Army aviation continues efforts for technology development

The tiltrotor V-280 Valor aircraft is Bell Helicopter's vision of the future as it prepares for flight demonstrations for the Army in 2017. (Artist's rendering courtesy Bell Helicopter)

The tiltrotor V-280 Valor aircraft is Bell Helicopter’s vision of the future as it prepares for flight demonstrations for the Army in 2017. (Artist’s rendering courtesy Bell Helicopter)

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 13, 2015) — The Army recently extended technology investment agreements with two commercial companies to continue concept refinement and technology maturation for future vertical lift, or FVL, research. 

The Army is continuing its ties with AVX Aircraft Company and Karem Aircraft Incorporated. 

“This is an opportunity to execute further technology maturation with these two partners and expand the knowledge base of the Joint Multirole [JMR] Technology Demonstrator [TD] efforts in support of FVL decision points,” Dan Bailey, program director for FVL/JMR, said.

AVX will mature coaxial compound design, focusing on aerodynamic stability, high fidelity computational fluid dynamic analysis and limited wind tunnel testing scheduled for 2015-2017. 

Continue reading

Army researchers design better protective gear

An Apache crew member dons the Joint Service Aircrew Mask during an operations test conducted at Fort Hood, Texas. (U.S. Army photo)

An Apache crew member dons the Joint Service Aircrew Mask during an operations test conducted at Fort Hood, Texas. (U.S. Army photo)

ECBC Communications

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Chemical-biological protective gear worn by Army pilots and aircrews has evolved to improve survivability in flight.

Engineers at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, are putting design at the forefront of new Mission-Oriented Protective Posture gear, known as MOPP, in order to carefully tailor a suit that addresses specific pilot needs during a given air mission.

Army engineers are working on a chemical-biological protective mask that mitigates thermal burden and hydration issues for flight crews that can also fully integrate with specific current and future aircraft.

“With more than 130 different platforms, five different helmets and a variety of aircrew equipment, focusing on one mask design became difficult,” said Don Kilduff, an ECBC engineer who has supported JSAM since its inception. “Over time, the program split into different systems to meet the specific needs across the DOD aviation community.”

The Joint Service Aircrew Mask, known as JSAM, was initiated in 1999 by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and the Joint Project Manager for Protection.

The goal of the program is to provide individual respiratory, ocular and percutaneous protection from chemical and biological warfare agents and radiological particulates for pilots and aircrew.

Continue reading

New hangar to increase C4ISR-aviation capabilities

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District Army is overseeing the construction of a 107,000 square foot hangar by Pennsylvania-based Bedwell Company at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakhurst in New Jersey. Elements of the U.S. Army RDECOM CERDEC will occupy the engineering hangar that will aid in the support of aviation related projects for the advancement of C4ISR technologies in the spring of 2016.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District Army is overseeing the construction of a 107,000 square foot hangar by Pennsylvania-based Bedwell Company at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakhurst in New Jersey. Elements of the U.S. Army RDECOM CERDEC will occupy the engineering hangar that will aid in the support of aviation related projects for the advancement of C4ISR technologies in the spring of 2016.

By Kristen Kushiyama, CERDEC Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (March 9, 2015) — Elements of the U.S. Army will complete and occupy a state-of-the-art research, development and engineering hangar in less than a year that will aid in the support of aviation related projects for the advancement of Command, Control, Computers and Communications and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, known as C4ISR, technologies.

By Spring 2016, elements of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center are scheduled to move into the 107,000 square foot facility at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station portion of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District Army is overseeing the construction by Pennsylvania-based Bedwell Company.

The hangar will supplement a World War II hangar that has degraded over time and will no longer sufficiently support the mission of the CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate Flight Activity, which will occupy both the current and new hangar spaces for the near future.

Continue reading

Army seeks to boost aircraft performance, survivability

The March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine focuses on aviation.

The March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine focuses on aviation.

By David McNally, RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (March 1, 2015) — Army researchers, scientists and engineers are moving forward to develop aviation technology solutions to support future Soldiers.

“Aviation is key to our ability to accomplish a wide range of missions in complex environments, as well as being a cornerstone of Army lethality,” said Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command commander.

From leading efforts to realize the next generation of rotorcraft, to conceptualizing technologies that may allow aircraft to heal themselves, the Army is investing in the future.

Continue reading

Army engineers define future aviation fleet

Artist's conception of future Army rotorcraft.

Artist’s conception of future Army rotorcraft. (U.S. Army graphic by AMRDEC VizLab)

By Dan Lafontaine, RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army science and technology community is charting the future of military vertical lift aviation that will enable warfighters to accomplish missions not possible today.

The Army, supported by NASA and the Navy, is combining its areas of technical expertise to accomplish the aggressive scientific and engineering goals necessary to develop a new fleet of joint aircraft, said Ned Chase, deputy program director of S&T for the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator/Future Vertical Lift.

JMR TD has been established to address several of the capability gaps that cannot be satisfied by updating the current fleet.

“Let’s figure out what we want this new aircraft to do, and let’s go out and prove that we have the technologies available to meet those requirements. That’s what we’re doing with JMR TD,” said Chase, with the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

The Department of Defense is using JMR TD to design and integrate the technologies that will eventually feed into FVL and replace the military’s vertical lift fleet with a new family of aircraft.

Continue reading

Commentary: Army researchers seek future aviation gains

Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton commands the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton commands the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Aviation is a foundational capability the Army brings to the joint force to prevent conflict, shape security environments and dominate the battlefield. As the Army rebalances toward the Pacific, faces unpredictable adversaries in the Middle East and supports aid to Ebola victims in Africa, we see that it would be difficult for the Army to realize its goal of a regionally aligned and globally responsive force without a robust aviation force. Aviation is key to our ability to accomplish a wide range of missions in these complex environments, as well as being a cornerstone of Army lethality.

The Army has an amazing history with aviation. Aviation platforms have remained in service for 40 to 60 years. The pace of change is accelerating, however, and technology formerly reserved to major powers is spreading.

Future challenges such as operating in megacities or against subterranean objectives makes the battlefield agility and lethality afforded by Army aviation all the more important.

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

Future of Army Aviation: Q&A with AMCOM leader

U.S. Army Commanding General Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson, Aviation and Missile Command, is the featured interview in the March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine.

U.S. Army Commanding General Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson, Aviation and Missile Command, is the featured interview in the March/April 2015 issue of Army Technology Magazine.

RDECOM Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Army aviators depend on the Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, to ensure aviation readiness with seamless transition to combat operations.

Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson commands the organization of 8,000 civilian workers and 175 soldiers. His unit performs vital work on aviation and missile systems and the supporting equipment required to operate them.

The March/April issue of Army Technology Magazine focuses on aviation and interviewed Richardson on his vision of the future.

Continue reading