Partnering at the Speed of Cyber

Partnering at the Speed of Cyber

Stakeholders broke out of traditional roles while testing and evaluating cybersecurity at NIE 16.2, learning that when red and blue teams talk earlier and more often, cyber systems get stronger. by Lt. Col. Jeff Strauss and Mr. Robert Wedgeworth The ever-increasing complexity and interconnectivity of Army tactical networks and mission command systems, along with the requirement for mission assurance in the contested domain of cyberspace, present a unique challenge to operational testing and evaluation (T&E). The challenges in cyber (T&E) stem from several factors, first among them the sheer number of devices and the amount of data they exchange. These, when coupled with the growing size, evolution and complexity of […]

Robots Must Flex Their Minds for Muscle Memory

Robots Must Flex Their Minds for Muscle Memory

Rosie the robot learns about the world, with help from a plethora of ARL-designed sensors by Dr. Joseph Conroy and Mr. Earl Jared Shamwell If you ever watched “The Jetsons,” an animated sitcom (1963-1964) about a family living in fictional Orbit City in the 2060s, you likely remember the iconic depiction of a futuristic utopia complete with flying cars and robotic contraptions to take care of many human needs. Robots, such as sass-talking housekeeper Rosie, could move through that world and perform tasks ranging from the mundane to the highly complex, all with human-like ease. In the real world, however, robotic technology has not matured so swiftly. What will it […]

Open Source Advantages are Magnifying in the Army

Open Source Advantages are Magnifying in the Army

ARL releases its first open source software and explores the options, benefits and challenges of making similar releases in the future by Mr. Joshua Edwards Army computer science innovators have started peeling away the barriers to publicly releasing software from the military to the open source community. This means that users around the world will have the ability to see and modify the actual code of those government projects to suit their needs, and potentially pass those changes back to the Army if they prove useful. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) made its first open source release—Dshell, a network forensics analysis framework for security analysts to easily read and […]

Keeping design on target

Keeping design on target

PM Soldier Weapons teams with ARL’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate and the Maneuver CoE to incorporate human systems integration early in weapon system development, to ensure that weapons are designed to work in harmony with other systems and equipment. By Dr. Gabriella Brick Larkin, Mr. Joshua Charm, Maj. Aron Hauquitz and Maj. Adam Patten Technology may advance in leaps and bounds, but the physical and cognitive abilities of people who use technology stay much the same. History tells us the performance of new products is better when human performance is among the factors considered during the design and development process. What does this mean to the military materiel developer? […]

The Promise of Pads

The Promise of Pads

Research into new materials may change shape, efficiency of combat helmet pads to offer stronger defense against shock waves By T’Jae Gibson, ARL Public Affairs Office New Army studies of the padding inside combat helmets are expected to reveal new insights on ways to prevent shock waves from a detonated improvised explosive device, for example, from damaging Soldiers’ brains. Army scientists say not enough information exists to determine the degree to which shock waves move past combat helmets’ outer shells and padding, and through the human skull. So while research is underway to understand that, ARL is also investigating the relationship between blast waves and traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Thomas […]

New synthetic bones help Army scientists get closer to new ‘brain’ defenses against blast waves

New synthetic bones help Army scientists get closer to new ‘brain’ defenses against blast waves

By T’Jae Gibson Shock waves from battlefield explosions are invisible threats for U.S. Soldiers and their top-of-the-line combat helmets, but with new studies in synthetic human physiology, researchers are learning how to lessen blast wave effects on the brain. Exactly how, and to what degree, these waves cause brain damage is what the U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists and engineers and a group of university partners are trying to answer as part of a multi-year, multi-disciplinary research project. That research is the focus of the latest episode of “Inside the Lab,” an ARL-produced feature news broadcast. But in a related research project, Army researchers are investigating new material development for […]

‘Piece’ of Mind

‘Piece’ of Mind

By T’Jae Gibson A team of researchers from the Army Research Laboratory and a number of universities are taking a physics-based approach to understanding traumatic brain injuries. They’re partnering with military medical experts like those at the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and others to understand the relationship between blast events – like explosions after an IED detonates – and brain injury. In this episode of Inside the Lab, ARL explores unique research approaches to understand how traumatic brain injuries occur, the challenges in detecting and diagnosing traumatic brain injuries and the obstacles Army and university researchers are attempting to overcome to find protection solutions to mitigate the effects […]

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 […]