The Promise of Pads

The Promise of Pads

Research into new materials may change shape, efficiency of combat helmet pads to offer stronger defense against shock waves By T’Jae Gibson, ARL Public Affairs Office New Army studies of the padding inside combat helmets are expected to reveal new insights on ways to prevent shock waves from a detonated improvised explosive device, for example, from damaging Soldiers’ brains. Army scientists say not enough information exists to determine the degree to which shock waves move past combat helmets’ outer shells and padding, and through the human skull. So while research is underway to understand that, ARL is also investigating the relationship between blast waves and traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Thomas […]

New synthetic bones help Army scientists get closer to new ‘brain’ defenses against blast waves

New synthetic bones help Army scientists get closer to new ‘brain’ defenses against blast waves

By T’Jae Gibson Shock waves from battlefield explosions are invisible threats for U.S. Soldiers and their top-of-the-line combat helmets, but with new studies in synthetic human physiology, researchers are learning how to lessen blast wave effects on the brain. Exactly how, and to what degree, these waves cause brain damage is what the U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists and engineers and a group of university partners are trying to answer as part of a multi-year, multi-disciplinary research project. That research is the focus of the latest episode of “Inside the Lab,” an ARL-produced feature news broadcast. But in a related research project, Army researchers are investigating new material development for […]

‘Piece’ of Mind

‘Piece’ of Mind

By T’Jae Gibson A team of researchers from the Army Research Laboratory and a number of universities are taking a physics-based approach to understanding traumatic brain injuries. They’re partnering with military medical experts like those at the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and others to understand the relationship between blast events – like explosions after an IED detonates – and brain injury. In this episode of Inside the Lab, ARL explores unique research approaches to understand how traumatic brain injuries occur, the challenges in detecting and diagnosing traumatic brain injuries and the obstacles Army and university researchers are attempting to overcome to find protection solutions to mitigate the effects […]

Army simulates battlefield environment in labs to prepare for cyber threats

Army simulates battlefield environment in labs to prepare for cyber threats

By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, PEO C3T and Matthew C. McVey, SoSE&I ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (August 4, 2014) — As new technologies are introduced into the Army’s network, they are evaluated during semi-annual, Soldier-driven operational exercises in the mountains and desert of Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M. Though the Soldier-executed test is the focus of these Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs), the overall success of the effort rests heavily on lab-based planning and integration testing back at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., where months of risk reduction activities and evaluations are conducted prior to the operational event. After all, if the capability doesn’t work in the lab, it’s not […]

‘Digital Dirt’

‘Digital Dirt’

With too many boots for too little ground, training system expands units’ options By Col. Wayne Epps American humorist Will Rogers is often quoted as saying, “Buy land. They aren’t making any more of the stuff!” The Army is not finding that quip quite as funny as it once was, as the number of troops returning to their home stations puts a serious strain on the available training space. While the Army was heavily deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, a typical Army post had most of its units in combat, leaving the pre-deployment units back home with ample space to conduct live training. Today, that situation is reversed, which is […]

Leveraging technology to innovate RCAS training

Leveraging technology to innovate RCAS training

By Robert G. Medley and Rita G. Bartholomew Since its inception, Reserve Component Automation Systems (RCAS) has faced a number of training challenges. Soldier time constraints, weekend training in remote locations, and restricted instructor travel budgets forced the RCAS training team to develop new ways to deliver training to Reserve Component (RC) personnel. Our training team has met these challenges with one critical mission in mind: deliver quality training to thousands of RC users from both the Army National Guard (ARNG) and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) to enhance their day-to-day mobilization, safety, force management and personnel operations. Beginning in the 1990s, RCAS conducted on-site training for the RC Commands. […]

The Academic Angle

The Academic Angle

Leveraging students’ engineering expertise to bridge the gap between Soldier and system By Col. Michael E. Sloane, MAJ Toby Birdsell and Capt.(P) Tom Beyerl   Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers (PM SSL) is in the business of developing the most advanced maneuver and targeting sensors ever fielded. A sometimes unwanted adjunct to advancement, however, is complexity, one of the greatest enemies of usability. Recognizing this critical relationship, the PM SSL team continuously seeks opportunities, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Maneuver and Fires Centers of Excellence, to connect with current and prospective warfighters through “touch points,” warfighter juries that enable the PM SSL team to tailor equipment designs to […]

Network Forensics makes an impact at the Army’s NIE

Network Forensics makes an impact at the Army’s NIE

A potent mix of software and methodologies borrowed from civilian industry makes a tremendous impact for the Army’s large-scale technology evaluation By Ray K. Ragan FORT BLISS, Texas – The Army’s semi-annual, large-scale Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) saw the technology of network forensics make an impact at NIE 14.2, the latest NIE, which concluded earlier this month. The U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground (USAEPG) traditionally provides expertise in instrumentation for technology-based systems and is the Army’s designated tester for C4ISR systems, as part of the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC). USAEPG supported the U.S. Army Operational Test Command, under ATEC, during this latest NIE. This year, in addition to […]

Evolving Innovation

Evolving Innovation

A new look at fostering cutting-edge thinking in Army science and technology   By Lt. Col. Joel Dillon, Dr. Jason Augustyn, Ms. Julia Kim and Mr. Dominic Ju   Science and technology (S&T) innovation is an uncertain road, with “failure” often a step on the path to a breakthrough. However, in a resource-constrained environment, planners must make the smartest possible investments of taxpayer money in S&T programs, balancing risk with the potential for transformational new capabilities. A good place to start striking this balance is at the “fuzzy front end” of innovation, the initial period of exploration preceding the development of new materiel solutions. For many years, the acquisition community […]

Research Resource

Research Resource

Rapid detection devices for pathogen vectors are case study in leveraging small business innovation funding   By Maj. Vanessa R. Melanson   When military forces arrive in a new operational area, military preventive medicine personnel—preventive medicine specialists, entomologists and environmental science engineers—assess the environment, identify health threats and propose mitigations. Vector-borne diseases are one of the primary readiness threats, and the arthropods (insects and arachnids) that transmit pathogens to people account for about 60 percent of the military’s priority pathogens list. Vector pathogen detection (VPD) provides military preventive medicine personnel the information necessary to implement specific vector-control measures and disease prevention countermeasures. VPD can minimize disease by sampling arthropods for […]