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.

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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.

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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.

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Lethality on a Beam of Light

The High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, or HEL MD, is the result of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command research. (Photo by Eric Shindelbower)

The High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, or HEL MD, is the result of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command research. (U.S. Army photo by Eric Shindelbower)

U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command researchers explore high-energy lasers

By Charles LaMar, SMDC Technical Center

High-energy laser research has been ongoing since the 1960s. But the Army is now getting to the point where demonstration systems are shooting down mortars and unmanned aerial vehicles with high-energy lasers.

“This is a future capability for our Army,” said Keith Jadus, acting director of the lethality portfolio for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology. “When you deal with what we call disruptive technology, where the capability is so divergent from how we currently do business, we are required to consider more than just the lethal impacts. We must consider the doctrinal implications on how we fight in the future. Technology such as this creates opportunities to fight a different fight, and can impact the full spectrum of warfare.”

With high-energy lasers, Jadus said there is still a lot to work out.

“We recently had some impressive demonstrations using a commercial laser and supporting beam control, power, and thermal subsystems all integrated onto a mobile military truck, yet we still need to further mature the technology,” he said. “Our laser programs are achieving promising results in the laboratory, and we are developing support subsystems to enable long run-times at these laser’s higher power levels.”

As Army researchers validate the technology, officials remain optimistic about its potential.

The High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, or HEL MD, is the culmination of the Army high-energy laser technology development and demonstration program, according to officials. It is a completely contained HEL weapon demonstrator mounted on an Army truck with a significant track record for engaging and destroying mortars.

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Redstone tragedy: Team closes ranks after losses

Redstone tragedy: Team closes ranks after losses
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Team Redstone lost two of its own May 5 when a highly volatile chemical exploded during demilitarization processes at Test Area 10.

The two Army contractors were identified as Jerry A. Grimes, 58, of Hartselle; and James R. Hawke, 53, of Hazel Green. Both sustained severe burns in the explosion and died in the evening hours of May 5 at the burn center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. They were employed by locally based Amtec Corp.

A memorial fund has been set up at Redstone Federal Credit Union for the benefit of the surviving spouses and their families. Donations may be made at any RFCU branch location by referencing the Jerry A. Grimes Memorial Fund and the James R. Hawke Memorial Fund. RFCU tellers can handle single donations divided between the funds in accordance with donor instructions.

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Officials: Explosion at Redstone Arsenal

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — At about 8:45 a.m. today, the Redstone Arsenal Directorate for Emergency Services responded to a fire at Building 7352, an Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center facility.

There were two AMRDEC contractors on site when the explosion occurred, both were injured. A third employee was in close proximity but was not injured. One of the injured was transported by Med-Flight to University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. The other injured was transported by Med-Flight to Huntsville Hospital and has since been transferred to UAB Hospital. Both are currently at UAB’s Burn Center. All involved are accounted for. There were no fatalities.

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Technicians deliver improved gear in record time

A 78-pound MRT Cable Harness descends below the floorboards of the research lab at Camber Corporation in Research Park, snaking between the two sections of the test machine. The test setup will eventually be on-board the Armys Apache attack helicopter.

A 78-pound MRT Cable Harness descends below the floorboards of the research lab at Camber Corporation in Research Park, snaking between the two sections of the test machine. The test setup will eventually be on-board the Army's Apache attack helicopter.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — For Army pilots, telling the difference between people and the environment is vital to saving lives and accomplishing the mission. A high-tech device known will soon give enhanced capabilities to differentiate the temperatures of different objects, such as the ground or water, and to show heat signatures.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s aviation and missile center has had a team of technicians working on a new device that will also save nearly a half a million dollars.

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