Collaboration leads to new rocket propulsion technology

Collaboration leads to new rocket propulsion technology

By Tracie Dean, U.S. Army Research Laboratory   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Aug. 5, 2013) — A team of Army researchers developed a new gel-propellant engine called the vortex engine. Michael Nusca, Ph.D., Robert Michaels and Nathan Mathis were recently recognized by the Department of the Army with a 2012 Army Research and Development Outstanding Collaboration Award, or RDA, for their work titled, “Use of Computational Fluid Dynamics in the Development and Testing of Controllable Thrust Gel Bipropellant Rocket Engines for Tactical Missiles.” Nusca, a researcher in Army Research Laboratory, or ARL’s, Propulsion Science Branch at Aberdeen Proving Ground, explained the new technology. “Gelled, hypergolic propellants are swirled with the […]

Extending the Global Information Grid network to the company and below

Extending the Global Information Grid network to the company and below

By Amy Walker, PEO C3T   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND (July 29, 2013) — As the U.S. mission in Afghanistan changes and forces conduct more dispersed operations, new tactical communications equipment for vehicles at the company level will help extend the network over vast distances to keep Soldiers connected and commanders informed. Currently installed on Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles as part of the Army’s mobile Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 network, the Soldier Network Extension (SNE) will extend the network down to the company level for the first time. With this “extension,” company formations can now be geographically dispersed across large distances, away from their battalion headquarters, […]

Army adopts stronger, lighter composite materials

Army adopts stronger, lighter composite materials

By Heather R. Smith   REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (July 19, 2013) — In the future, Army aircraft may be made of all composite materials, and the Prototype Integration Facility (PIF) Advanced Composites Laboratory is ready. Part of the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center’s (AMRDEC), engineering directorate, the PIF’s advanced composites lab has successfully designed and made repairs on damaged composite aircraft components for several years now. From research and development to implementation and rapid prototyping, advancing composites technology is one of AMRDEC’s core competencies that enable the current and future force. The PIF advanced composites lab is one of several teams at the AMRDEC working with composites. […]

Army harnesses sun to reduce casualties from sniper attacks

Army harnesses sun to reduce casualties from sniper attacks

By Edric Thompson   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army is harnessing the elements to help reduce casualties from sniper attacks on forward operating bases. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s research laboratory and aviation missile and communications-electronics RD&E centers — the Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, and the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC — have integrated and deployed wind and solar harvesting systems to provide continuous energy to company-level, force protection systems used by U.S. Army combat units in theater. A joint venture by ARL, Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, […]

Smaller satellite terminal solution being fielded following Network Integration Evaluations

Smaller satellite terminal solution being fielded following Network Integration Evaluations

By Amy Walker   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 12, 2013) — Taking advantage of lessons learned through several Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) cycles, the Army is fielding to its first unit a new, smaller ground satellite terminal designed to provide high-capacity, beyond-line-of-sight communications to newly digitized command posts at the company level. “One of the main goals the Army had in creating the Company Command Post (CoCP) was the reduction of size, weight, and power consumption, referred to as SWaP,” said Lt. Col. Greg Coile, product manager for Satellite Communications (PdM SATCOM), which manages the terminals. “We leveraged the NIE Process to inform a SATCOM solution that would reduce […]

Heftier unmanned ground vehicle offers more lifting, hauling strength

Heftier unmanned ground vehicle offers more lifting, hauling strength

By Robert Karlsen and Bob Van Enkenvoort   DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — A small car can’t pull a heavy trailer. Sports utility vehicles don’t have a compact car’s fuel efficiency. A perfect, one-size-fits-all vehicle doesn’t exist. The same goes for unmanned ground vehicles, known as UGVs. Soldiers use UGVs — such as the 40-pound PackBot or the larger, 115-pound TALON — to detect and defeat roadside bombs, gain situational awareness, detect chemical and radiological agents, and increase the standoff distance between Soldiers and potentially dangerous situations. Just as SUVs offer utility smaller cars can’t match, larger UGVs provide capabilities not available with smaller platforms. The 300-pound iRobot Warrior, developed in […]

Engineers work to better monitor missile health

Engineers work to better monitor missile health

By Evelyn Teats   REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s (RDECOM) aviation and missile center is leveraging micro-electro-mechanical systems research in a new application to detect potentially damaging vibrations encountered by missiles during handling, transport and operation. Stephen Marotta, Engineering Directorate project principal investigator, said MEMS research has been ongoing at Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center for many years and many different applications have been successfully transitioned from the lab to the Soldier in the field. In an effort to improve missile health monitoring, Marotta began collaborating with Mohan Sanghadasa, from AMRDEDC’s Weapons Development and Integration Directorate, and Stephen Horowitz, an […]

Mobile Tower System delivers life saving upgrades

Mobile Tower System delivers life saving upgrades

By Sofia Bledsoe   When Soldiers and aircraft deploy in any part of the world, air traffic control operations become one of the most important functions to ensure that all aircraft supporting military operations maintain safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic. The Mobile Tower System, or MOTS, provides the effective and reliable solution that can be deployed anywhere in the world, in any weather condition and will support both military and civilian air operations. MOTS will also network with other air control and battle-management systems, and complies with Federal Aviation Administration/International Civilian Aviation Organization regulations. The Air Traffic Control Product Office, under the Project Office for Aviation Systems, […]

Army engineers enhance EOD Soldiers’ safety with ‘batwings’

Army engineers enhance EOD Soldiers’ safety with ‘batwings’

By Daniel Lafontaine   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army engineers in Afghanistan recently designed and fabricated a tool to help Soldiers investigate possible improvised explosive devices from a safer distance. Capt. Chad M. Juhlin, commander of the 53rd Ordnance Company (EOD), said his Soldiers needed an attachment for use with the iRobot 310-SUGV when searching for IEDs. The iRobot’s explosive ordnance disposal capabilities were limited, requiring Soldiers to operate close to the potential hazards. The forward deployed engineering cell from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, took on the challenge. The RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center developed the first iteration […]

From Smartphones to satellites: Soldiers use new network preparing for advise and assist mission

From Smartphones to satellites: Soldiers use new network preparing for advise and assist mission

By Claire Heininger   FORT DRUM, N.Y. (April 22, 2013) — For Staff Sgt. Stephen Kovac, getting important information and instructions to the rest of his platoon was a struggle. He could radio back to higher headquarters and wait for the calls to filter back down, losing precious seconds during an operation. Or, he said, he could “yell and scream back to the rear, use hand and arm signals, anything possible to get it across.” That was before Kovac began training with Capability Set (CS) 13, an integrated tactical network that extends digital communications down to the lowest echelons. “Using CS 13, you can send reports and you can see […]