A team effort

A team effort

Award-winning ManTech program to create a new kind of blast-resistant aluminum vehicle hull resulted from a variety of new and existing R&D.  by Dr. Bryan Cheeseman During the autumns of 2014 and 2015, the Army demonstrated a force protection capability using a newly designed aluminum hull for combat vehicles. These tests involved a large underbody blast gauged on enemy threats as part of the U.S. Army Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) project called Affordable Protection from Objective Threats (APOT). The research and development (R&D) on the APOT program offers tremendous improvements and great promise in force protection for the future. APOT focused on the maturation of lower hull manufacturing techniques, pulling together […]

Open-door policy

Open-door policy

ARL implements a new business model to pursue collaboration with academia and industry in a 21st century research culture. by Ms. Wendy Leonard The U.S. Army of 2040 and beyond will operate in rapidly changing domains with unparalleled complexity. Army leadership has long recognized the need to invest in science and technology (S&T) to empower the discovery and innovation needed to maintain technological overmatch and win future battles in an increasingly complex environment. In response, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has implemented a new business model, Open Campus, to pursue leading-edge basic and applied research in a truly collaborative fashion by enabling the continuous flow of people and ideas […]

Border crossings

Border crossings

Modernization priorities spur the Army to take a more strategic approach to international engagement with S&T partners. by Dr. Arthur J. Goff III The future operational environment demands that the Army act now to increase flexibility and adaptability, improve interoperability and compatibility and effectively accommodate evolving alliances and partnerships. To meet these demands and maximize effectiveness for the warfighter, the Army is focusing its science and technology (S&T) investments on six modernization priorities: precision fires; Next Generation Combat Vehicle; Future Vertical Lift; network and command, control, communications and intelligence; air and missile defense; and Soldier lethality. Underpinning these modernization priorities are a series of cross-cutting topic areas and capability gaps: […]

Technology maturation

Technology maturation

Army unifies diverse efforts to bridge the gap between concept and acquisition for successful technology transitions. by Ms. Julie I. Locker Technology transition is the process by which a technology is determined mature enough to move from science and technology (S&T) into a DOD acquisition program. Transitions play a critical role in bridging the gap between technology development and implementation within a future Army system. Successful transitions begin early during S&T development with the establishment of strong working relationships between the Army technologists within the research laboratories and the Army program executive officers (PEOs) and program managers (PMs). Through these relationships, stakeholders accomplish the ever-important early interpretation of user requirements […]

Critical collaborations

Critical collaborations

Bringing industry, academia, other government agencies, and international and nontraditional partners into the Army S&T enterprise. by Dr. Matt Willis The Army science and technology (S&T) program is critical to ensuring that the U.S. Army—America’s principal land force—can continue to operate and dominate in complex environments characterized by adaptive adversaries employing conventional, unconventional and hybrid methods that are designed to challenge U.S. national security and vital interests. The future operational environment—2025 and beyond—for the Army and joint force will demand land power dominance through increased flexibility, adaptability and speed of response; mechanisms to mitigate or wholly eliminate tactical surprise; improved joint interoperability and compatibility; an ability to effectively accommodate evolving […]

From minds to markets

From minds to markets

TechLink public-private intermediary helps small businesses access Army inventions, benefiting the U.S. military and the national economy. by Mr. Thomas Mulkern and Mr. Troy Carter Putting Army research and technology in the hands of capable partners in industry is crucial for fielding decisive Army capabilities. To be successful, technology transfer requires dedication, commitment and trust. Since 1999, Army research labs have trusted TechLink, DOD’s national partnership for technology transfer, to help bring innovative technology advances to the marketplace and the warfighter, supporting the U.S. military and the national economy and proving the value of the Army laboratory enterprise. The Army conducts large amounts of scientific research that leads to cutting-edge […]

Bench-building at Army labs

Bench-building at Army labs

Attracting an elite cadre of scientists and engineers is essential for the Army mission; Army labs need to be able to offer better pay and shorter hiring timelines to do so.  by Dr. Matt Willis A core enabler for technology superiority in a constantly evolving and asymmetric threat landscape is technological excellence at the Army laboratory enterprise, empowered by a strategically shaped and highly competent technical workforce. Attracting, recruiting and retaining an elite cadre of Army scientists and engineers is essential for success in the science and technology (S&T) domain that is critical to the Army’s mission. Army scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians—among other technical specialists—make fundamental S&T contributions to […]

Investing in Army laboratory innovation

Investing in Army laboratory innovation

You need good labs and smart people to turn out good science and technology. If the Army wants innovative solutions backed by solid R&D, it needs to pay for them. by Dr. Matt Willis Army laboratories work diligently and collaboratively to deliver technology-enabled solutions for current conflicts and to develop technologies to prepare the Army for multiple futures by enhancing the force’s ability to prevent, shape and win future conflicts. The Army labs are national assets, ensuring Army dominance in an asymmetric and complex warfighting future. The underpinnings of a robust Army laboratory network include strategic and focused workforce and infrastructure policies; collaborations with traditional and nontraditional defense partners; mechanisms […]

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 […]

When beams combine

When beams combine

With high-energy lasers, the Army looks to optimize lethality and efficiency against multiple threats and targets.  by Dr. Kip R. Kendrick Solid-state laser weapons offer war-fighters unique capabilities for the battlefield: precision, controllability, predictability, repeatability and flexibility. These laser systems will enable Soldiers to defeat multiple threats and affect materiel targets. Each engagement, whether disabling an enemy’s communications antenna or causing low-order detonation of an artillery round in flight, has an average cost of $30. During the 1970s, the Army investigated carbon dioxide lasers. But there were issues with beam transmission through the atmosphere and difficulty focusing the beam to a small spot at the target. Both factors reduced the […]