Army Developing Next-Generation Surveillance Aircraft

Army Developing Next-Generation Surveillance Aircraft

Kris Osborn   Army scientists, engineers, and program developers in a laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md. are making substantial progress with efforts to build and integrate a sophisticated battlefield surveillance aircraft called the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMARSS), service officials said. The initial task, now underway at Aberdeen’s Joint Test and Integration Facility (JTIF), is aimed at engineering and integrating an EMARSS fuselage with cameras, sensors, software, antennas, intelligence databases, and electronic equipment so the Army can deliver four Engineering Manufacturing Development (EMD) aircraft to Afghanistan as part of a forward assessment of the capabilities, said Raymond Santiago, deputy product manager, Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance […]

NIE drives technology growth, cost savings

NIE drives technology growth, cost savings

Claire Heininger, ASA (ALT)   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (December 4, 2012) — Initial findings from the Army’s latest Network Integration Evaluation show steady progress toward improved, user-friendly tactical communications systems, as well as new efficiencies from the consolidation of test practices. Although the final technical evaluations and responses are still pending, the Army is reviewing early assessments from NIE 13.1, which concluded Nov. 17, and planning for NIE 13.2, which gets underway in May 2013. Observations from NIE 13.1 included a more stable network backbone, demand for a “mid-tier” networking radio for use by lower echelons, and better user collaboration through a common framework for operations and intelligence tools. […]

Research & Development underway for Abrams Modernization

Research & Development underway for Abrams Modernization

Bill Good   Over the past decade the only thing that has been able to slow the Army’s premier combat vehicle hasn’t been enemies on the battlefield, but rather the technological advancements added to the platform. While every vehicle is designed to have Space, Weight, and Power, or SWaP, margin for incremental improvements, recent upgrades made to the Abrams M1A2 System Enhancement Program Version 2 have left little margin for future improvements. “The Abrams main battle tank was developed over three decades ago in response to a major Soviet threat. We were fortunate that engineers had the foresight to design in enough SWaP margin to enable us to host new […]

Bradley Changes to Upgrade Vehicle Across the Board

Bradley Changes to Upgrade Vehicle Across the Board

Bill Good   Since the Bradley Fighting Vehicle was first introduced to the Army in 1982 it has been constantly modernized; however, the upgrades conducted over the past decade have been particularly taxing to the platform. “It’s important to remember that armor improvements and the Bradley Urban Survivability Kit (BUSK) make today’s Bradley very different than the Bradleys that rolled into Iraq in 2003. The Army has not stopped improving its capabilities, but the Bradley has reached its limit of new capabilities it can accept without making some basic architectural improvements,” said Lt. Col. Glenn Dean, Product Manager for the Bradley and Armored Knight programs. Space, Weight, and Power-Cooling, or […]

Team Stryker receives 2012 Secretary of the Army Excellence in Contracting Award

Team Stryker receives 2012 Secretary of the Army Excellence in Contracting Award

Bill Good   The Stryker Life Cycle Requirements Contracting Team has received the 2012 Secretary of the Army Excellence in Contracting Award for outstanding Systems, Research and Development, and Logistics Support (Sustainment) Contracting as a result of its work on a complicated follow-on contract that included more than a dozen scopes of work. “There were numerous submittals in this category, all of which exemplified contracting excellence in a teaming environment,” said Harry Hallock, Executive Director of the Army Contracting Command, in an email congratulating Team Stryker on its award. “Team Stryker’s selection as the ‘best of the best’ is a tribute to your professionalism and drive to accomplish the mission, […]

Faces of the Force

Faces of the Force

Soldier uses radio frequency technology to track Army shipments worldwide   By Teresa Mikulsky Purcell   FOTF: What do you do in the Army? LEONARD: I recently returned from Afghanistan, where I was responsible for logistical tracking of all Army shipments in and out of the war theater, including Southwest Asia. I managed 221 Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) read sites and 477 write sites. RFID tags are powered sensors that are attached to Army shipments, allowing us to track items as they transit through the Defense Transportation System. We have the ability to “write” data on the tags, telling us what the containers hold, and “read” (or scan) them at […]

Combined Federal Campaign Nears Fundraising Goal

Combined Federal Campaign Nears Fundraising Goal

The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) is close to reaching its 2012 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) goal but donors still have time to make a difference before this year’s campaign ends. The CFC is the only authorized charitable-giving drive for employees in the Federal workplace and serves all Federal employees, civilian, and military. Keith Butler, USAASC Campaign Manager, explained the CFC fundraising goal. “We fall under ASA(ALT) [Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology]. ASA(ALT) has a goal, and when you break it down to reporting units, each unit has a goal.” As of November 20, the USAASC campaign had raised $7,402 of […]

Army awards new expanded defense communications contract

Army awards new expanded defense communications contract

Amy Walker, ASA (ALT)   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Nov. 19, 2012) — The Army has awarded a new, expanded defense contract, which will enable the acquisition of hardware, software, services and data in support of the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T, mission over a five-year ordering period. The Global Tactical Advanced Communication Systems, known as GTACS, and Services contract is one of the largest defense contracts the Department of Defense plans to issue within the next few years. By utilizing the GTACS contract and its group of 20 defense contractors, it is expected that the government will realize significant cost savings, while enabling industry […]

Systems Engineering Expertise Leads To Success For Advanced Radar Program

Systems Engineering Expertise Leads To Success For Advanced Radar Program

Kristen Kushiyama   A seamless link from development to production helped to distinguish a recent DOD-awarded radar as one of the top five 2012 defense programs of excellence in systems engineering in October. The AN/TPQ-53 Counterfire Target Acquisition Radar, commonly referred to as Q-53, leveraged government, industry, and academic organizations to provide U.S. Soldiers with advanced radar that provides 360-degree surveillance capabilities. The Q-53 system is managed by Product Manager Radars, or PM Radars, with Lockheed Martin as the prime contractor, and the program traces its roots back to development work done in the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Communications-Electronics Center (CERDEC) more than 10 years ago. The transition […]

Beyond protection: Army Research Laboratory investigates next-level pelvic, groin protection

Beyond protection: Army Research Laboratory investigates next-level pelvic, groin protection

T’Jae Gibson   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD. (Nov. 14, 2012) — New ballistic research areas are filling a critical gap in troop pelvic protection systems, said U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) engineers. No standard scientific methodology currently exists to assess the performance of personal protection equipment (PPE) against secondary debris, such as flying rocks, and bomb fragments ejected after a buried improvised explosive device (IED) detonates, said Tyrone Jones, a mechanical engineer in ARL’s, Weapons and Materials Research Directorate (WMRD). ARL teamed with the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Joint IED Defeat Organization and the British Ministry of Defence to provide the Army […]