Complex environments call for better sensors

Complex environments call for better sensors

Or multiple sensors that work better together  by Dr. Richard Nabors, Dr. Donald A. Reago Jr. and Mr. Nathan Burkholder War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty,” wrote Carl von Clausewitz in his 1832 treatise “On War.” The dictum still holds for modern warfare. Confusion, chance, chaos and resistance are as much factors in modern warfare as they were in Napoleonic times. Weather and terrain, misunderstandings and inaccurate intelligence, a creative and adaptive enemy and a civilian population in the battleground are just a few of the contributors to […]

It’s all about the science

It’s all about the science

It’s all about the science…and the people who do it, and the problems they solve.  by Mr. Steve Stark Winning in a complex world, the multidomain battlespace: These are extraordinarily complex concepts. How will the Army operate in an area that a peer or near-peer adversary has worked very diligently to make sure that the Army cannot operate in? How will the Army counter swarms of networked, unmanned systems? For Dr. Thomas P. Russell, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for research and technology (DASA(R&T)), envisioning and developing the capabilities and the technologies that the Army will need in five years or 30 years is not a job that […]

Precision fires tilt the field

Precision fires tilt the field

New technologies give the U.S. greater precision at greater range; stronger air and missile defense. by Mr. Michael Holthe  Imagine a battlefield where U.S. forces do not enjoy freedom of maneuver, where supporting forces cannot guarantee dominance of the airspace above us or even the ability to communicate or track and locate threats. Imagine a battlefield where friendly forces are not only overmatched by range but where the enemy can employ myriad electromagnetic effects to deny or degrade our ability to lo-cate targets. Such a scenario is not only fast approaching, but is in many cases already upon us. These very real, very urgent challenges are what drive the Army […]

Hope regenerated

Hope regenerated

Wounds that used to kill don’t, but IED attacks leave many service members with severe, lasting damage to legs or arms. So the Tissue Injury and Regenerative Medicine office stamps a high priority on extremity repair. by Ms. Kristy Pottol, Lt. Col. Melinda Eaton and Lt. Col.(P) David Saunders Compared with the Vietnam War, body armor and improved battlefield resuscitation have increased survivability in recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; however, the downstream effect is a greater number of extremity wounds leading to higher levels of disability. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) often cause serious damage to the limbs. As many as 50 percent of service members with extremity injuries suffer […]

For ARL engineer assigned to South Korea, there’s energy in the air

For ARL engineer assigned to South Korea, there’s energy in the air

This column is the first in a series of articles profiling the work of defense science and technology personnel participating in the Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program, managed by the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for defense exports and cooperation. The program’s mission is to increase international collaboration in military research, development and acquisition, as well as to provide career-broadening work assignments for U.S. military and government defense personnel in foreign defense establishments. By Ms. Gabriella Krohmal and Mr. Adam Genest U.S. and South Korean civilian defense scientists are working together to create energy from thin air. Dr. Mark Griep, a U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) biomedical engineer who […]

Overseas opportunities

Overseas opportunities

The Army’s Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program gives researchers a chance to grow professionally while collaborating with U.S. allies on new technologies. by Ms. Gabriella Krohmal and Mr. Adam Genest In Japan, U.S. Army software engineer Ross Arnold surveys what’s left of the town of Arahama, four hours north of Tokyo. Arahama was destroyed in 2011 by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, killing 15,894 people and destroying more than 120,000 buildings, including every building in Arahama except the schoolhouse. Arnold, who’s assigned to the U.S. Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center, hopes that the new software algorithm he’s been working on with Japan’s Air Systems Research […]

Speeding combat casualty care

Speeding combat casualty care

In future conflicts, with communication channels and evacuation routes contested, a lot more casualty care might happen right there on the battlefield itself. by Mr. Ramin A. Khalili Dr. Elliot Botvinick sits in his office on the campus of the University of California, Irvine, holding a tiny device in the palm of his hand. It is smaller than a garage door opener, smaller than a standard business card even, and is so slight and inconspicuous that he might be able to stick one on a passing student without their noticing. It also might be the future of battlefield medicine, according to the U.S. Army. Minds like Botvinick’s may be exactly […]

How many robots does it take?

How many robots does it take?

THEN & NOW 2007 & 2018 Then: a veritable ‘petting zoo’ of 7,000 unique robots, each slightly different to operate and expensive to maintain. Now: the challenge of getting all the functions of those 7,000 on just three main robotic platforms. by Ms. Mary Kate Aylward  It’s an arresting image: A dog—well, a “dog”—loose in the Sonoran Desert moves through a group of empty cars and trucks, sniffing around before halting and signaling to its handlers. Army personnel arrive on scene to dismantle the bomb identified by the “dog,” which is in fact a robot equipped with a powerful sensor that detects vapors or particles emanating from explosive devices. It […]

Army scouts latest drone technology at SOCOM ThunderDrone event

Army scouts latest drone technology at SOCOM ThunderDrone event

YBOR CITY, Fla. (November 6, 2017) — Enter the unassuming brick building in historic Ybor City, Fl. and there’s the buzz of drones in the air and sound of robots on the ground. There’s an autonomous drone that launches from a moving truck or boat to support a convoy on the move, then tracks the vehicle while orbiting around and monitoring nearby threats. There’s a pistol-packing robot that can sneak into buildings, climb stairs, send 360-degree views of the site and then lock on a target and shoot. And there are drones that work together in a swarm to relay information and then autonomously reconfigure their position to reestablish communications […]

Technically Speaking: Language less foreign

Technically Speaking: Language less foreign

A downloadable, Army-specific translation app made possible by machine learning enables individual Soldiers to communicate anywhere, with or without internet access or local translators. by Mr. Michael Doney, Dr. Christina Bates and Mr. Tracy Blocker Today’s more expeditionary Army needs interpreters and linguists, but they are expensive to train and always in short supply. In another case of science fiction becoming science fact, the Army has created a partial solution to the language barrier: the Machine Foreign Language Translation System (MFLTS). Right now, MFLTS consists of two apps, one for real-time, two-way, speech-to-speech translation and one for text-to-text translation of electronic documents, webpages and social media. Each application has two […]