like the thermal sensors from Predator, as well as image intensification.
Tactical radio research promises new advances
By Argie Sarantinos-Perrin, PEO C3T
The Army formed the new Unified Lab for Tactical Radios – Army, known as ULTRA, to combine research, development, sustainment and acquisition efforts for the Army’s radio portfolio in a single location.
The new facility combines U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Program Executive Office C3T and Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center personnel and resources to provide economies of scale and better coordination of radio technologies throughout their lifecycle, officials said.
A Jan. 7, 2014, ribbon-cutting ceremony for the ULTRA facility, which is located on the C4ISR campus at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., officially inaugurated an effort to support the full lifecycle of Army radios, from research and development, to procurement and management, to sustainment.
Training and preparing for Capability Set 13
By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, PEO C3T and Edric Thompson, CERDEC Public Affairs
As the first units recently prepared for deployment with an array of new communications technologies, the Army’s acquisition and research and development communities teamed up to train a new breed of “super” engineers to support these advanced capabilities.
The Program Executive Office Command Control and Communications-Tactical and the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center used a combination of classroom instruction, research facility exercises and hands-on experience to prepare more than 30 engineers to support and troubleshoot an integrated package of tactical communications systems the Army fielded to select brigade combat teams known as Capability Set 13. The team also trained units on how to configure, employ and maintain it.
The brigade combat teams using CS 13 have deployed or are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. CS 13 spans from the tactical operations center to the dismounted Soldier, providing mobile satellite and robust radio capability so commanders and Soldiers can take the network with them anywhere on the battlefield. It allows deployed units to cover increased distance while expediting decision-making and information sharing across more echelons than was previously possible in today’s operational force.
By Amanda Rominiecki, CERDEC Public Affairs
During its second full academic year, the STEM Superstar program continues to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics to elementary students around Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center created the STEM Superstar program to engage Harford and Cecil County students from first through fifth grade in stimulating activities challenging students to think creatively and solve problems like an engineer.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Jan. 28, 2014) — Australia’s chief defense scientist met with U.S. Army leaders Jan. 27 to explore opportunities for research and development partnerships.
The U.S. Army’s engagement with foreign partners in fostering science and engineering is essential to ensuring that Soldiers, as well as American allies, have access to the world’s best technology, said Dale A. Ormond, director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.
“We are trying to expand our international outreach,” Ormond said. “Seventy percent of the money spent worldwide on science and technology is outside the U.S. There are great scientists and engineers everywhere. [It's important to] go find out who they are and work with them.”
Read more: http://go.usa.gov/BC6w
WASHINGTON (Nov. 14, 2013) — The U.S. Army showcased how its research and engineering centers are enabling advances in operational energy for Soldiers Nov. 14 at the Pentagon.
Subject matter experts from across the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command discussed their work in technologies that included Soldier-borne electronics, ground-vehicle fuel efficiency and sustainable base camps.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Computer networks face persistent cyber threats from the nation’s adversaries. The future defenders of cyberspace, America’s students, honed their skills this summer as they learned from U.S. Army scientists and engineers who are experts in the field.
Cybersecurity practitioners from across the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command joined forces to spark an interest and share their knowledge with high-school students as part of the Army Educational Outreach Program at APG.
Two RDECOM organizations — Army Research Laboratory and the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center — partnered to develop and deliver two Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Sciences cyber programs in July.
GUNPOWDER MILITARY RESERVATION, Md. — Thirty U.S. Army civilians now have a greater appreciation and understanding of the rigors and challenges associated with Soldier tasks.
Five days of intense training provided first-hand experience of the technical and physical demands on Soldiers.
Maj. Shane Sims, a military deputy at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications and electronics center, led a Greening Course for the civilians from Aberdeen Proving Ground. One of his goals was for participants to think like Soldiers during the training rotations.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 23, 2013) — British and U.S. Army researchers are partnering to enhance biometric and surveillance capabilities as the result of an exchange program between the countries.
Dr. Kevin Leonard, a U.S. Army physicist, focused on advancing facial-recognition technologies during his two-year assignment in the United Kingdom.
“How far can we look and see who someone is? How can we help our Soldiers see better and farther?” said Leonard, who was assigned to the UK Defence Science Technology Laboratory in Salisbury.
Leonard said he wanted to better understand how different countries approach similar scientific topics. When the DSTL chief executive visited Leonard’s organization to talk about possible collaborations, an area of mutual interest was biometrics. The discussions piqued Leonard’s interest.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 19, 2013) — As the number of electronic devices on the battlefield grows, so does the challenge of managing the network that links them together. Army researchers continue to work to create a better way to build and monitor the tactical network, diagnose and address problems, and ensure each Soldier remains connected during critical moments.
Engineers from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center, or CERDEC, are developing software called S-6 Associate that will consolidate existing information, simplify network monitoring and better equip the network operations staff officer, commonly known as the S-6.
The software enhances already fielded systems like the battlefield network Warfighter Information Network — Tactical, known as WIN-T, Command Post of the Future mission command system, network management systems and Visio, the network image building program, said Josip Pilipovic, CERDEC Space & Terrestrial Communications Directorate lead scientist for the S-6 Associate project.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Aspiring scientists and engineers are now exploring their future careers at a unified APG facility dedicated to education outreach.
APG ushered in a new era of partnerships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for northeast Maryland with a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 30.
The APG STEM and Education Outreach Center brings tenant organizations together to pool resources that will enhance students’ experiences in scientific and engineering disciplines. The facility accommodates up to 200 students.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army is developing a battery to improve Soldiers’ agility on the battlefield while meeting the demands of an increased power burden stemming from new networked electronic devices.
The Conformal Wearable Battery is flexible and integrates into a Soldier’s body armor. It conforms to the body, which Army officials say is a significant upgrade to traditional batteries that are rectangular and bulky.
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and Program Executive Office Soldier have partnered to fulfill the requirements of today’s networked Soldier with the CWB.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Local students, military veterans and APG community members inspected and explored the Army’s latest advancements in protective masks, body armor, ballistics protection and renewable energy at Armed Forces Day May 15.
Scientists and engineers of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command displayed their work to unburden, empower and protect Soldiers at the APG-North Recreation Center.
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (May 13, 2013) — Landmines and unexploded ordnance are found throughout the world, often in peaceful countries leftover from conflict decades ago.
Researchers from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center, or CERDEC, continued global humanitarian demining efforts, including a new yearlong project aimed to improve demining technology and increase border safety in Thailand that began March 29.
Members of CERDEC Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate, or NVESD, partnered with the Thailand Mine Action Center, or TMAC, for an operational field evaluation of the Mini MineWolf mine-clearing system to remove mines along Thailand’s borders.
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.
American Soldiers in Afghanistan were recently challenged in securing a facility for coalition forces. They turned to deployed U.S. Army civilian engineers for a solution.
Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, known as the 1-9 Cav, had been unsuccessful in finding the expertise they needed to design, build and install new force-protection measures. After meeting with the forward deployed engineering cell from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, a fix began to take shape.
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].”
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Maryland students will soon have a unified APG facility at which to explore the world of science and engineering with Army professionals.
The APG STEM Education and Outreach Center will be ready in late May, said Dr. Sandy Young, an Army Research Laboratory materials engineer. She is coordinating the project with ARL laboratory operations and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics outreach offices on APG.
Young said the SEOC will allow multiple APG tenant organizations to pool their resources to benefit students’ experiences in science and engineering. The facility will accommodate up to 200 students.
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.