New method uses water, motion to develop delicious military food

New method uses water, motion to develop delicious military food

By Alexandra Foran, NSRDEC Public Affairs   NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 17, 2013) — One of life’s greatest necessities, water, is a key ingredient for the new gentle motion retort used by the Combat Feeding Directorate at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center to develop Meals, Ready-to-Eat and Tray Pack products. This simple molecule is heated to 240 degrees Fahrenheit in order to cook and sterilize foods using one of three different thermal processing methods. After the successful “retort” process items do not require refrigeration because they have achieved commercial sterilization, the removal of certain pathogenic organisms. The retort vessel installed at the NSRDEC in January 2013 […]

Army’s manufacturing improvements yield lighter body armor

Army’s manufacturing improvements yield lighter body armor

By Dan Lafontaine   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Soldiers facing rugged terrain and extreme temperatures are continually searching for ways to reduce the weight of their gear. In a search for solutions to this persistent issue, U.S. Army scientists and engineers have preliminarily demonstrated body armor that is 10 percent lighter through new manufacturing processes. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, known as RDECOM, along with its industry partners, has leveraged the Army’s Manufacturing Technology Program to spur the Advanced Body Armor Project. Dr. Shawn Walsh leads the project at RDECOM’s Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, where his team has reduced the weight of a size medium […]

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. […]

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, […]

Heftier unmanned ground vehicle offers more lifting, hauling strength

Heftier unmanned ground vehicle offers more lifting, hauling strength

By Robert Karlsen and Bob Van Enkenvoort   DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — A small car can’t pull a heavy trailer. Sports utility vehicles don’t have a compact car’s fuel efficiency. A perfect, one-size-fits-all vehicle doesn’t exist. The same goes for unmanned ground vehicles, known as UGVs. Soldiers use UGVs — such as the 40-pound PackBot or the larger, 115-pound TALON — to detect and defeat roadside bombs, gain situational awareness, detect chemical and radiological agents, and increase the standoff distance between Soldiers and potentially dangerous situations. Just as SUVs offer utility smaller cars can’t match, larger UGVs provide capabilities not available with smaller platforms. The 300-pound iRobot Warrior, developed in […]

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 […]

Army engineers enhance EOD Soldiers’ safety with ‘batwings’

Army engineers enhance EOD Soldiers’ safety with ‘batwings’

By Daniel Lafontaine   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army engineers in Afghanistan recently designed and fabricated a tool to help Soldiers investigate possible improvised explosive devices from a safer distance. Capt. Chad M. Juhlin, commander of the 53rd Ordnance Company (EOD), said his Soldiers needed an attachment for use with the iRobot 310-SUGV when searching for IEDs. The iRobot’s explosive ordnance disposal capabilities were limited, requiring Soldiers to operate close to the potential hazards. The forward deployed engineering cell from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, took on the challenge. The RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center developed the first iteration […]

Army wins top award for innovation

Army wins top award for innovation

By Claire Heininger   ARLINGTON, Va. (April 30, 2013) — The U.S. Army has been named one of the world’s most innovative research organizations, after earning more than 300 patents for new technologies in a three-year period. The Army joins the ranks of private companies such as 3M, Apple, AT&T, Dow Chemical, DuPont and General Electric as one of the 2012 Top100 Global Innovators named by Thomson Reuters, the multimedia and information conglomerate. The U.S. Navy was also named, making the two service branches the first government agencies to make the list. “This recognition is shared with the members of our Army Science and Technology community who perform research relevant […]

Tell me where it hurts

Tell me where it hurts

Army Research and Development Improves Translation Technologies for Military Medics   Amanda Rominiecki   When providing medical care, it is critical that medics are able to converse with patients about their medical needs. Language barriers make communication a challenge and can hinder the delivery of effective medical care. Without the assistance of a human translator, a medic may not be able to accurately capture enough information to fully address a patient‘s needs. Engineers from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command‘s Communications-Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) have spent the past year developing strategies and methods for improving machine foreign language translation software in support of military medical […]