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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Acquisition partnership to roll out new improved Sentinel Radar

Acquisition partnership to roll out new improved Sentinel Radar

By Michael A. Wilson and Michael J. Glenn   Embracing the Army agile process, the Cruise Missile Defense Systems (CMDS) Project Office’s Sentinel Product Office (SPO), went from early planning, to prototype and then qualification testing of a new Enhanced Sentinel Radar in just over 12 months. Sentinel will showcase this latest evolution enhancing force protection and Soldier survivability in a roll-out of the AN/MPQ 64A3 Enhanced Sentinel Radar first production unit on a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) in October at Letterkenny Army Depot, Pa. (LEAD). Sentinel is the only 360-degree coverage air defense radar in the Army’s current inventory and features a 3 DX Band phased array […]

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, […]

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 […]