Survive and project indirect fires

Survive and project indirect fires

AMRDEC pursues two missile technology solutions to strengthen the Army’s hand in close combat.  by Mr. Spencer Hudson and Mr. Shannon Haataja One of the top U.S. Army modernization priorities is increased precision and effects at extended range in all operational environments. This is part of a broader strategy to make warfighting units more lethal to regain overmatch against peer and emerging threats. In response, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for research and technology’s lethality portfolio is investing in a layered, extended-range precision fires solution across operational levels to shape deep and close fights. The lethality portfolio represents science and technology (S&T) investments at the U.S. Army Aviation […]

Science and technology supporting future Army aviation

Science and technology supporting future Army aviation

 Research in several areas will mature new capabilities to make Future Vertical Lift possible.   by Mr. Todd Turner and Mr. Matthew Simone In the future, Army aviation systems will need to operate in an anti-access and area denial (A2AD) contested airspace against adversaries that have advanced capabilities that constrain freedom of maneuver. To be effective in these environments, future aviation systems will need extended range, increased situational awareness and higher speed to maneuver into positions of advantage, survive and engage the adversary. There also will be a need for increased use of unmanned systems to penetrate this contested airspace. The investments in the air systems science and technology (S&T) portfolio […]

Smart aircraft

Smart aircraft

A drone directed by one or more Soldiers through uncontested skies is a thing of the past. Army aviation is developing collaborative and intelligent systems for manned and unmanned fleets in contested air-space. by Mr. Kevin Kee Future warfare will present challenges to Army aviation assets not seen since the contested airspace of World War II. Communication, navigation and command-and-control systems will be degraded and jammed, and aircraft will encounter air defense threats with new capabilities. While sobering, these challenges offer an opportunity to leverage autonomy and teaming in both manned and unmanned aircraft. Army aviation uses a manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capability first fielded in 2009. This capability provides full-motion […]

Strength in architecture

Strength in architecture

Development of a government-led architecture specification promises to transform Army aviation mission systems. by Mr. Scott Wigginton and Mr. William “Bill” Jacobs Mission systems provide crucial elements of our warfighting capabilities—in the case of aviation mission systems, components integrated directly onto an air vehicle and encompassing traditional avionics (communications, navigations and displays, for example) as well as specific warfighting capabilities (weapons and sensors). Current methods of acquiring these systems, however, lead to duplication of effort and a multiplicity of requirements for different contractors providing essentially the same capability. The Aviation Development Directorate (ADD) of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Command (AMRDEC) is researching new methods […]

Keeping aircraft in the fight

Keeping aircraft in the fight

Working group identifies new suite of technologies to boost aircraft survivability. by Mr. Mark Calafut U.S. Army aviation faces a diverse threat environment, spanning broad categories of threats from ballistic munitions and guided missiles to directed energy and cyber weapons. It also spans generations of technology, ranging from constantly evolving sophisticated systems to widely proliferated legacy equipment. The modern threat environment presents both a technical challenge and a moving target to Army aviation. Historically, the science and technology (S&T) community has played an important role in developing advanced technologies to outpace the evolution of the threat. In an increasingly challenging threat environment, S&T is now even more critical. This has […]

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 […]

Engineering Logistics

Engineering Logistics

AMRDEC cuts out the middleman and puts engineers next to logisticians to make strategic fix-or-buy decisions and keep warfighters’ equipment in good repair By Ms. Carlotta Maneice In 2008, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (AMRDEC) Engineering Directorate participated in a study with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) and the Program Executive Offices (PEOs) for Aviation and Missiles and Space to identify ways to help give the warfighter the most reliable, sustainable and affordable weapon systems. One initiative resulting from this study was the AMRDEC Logistics Engineering Team in 2009. Logistics engineering is the intersection of sustainment, logistics and engineering, and our […]

Faces of the Force: Ernest Keen

Faces of the Force: Ernest Keen

POSITION AND UNIT: Aerospace Engineer, Concept Design and Assessment Tech Area, Aviation Development Directorate, Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center YEARS OF SERVICE: 5 (2 in Army acquisition; 3 in Navy acquisition) AWARDS: Army Modeling and Simulation Award; Franklin Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Powered Lift Field – Army Advanced Design Office; Aviation Development Directorate-AFDD Peer Award for Technical Excellence in Research and Development; 2014 Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene Award for Acquisition Writing, Innovation Category. EDUCATION: M.S. and B.S. aerospace engineering, Virginia Tech Short tenure, lots of accolades By Susan L. Follett Ernest Keen has worked in Army acquisition for just two years, but in that […]

Army develops lightweight ballistic protection for aircraft

Army develops lightweight ballistic protection for aircraft

By Heather R. Smith   REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Army tactics and training are constantly changing to meet the threat on the battlefield, and one such example is the attack helicopter. Originally the AH-1 Cobras were designed to arrive on station quickly, eliminate the threat, and move on to the next target. But in today’s battlefield, attack helicopters like the AH-64 Apaches are providing air support to ground convoys, and often hovering over convoys to eliminate any sign of threats. These combat operations result in increased exposure to enemy ground fire and increased need for ballistic protection systems, and the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center’s Prototype […]

ARL, Purdue research of 3-D printing to fix damaged on-the-spot in combat zones, cut maintenance cos

ARL, Purdue research of 3-D printing to fix damaged on-the-spot in combat zones, cut maintenance cos

By T’Jae Gibson, Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — New technology being developed by research engineers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Purdue University will soon help just about any Soldier deployed in far-off locations to immediately spot and fix damaged aircraft and ground vehicle parts. Researchers found that combining the general purpose, finite-element analysis software ABAQUS with Python, an open-source code used to optimize logical structures such as topologically interlocked structures, improves energy absorption and dissipation, productivity and lower maintenance costs. The combination of ABAQUS and Python provides an automated process for auto-generation of the geometries, models, materials assignments and code execution, said […]