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Posts Tagged NSRDEC
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.
FORT DEVENS, Mass. (Nov. 6, 2013) — Innovations meant to improve Soldiers’ quality of life during deployments — while saving lives, fuel, water and money — were on display here Nov. 5, at the Army Base Camp Integration Laboratory.
The Army Base Camp Integration Laboratory, or BCIL, hosted its second annual “Base Camp Resource and Energy Efficiency Day.” Situated on 10 acres at Fort Devens, the laboratory features two “Force Provider” 150-person base camps. One contains standard technologies; the other offers a glimpse into the Army’s energy future.
Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, and Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, Army deputy chief of staff, Logistics, were among those attending the event. They were briefed about shelters, power management, energy storage, waste disposal and waste-to-energy systems, alternative energy, micro-grids, energy-efficient structures, rigid-wall camps, and fuel-fired kitchens.
NATICK, Mass. (Nov. 5, 2013) — Getting enough vitamins in one’s diet is tough enough on this planet. Consider the health of astronauts in extended spaceflight.
The depletion of vitamins in astronauts’ food during lengthier missions in outer space is one of the reasons NASA requires a five-year shelf life at 70 degrees Fahrenheit for stabilized foods.
The Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate, or CFD, at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is looking at compressed bars and dried drink mixes to study essential vitamins in nutrient-dense foods and develop packaging that will better preserve essential vitamins for NASA.
NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 23, 2013) — When it comes to combat rations packaging, Lauri Kline would like to put the Defense Department on something of a diet.
Kline, project officer and packaging scientist for the Advanced Materials Engineering Team with the DOD Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center here, has been working on incorporating alternative materials for the pallets, stretch wrap and carton straps for the millions of cases of Meals, Ready to Eat, or MREs, annually provided to service members overseas.
“We consume so many rations, there’s obviously packaging waste,” Kline said. “So that’s what my team is trying to address.
NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 11, 2013) — Stephanie Marcott takes time out of her busy life, even on the weekend, to enrich others’ lives through her passion for science.
Whether she’s volunteering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the weekends to assist kids with physics projects or collaborating with teachers through her place of work at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Marcott shares her enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, and learning.
“I am a career peer mentor, since high school; it’s just a trend,” said Marcott, a research chemist who also runs the Bill Porter STEM Laboratory at NSRDEC. “Before high school I helped my brother and sister … When I joined the Army, I mentored other Soldiers with their training. I naturally fell into (working on STEM activities) here at Natick and helped out students.”
NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 9, 2013) — Among the many testing capabilities housed at the Natick Soldier Systems Center, the Roller Load Test Facility offers the unique ability to simulate the roller and rail systems used in aircraft to deliver cargo airdrops — all while still on the ground.
Recently, engineers at the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center used this facility to collect data samples taken during simulated roller load testing in an effort to develop the airdrop requirements of the Caterpillar 924H Wheel Loader — a multifunctional, front-end bucket loader used in the construction of airfields, roads, defensive berms, and demolition on the battlefield.
The facility allows engineers to see the force exerted on the rollers that move a cargo payload out of an aircraft during delivery. By recording and analyzing this force, engineers can identify the stressors placed on the rollers and determine if they meet the requirements to perform an airdrop of certain equipment payloads from various aircraft models.
NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 17, 2013) –One of life’s greatest necessities, water, is a key ingredient for the new gentle motion retort used by the Combat Feeding Directorate at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center to develop Meal, Ready-to-Eat and Tray Pack products. This simple molecule is heated to 240 degrees Fahrenheit in order to cook and sterilize foods using one of three different thermal processing methods.
After the successful “retort” process items do not require refrigeration because they have achieved commercial sterilization, the removal of certain pathogenic organisms.
The retort vessel installed at the NSRDEC in January 2013 can process 195 eight-ounce MRE pouches or 20 six-pound polymeric Tray Packs at a time using water immersion, saturated steam, water spray or water spray with gentle motion.
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.
NATICK, Mass. (April 1, 2013) — The U.S. Army and Navy were named among Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Innovators for 2012. This is the first time any government agency has ever made this list.
Leaders are chosen using a propriety program based on metrics regarding each company’s multiple innovative patents.
The Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, patented 20 different technological advancements for the Army in fiscal year 2012 alone.
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.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A team of U.S. civilian engineers and technicians deployed to Afghanistan recently marked one year of solving Soldiers’ technological hurdles.
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center, or RFAST-C, Forward Deployed Prototype Integration Facility provides a platform for its subject matter experts’ knowledge and talents to be translated into battlefield solutions, said Michael Anthony, the team’s director.
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NATICK, Mass. — An innovation that will leave female Soldiers safer and more comfortable on the battlefield was named one of Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year 2012.”
A collaborative effort between the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and Program Executive Office Soldier resulted in an improved outer tactical vest, or IOTV, designed specifically for women. The 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade will be the first unit to test the new female body armor in Afghanistan.
The new armor was designed to offer better protection and to prevent bruised hip bones that women experienced when wearing IOTVs meant to fit smaller men.
Maj. Joel Dillon, assistant product manager, Product Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, PEO Soldier, called the Time story a motivator for those involved in the body armor’s development.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE MEHTAR Lam, Afghanistan — It all began during an intense 2 1/2-hour firefight with the enemy earlier this year in Afghanistan.
As members of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa National Guard, sat around later at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam and discussed the engagement, they talked about how three-man teams manning crew-served weapons struggled to stay together over difficult terrain in fluid battles.
Someone mentioned actor Jesse Ventura in the movie “Predator.” His character brandished an M-134 Mini-gun fed by an ammo box on his back. After the Soldiers had a good laugh over that thought, Staff Sgt. Vincent Winkowski asked why a gunner couldn’t carry a combat load of ammo. He decided to pursue the idea.
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NATICK, Mass. – An official from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center was named to the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM, Advisory Council in Massachusetts.
Donna Bulger, acting director, Business and Operations, NSRDEC, was sworn in by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray in a recent ceremony at Natick Town Hall. Later, Murray talked of the longstanding relationship between Natick Soldier Systems Center and STEM.
“Governor Patrick and I value collaborating with our partners in both the public and private sectors,” said Murray, chair of the STEM Advisory Council. “We appreciate Donna’s leadership and participation on the STEM Council, and I look forward to working with her as we increase STEM awareness and promote opportunities for students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.”
NATICK, Mass. — As he described his work and personal life, Tom Yang asked, “So, am I a nerd?”
Yang has been a food technologist at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center for 26 years. He came to the U.S. from Taiwan 36 years ago, where he had earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Fu-Jen Catholic University. Yang went to graduate school at Mississippi State University and earned a master’s degree in food science before going to the University of Illinois for his Ph.D. He then taught at the University of Maine for a few years.
U.S. Army research and development centers are collaborating to design new ammunition packaging that could yield significant cost savings and improve battlefield capability, officials said.
Two organizations within the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command — the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center — are developing a packaging system for 5.56-millimeter ammunition as an alternative to fabric bandoleers.
The new system is being developed for the Project Director Joint Services in support of the Program Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems. It could save considerable cost by using lightweight and inexpensive plastic packaging materials with a design that will allow for automated packing at the ammunition manufacturing plant, said Dan Klein, an engineer with ARDEC’s Packaging Division who serves as the program lead.
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WASHINGTON – Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta learned about the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s contributions to national energy security during a tour of exhibits at the Pentagon, Oct. 4.
Subject matter experts from three of RDECOM’s research centers — the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center; Communications–Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center — showcased the Army’s research on operational energy.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – U.S. Army officials announced the winners of its greatest inventions competition Sept. 19.
A team of combat veteran non-commissioned officers, as well as U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command field-grade officers, reviewed and voted for the Army Greatest Inventions of 2011.
Dale Ormond, director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, commended the scientists and engineers for their efforts to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers.
“The contributions made by these teams promise to improve the well-being of Soldiers and the Army’s capability to contribute to quality of life and our national security,” Ormond said. “All of the nominated inventions demonstrate significant contributions to the warfighter.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (June 25, 2012) — A senior research and development leader spoke with Army officials here June 11-13. Army leaders in the field are seeking technology solutions for complex challenges.
“The commanders have a need for low-cost quick release systems for airdrop bundles,” said Dr. Jack Obusek, Sc.D., U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center director. “A quick release system would prevent cargo from being swept out of friendly hands when parachutes get dragged on the ground in high wind conditions.”
Army researchers have been developing prototype quick release devices and has plans to provide a substantial number to U.S. troops in Afghanistan later this year.
“We’re looking to significantly accelerate this effort and checking whether our forward deployed research center or stateside prototype facilities can produce the prototypes,” he said.
Obusek also discussed a possible far forward medical aid capability package. The research center and the PM and the medical community have recently entered full production on a modular medical package that will provide near intensive care unit-like capabilities to Soldiers serving forward.
Obusek said he received positive feedback from Soldiers on the First Strike Ration and the Army Combat Shirt — two initiatives developed at Natick. He met with medical staff to discuss new materials for protective equipment and received many great ideas for future technology development.
Obusek leads an 800-person military and civilian workforce at NSRDEC, located in Natick, Mass. The center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command with the mission to maximize a Soldier’s survivability, sustainability, mobility and combat effectiveness.
This was Obusek’s first visit to Afghanistan since being named as the NSRDEC director in January 2011.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s senior noncommissioned officer, returned May 13 from a nine-day mission to Afghanistan.
In an interview with RDECOM public affairs, Beharie discussed how the command is providing the technological edge to Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
What were your objectives during your first visit to Operation Enduring Freedom as RDECOM’s command sergeant major?
“It was two-fold. First, we have folks who are doing great work in harm’s way, supporting the Warfighter. I wanted to pay them a visit, let them know who I am, and talk with them; get their concerns and issues they are dealing with; hear about some of the opportunities they had to support our Warfighter; technologies they were able to help field.
Second, [I wanted] to meet the senior enlisted Soldiers in the battlespace and hear from them how [RDECOM is] doing providing them the resources and technology to fight on the battlefield. That part is just as important. If they don’t know that we’re there or don’t know what value we add, we quickly become low-hanging fruit. As [the Army] ramps down in theater, we become the first to go home. That would be a tragedy to leave the Soldiers without the technology or the connection to the technology that we are able to give from our labs.”
As you talked with the Soldiers and civilians supporting OEF, what support do they need from RDECOM?
“When I was a Warfighter, I did not know what RDECOM provided me. Throughout the [Army Force Generation] process and the re-set process, there was a lot of technology that came my way that we, as a unit, had to integrate into our organization.
It’s the same thing with the Soldiers currently in theater. Some do not know RDECOM existed. They received technology and support from RDECOM, but we need to do better with our strategic communications and getting the word out. Part of my reasoning for going to theater is to get the word out [what] we, as RDECOM, provide and how we can better assist our Soldiers.”
How can RDECOM’s scientists and engineers in the United States do better to provide timely solutions to address these needs?
“I think the lines of communication, the resources that we have, and the reachback capability that we have to our labs, scientists and engineers — I think that is what we need to do better.
Our scientists and engineers are doing a fabulous job supporting our Warfighters. They come to work every day energized. For us to have the reachback from [Soldiers and commanders in] theater, our [Logistics Assistance Representative and Field Service Representatives] help by telling us where the gaps are. [We] fill those gaps in our labs with an emerging technology or [with] equipment we already built to increase capabilities on the battlefield. I think our scientists and engineers are doing a great job.”
Where in Afghanistan did you go?
“I had the opportunity to tour the entire breadth of Afghanistan where major commands are. Those are the hubs. If you get the commands and hubs to understand the type of support that we provide on a daily basis, that will proliferate across the subordinate commands.
We met with [Regional Command]-South and talked with them about our lines of effort and support. [We made] sure we are linked [for] them reaching back to us. They have several ways to get to us. The [Rapid Equipping Force] 10-liner will come back to us. The [Operational Needs Statement] [Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement] process will come back to us. Our [Science and Technology Assistance Teams] in theater will bring stuff back to us to action and provide material solutions to Warfighters.”
How does the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center accomplish its mission of providing engineering solutions to Soldiers directly in theater?
“What a tremendous capability to our Soldiers. This is a big win for the Army. This is a battlefield enabler having the RFAST-C that forward in theater. In six months, they have done over 177 projects for theater. That is throughout the [Combined Joint Operation Area], throughout the battlespace. While I was there, they were working on projects for the [Afghanistan Working Group] for the Afghan Army. They are working on engineering projects for the Air Force’s AC-130.
You name it, they are working on it. You have a Soldier who walks up to the RFAST-C and says, ‘Hey, I have a problem.’ I met that Soldier, a specialist. He showed me how he came up with the design, his drawings, what he envisioned, and the problem he had. He walked up to one of our engineers and said, ‘Hey, here is a problem that I have. Here is what I think a solution could be. Can you do something about this?’ Our scientist said, ‘Absolutely we can do something about it.’ They put the engineering mental muscle behind it and came up with a great product to fill that Soldier’s problem. This proliferates on the battlefield. It was a game-changer. This was an adjustment that had to be made because of new technology that we sent to theater to protect our Soldiers. We had to adjust how we placed certain items on vehicles.
I cannot speak enough about how great of a resource [the RFAST-C] it is for theater. I spoke to RC-South, RC-East, RC-Capital. I’ve talked to every command, all the way through [International Security Assistance Force] Command, and they all are singing the praises of what we are doing in theater.”
How will RDECOM leverage the experience gained from establishing RFAST-C in OEF to set up a similar capability for future Army or joint operations?
“The Army is looking at what it calls ‘RFAST-C in a Box.’ It probably will not have all the capabilities that our current RFAST-C has, but it will have a lot of those capabilities. There are some capabilities that the Army had previously within the [Army Field Support Brigades] that are provided in theater; however, not in the quality and quantity that is provided through the RFAST-C. With our emerging technologies, I can see sometime in the future that we are going to have an ‘RFAST-C in a Box’ traveling around the battlespace. I think this was the birth of a great idea that will help the Warfighter for a long time to come.”
How can RDECOM continue to share its initiatives and contributions with the Army?
“[RDECOM Director] Mr. [Dale] Ormond sat down with the Board of Directors and came up with six lines of effort. One of the lines of effort is strategic communications. I think I can impact that in a big way through the senior enlisted leaders engagement throughout the Army.
Seeing the senior enlisted leaders in theater is great. However, I think that communication needs to start back here at home. One of the initiatives that I have started is to go out and see the divisions and the major unit commands at home before they go to theater. Let them know what we are and what we do. The Army has an educational process for deployers. Give them ways that they can enhance the performance of their Soldiers and equipment on the battlefield. One of those resources is RDECOM.
I think that we need to make ourselves part of that educational process. Let RDECOM be one of those stops that those commands will make prior to going to theater. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be an enormous game-changing opportunity for those commands. I will take the message out and let them know what we are, who we are, and what we can do for them as they fight our nation’s wars.”