On target

On target

Experts at ARL are looking deep into the science of the future battlespace and trying to answer questions that have no simple answers, such as how to deliver the power of a tank without a tank.  by Dr. Frank Fresconi, Dr. Scott Schoenfeld  and Dan Rusin, Lt. Col., USA (Ret.) The notion of winning in a complex world requires envisioning a battlefield that is so complex and multidimensional that, more often than not, it’s referred to as a battlespace. With good reason: The kind of warfare that the Army must prepare for, and for which experts at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, are developing […]

Path of greatest resilience

Path of greatest resilience

Facing an enemy intent on creating a highly contested electromagnetic environment, S&T investments in Army networks focus on mobility, redundancy, ease of use and detection avoidance.   by Mr. Seth Spoenlein, Mr. James Snodgrass, Mr. Michael Breckenridge and Dr. Brian Rivera The expeditionary nature of the future force will require mobile, secure communication networks that are dynamic—able to survive in active electronic warfare environments and available in all environments to ensure continuous mission command. However, obtaining and sustaining the higher ground in a network context will not come easily in the future battlespace. The enemy will have advanced technologies designed specifically to create a highly contested electromagnetic (EM) environment, disrupting our […]

Processor swarm

Processor swarm

Inherent in the coming internet of battlefield things are challenges that commercial products don’t face. But those products might have solutions to the Army’s problems, which is why ARL and its partners are exploring novel distributed processing approaches, a domain the Army practically invented. by Dr. Raju Namburu and Dr. Michael Barton Distributed processing—using multiple computers to run an application—is not a new idea. But as technology advances, opportunities arise for new and novel distributed processing approaches that take advantage of nascent network-based communication, computing systems, innovations in algorithms, and software. First realized around 1983 at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, distributed processing has evolved over several decades as information […]

The artificial becomes real

The artificial becomes real

 A back-and-forth interplay of government and commercial funding and research has brought AI to the edge of a breakthrough. by Dr. Alexander Kott Few fields of technology are as paradoxical as artificial intelligence (AI). For one thing, since its official inception in the mid-1950s, AI has experienced multiple cycles of boom and bust. Time and again, AI would be proclaimed a miracle technology; an intense hype would build up and last for a decade or so, only to be followed by an equally intense disappointment and sense of abandonment. Similarly, human emotions around AI seem to run to extremes. Back in the 1950s, many a life was changed by fascinating […]

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 […]

World-Class Technology, According to Plan

World-Class Technology, According to Plan

By Ms. Argie Sarantinos-Perrin Information-gathering drones swarm the air as unmanned Army vehicles push just ahead of infantry Soldiers into a mega-city overflowing with people, vehicles and high rises. Army cyber warriors fight a silent battle for the city’s internet of things while an unmanned warship shoots down an aircraft, which explodes in the air, creating a massive fireball and a barrage of fragments that plummet to the ground. Meanwhile, the first artillery crew to the battle is trading targeting and friendly forces information with Air Force bombers and Navy gunners. The technologies in this future multi-domain battle scenario may seem far-reaching, but the Army’s primary science and technology arm, […]

Collaborative Autonomy: A Tactical Offset Strategy

Collaborative Autonomy: A Tactical Offset Strategy

ARL intelligent systems S&T is leading to a tactical offset strategy for operations in a range of challenging settings. by Dr. Brian M. Sadler The desire for a third offset strategy has been a major focus of DOD science and technology (S&T) discussion for the past few years. While the Navy and Air Force primarily face issues related to large-scale, extended-range operations, the Army must address a different set of long-term challenges in complex operational scenarios. These notably include megacities and other perplexing domains such as subterranean and jungle environments. It is not difficult to envision a megacity in a developing nation facing a quicksand of natural disaster, failing infrastructure, […]

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 […]