A Plan to Make — and Break

A Plan  to Make — and Break

By Mr. Dale A. Ormond, Director, U.S. Army Research, Development And Engineering Command Most planning involves developing a series of concrete steps and conditional decision points that together define a good way ahead, and then—as no plan survives contact—adjusting that. As director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), when I contemplate the Army’s 30-year plan to modernize the force, I see our goal as not only to break that plan, but to break it often and before anyone else does. It is our job to make the Soldier’s kit obsolete. This we must do if we are to help the Army maintain its unparalleled dominance on […]

In Hard Truth, New Opportunity

In Hard Truth, New Opportunity

Changing times call for Army and industrial base to collaborate on solutions   From The Army Acquisition Executive The Honorable Heidi Shyu   As we enter a new calendar year, the Army faces challenges of an evolving fiscal reality and the transition from wartime production to peacetime requirements. The Army and its industrial base must work together to address these issues head-on. The hard truth—sustaining readiness in this fiscally constrained environment—necessarily means fewer investments in the future. Budget uncertainty complicates the procurement landscape, but communication and cooperation will allow the Army and industrial base to meet our respective goals. Defense spending is projected to make up only 12 percent of […]

Army fuel reformation looks to increase efficiency, save lives

Army fuel reformation looks to increase efficiency, save lives

By Allison Barrow and Joyce Brayboy   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Fuel is the second largest transported item in the field next to water. As a result, fuel truck convoys that deliver fuel are vulnerable to enemy attacks, which have resulted in loss of money, time and lives. To combat this problem, scientists and engineers from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command are working to lessen the reliance on fuel truck convoys by reducing the amount of military fuel, called jet propellant 8, or JP-8, the Army needs in theater and improving the efficiency of its use. One way they are doing this is through reforming JP-8 […]

Army researchers build portable “fake pot” detector prototype to curb Soldier designer drug abuse

Army researchers build portable “fake pot” detector prototype to curb Soldier designer drug abuse

By T’Jae Gibson, Army Research Laboratory, Public Affairs Office   Army researchers are building a portable drug detector that, soon, could help military and civil law enforcement agencies throughout the country more quickly catch synthetic drug abuse. The Army Research Laboratory’s prototype biosensor model is expected to directly detect the active chemical substitutes that help “fake pot” fade from notice in commercially available synthetic cannabinoid detectors. It would be the first field-ready test on the market. In 2012, the Army Criminal Investigation Command conducted 1,675 investigations involving Soldiers and spice, bath salts, or other synthetic drugs, according to a May 2013 Army Times article. ARL is collaborating with ACIL on […]

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 […]

Beyond protection: Army Research Laboratory investigates next-level pelvic, groin protection

Beyond protection: Army Research Laboratory investigates next-level pelvic, groin protection

T’Jae Gibson   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD. (Nov. 14, 2012) — New ballistic research areas are filling a critical gap in troop pelvic protection systems, said U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) engineers. No standard scientific methodology currently exists to assess the performance of personal protection equipment (PPE) against secondary debris, such as flying rocks, and bomb fragments ejected after a buried improvised explosive device (IED) detonates, said Tyrone Jones, a mechanical engineer in ARL’s, Weapons and Materials Research Directorate (WMRD). ARL teamed with the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Joint IED Defeat Organization and the British Ministry of Defence to provide the Army […]