NOVEMBER 2012 ISSUE NO. 5
INSIDE THIS ISSUE DIRECTOR’S CORNER Combined Federal Campaign, Page 2 RDECOM LEADERS VISIT PACIFIC COMMAND Page 3 RDECOM NEWSBRIEFS News and information from across the organization, Page 4 ARL SCIENTISTS WIN PATENT Advanced neural chip, Page 5 SPOTLIGHT: JOSEPH WIENAND LEADS CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH Page 6 ARMY RESEARCHERS USE CUTTING EDGE 3D PRINTERS Page 8 U.S., CHILEAN OFFICIALS DISCUSS RESEARCH COOPERATION Page 11 NATICK ENGINEER BACK FROM AFGHANISTAN AFTER 18 MONTHS Page 13 RDECOM WELCOMES DEPUTY COMMANDING GENERAL Page 18 ARMY AWARDS ARDEC SOLDIER PURPLE HEART Page 18
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (right) learns about the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator Bravo at the Pentagon, Oct. 4. (U.S. Army photo by Tom Faulkner)
RDECOM showcases energy security By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta learned about the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s contributions to national energy security during a tour at the Pentagon, Oct. 4. Subject matter experts from three of RDECOM’s research centers -- the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center; Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center -- showcased the Army’s research on operational energy. The Pentagon Energy Security showcased exhibits Oct. 2-4.
Derhun Sanders, TARDEC associate director for communications and outreach, showed Panetta one of the command’s major energy initiatives, the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator Bravo, commonly known as FED Bravo. TARDEC integrated technologies to demonstrate state-of-the-art fuel-efficient vehicle design, Sanders said. The vehicle uses advanced automotive technologies, including parallel hybrid architecture, lightweight carbon-fiber materials and tube frame chassis. The goals of RDECOM’s emerging technologies are to reduce energy consumption, increase energy efficiency, increase use of renewable and alternative energy, ensure future access to energy supplies, and reduce adverse impacts on the environment.
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
Director’s Corner: Combined Federal Campaign By Dale A. Ormond RDECOM Director It’s that time of year again. The Combined Federal Campaign is well under way. I’d like to share some personal thoughts with you about this important federal program. When I was a Naval officer and federal employee, every October a booklet would appear on my desk with a form and encouragement from leadership to voluntarily participate. One thing I noticed was that the program was not well explained. When I began working for the Department of Energy in South Carolina, I was asked, actually tasked, to run the campaign for the whole site -- for all the federal employees. I said, “OK, so what’s the first thing that needs to be done?” I realized that I had to understand how CFC works. I discovered a couple of things. First, all the organizations listed in that booklet have to submit an application that meets predefined criteria. They need to meet a set of requirements. There’s a committee of federal employees that evaluates the application. In some cases, committee members go and visit the agency to make sure the application lines up with what’s actually going on. This committee of your peers votes to say whether that agency actually goes into the book or not. So, the Combined Federal Campaign really is run by federal employees who decide who participates, which I thought was great. Second, when I was in South Carolina, I served on the board of directors of an organization called Children’s Place. It provided therapeutic child care to children with severe problems. By that I mean these children had been neglected, abused ... no matter what you can imagine … it was probably worse. And so, while serving on the board of directors, two years as its president, I saw how money that came in from private donations – CFC donations would be considered private donations in the context of their fundraising – was always matched at least dollar for dollar, sometimes $2 per dollar, and maybe even some places, $3 per dollar, with federal, state and other kinds of grants. Matching donations are a check on the system. When these nonprofits apply for grants, for federal, or state dollars, they almost always are required to show a dollar matching amount of private donations. Why do they do that? Because, if the local community is not donating to you, then you
U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Director Dale A. Ormond talks about the Combined Federal Campaign Oct. 19 in his office at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. (U.S. Army photo by Tom Faulkner)
“I encourage you to participate and contribute. It will make a difference in your community.” — Dale A. Ormond may not be providing a lot of value. If the local community is giving to you, if the people who live around you donate, then you’re adding some kind of value. That’s why these grants require that private donations be the basis for matching funds. If a charity would get $50,000 in private donations, they would get another $50,000, sometimes another $100,000 in grants. So what did the money do? In the case of the Children’s Place, the money went to pay salaries for staff, teachers, and psychologists as well as for heat and air conditioning, rent, school supplies and all of the things they used. I saw the tremendous things the agency did for children. One of my favorite stories is about a little girl – 5 or six 6 old – who came in. The agency director used to tell this story. One of the things they did to assess a child’s mental and emotion condition was to say, “OK, here’s some paper. Here’s a whole set of crayons or markers. Please draw us a picture.” The little girl drew a picture and it was all black and red, which the psychologist said indicated significant anger and frustration issues. This child was not really engaging with the whole world. They worked with this child for a year or 18 months. Then they brought her back in. Then she drew green grass, blue sky and a yellow sun. She said, “Ms. Peggy, see, now I can use all the colors of the rainbow.”
That’s the impact this agency had on children. My suggestion to you is really this: look locally. Look in the book and find something where you live. Find the agencies that are working in your backyard and are helping your neighbors and the people in your community. Keep the money local. It makes a huge difference. Find something in which you are interested. For some people it’s the Boy Scouts, for some it’s a homeless shelter, or neglected and abused women and children. There are all kinds of agencies providing great services in your local community. Find something that appeals to you personally. I encourage everybody to give. The Army has a Community Covenant with each of the communities around its installations. Most of the time this turns out to be the Army asking “What is the community going to do for us?” We ask the community to provide services to help out Soldiers. I would argue this is the one time we have an ability to impact the community through the money we donate via the Combined Federal Campaign that goes to local agencies; we’re making a direct contribution back into the community. It’s very powerful. It can be hugely influential. Just in the Aberdeen Proving Ground area we have about 5,000 RDECOM employees. We set this year’s goal for $150,000. Last year we raised $100,000. If every RDECOM employee in just the APG area gave $10 a pay period, that’d be $50,000 every two weeks. This would have a tremendous impact if our employees would be willing to sign up and do this. From my own personal experience having run a campaign, I’ve seen that to get federal employees to really engage in the CFC you have to show them the money they are donating is making a difference. In my experience, I’ve seen the impact that these agencies have. I would encourage you to contribute. For information, reach out to your local CFC representative or give online! It doesn’t need to be a lot. I encourage you to participate and contribute. It will make a difference in your community. Keep the money local is what I always say. RELATED LINKS CFC: http://www.opm.gov/cfc/ Biography: http://go.usa.gov/vK8 Facebook: http://on.fb.me/MKsWlo Twitter: http://twitter.com/DaleOrmond
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
RDECOM leaders visit Asia-Pacific to discuss technology priorities RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — RDECOM leaders visited Korea, Japan and Hawaii Sept. 24 to Oct. 2 with a goal of discussing science and technology priorities with Pacific Command leaders. “The Pacific Command presents a fascinating set of challenges because it is very complex,” U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Director Dale A. Ormond said. “It has the largest area of responsibility of any of the geographic combatant commanders. In fact, it covers half the world. It’s very dynamic and made more difficult by the distances and multiple time zones.” The director and Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie major met with and received information briefings from Security Cooperation Offices in Korea and Japan. The Japanese Ministry of Defense and Technical Research and Development Institute hosted meetings and laboratory tours.
RDECOM Director Dale A. Ormond (left) passes the unit colors to Col. Ernest Dunlap Sept. 26. in Tokyo.
“it is clear that commanders in the region are starting to recognize what we, as RDECOM with our technical expertise, bring to the fight to help solve challenges.” — Dale A. Ormond Ormond said Beharie set the example in Korea by spreading the RDECOM message during a comprehensive senior noncommissioned professional development briefing with 8th U.S. Army and 2nd Infantry Division command sergeants major and sergeants major. “From the feedback we received, it is clear that commanders in the region are starting to recognize what we, as RDECOM with our technical expertise, bring to the fight to help solve challenges,” Ormond said. “Our participation in recent exercises in helping to solve problems and provide solutions has captured the attention of many of the commanders there.” In Japan, the director presented presented Col. James Bass, Forward Element Command - Pacific commander, with a Legion of Merit medal for his retirement from active duty. Bass served 30 years in uniform. Ormond also passed the unit colors
Col. Ernest Dunlap gives his first comments following the change of command ceremony Sept. 26. Dunlap is the Forward Element Command Pacific commander.
to Bass’ successor, Col. Ernest Dunlap. Finally RDECOM leaders bid farewell to Dr. Richard Ryles, International Technology Center - Pacific director, who retired from civil service. In Hawaii, Ormond and Beharie met with U.S. Pacific Command Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. (Promotable) Anthony G. Crutchfield, PACOM Resources and Assessment Director (J8) Dr. George Ka’iliwai III and U.S. Army Pacific Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen. Roger F. Mathews. The USARPAC officials hosted a roundtable discussion about the options and opportunities for establishing an International Technology Center in the region. “One of the things we talked about was establishing an International
Col. James Bass (right) receives the Legion of Merit from RDECOM Director Dale A. Ormond Sept. 26. Bass served as commander and chief scientist of the Forward Element Command Pacific.
Technology Center in India. India is one of the largest countries in the world in population,” Ormond said. “There is a growing technology sector. We are looking at potential opportunities to collaborate with them in technology development initiatives.” Officials said RDECOM has identified additional support requirements to PACOM, including theater security cooperation. “Understanding future science and technology needs in the region will develop and shape how RDECOM elements engage in the region to meet our mission,” Ormond said. RELATED LINKS Pacific Command: http://www.pacom.mil/
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
CERDEC employee honored By Kristen Kushiyama CERDEC Public Affairs
ARMY OFFICIAL VISITS RDECOM ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment), visited RDECOM headquarters and Army Research Laboratory Oct. 11.
RDECOM OFFICIALS INTERACT WITH STUDENTS AT ANNUAL HISPANIC EVENT ORLANDO, Fla. — RDECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie (center right) talks with students at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference Oct. 11. The event contributions of outstanding Hispanic American science, engineering, technology and math professionals.
NCOS GAIN RECOGNITION FOR ECYBERMISSION ASSISTANCE RDECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie (left) congratulates Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Currie Oct. 17. Currie is one of five NCOs recognized for helping with eCYBERMISSION. View more photos at http://flickr.com/rdecom.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A division chief from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center was honored by the Association of Old Crows for his contributions to the electronic-warfare community at a Sept. 24 ceremony in Phoenix. Ralph Troisio, CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate Electronic Warfare Air/Ground Survivability Division chief, received the “Celebration of Excellence in Electronic Warfare/EW Program Management Award.” The award stated Troisio “distinguished himself over the past year in the design and development of state-of-the-art EW and integrated ASE (aircraft survivability equipment) systems. His untiring efforts on behalf of the Warfighter are truly commendable and deserving of recognition.” “I am both humbled and honored to be recognized by the AOC,” said Troisio. “I could only be successful in receiving this award by the performance and sacrifices made by the professionals I lead, and the guidance from my senior leadership.” “The most important thing for me with regard to this award is that it’s all for the benefit of the Warfighter,” said Troisio. CERDEC I2WD supports the Army’s transformation from the Current Force to a Future Force by providing effective intelligence and information warfare tools
Ralph Troisio (center), CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate Electronic Warfare Air/Ground Survivability Division chief, received the Association of Old Crows’ “Celebration of Excellence in Electronic Warfare/EW Program Management Award” at a Sept. 24 ceremony in Phoenix (Photo courtesy of the Association of Old Crows).
that equip America’s Warfighter with the integrated systems needed to provide spectrum control, according to the CERDEC website. RELATED LINKS Army.mil: http://go.usa.gov/YZ43
COMMAND SGT. MAJ. BEHARIE RECOGNIZES RDECOM EMPLOYEE
PENTAGON OFFICIAL VISITS RDECOM
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, senior enlisted adviser for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, recognized RDECOM intelligence analyst Deborah Moore Oct. 9. Moore provided security briefings to Beharie in preparation for his trip to South Korea and Japan.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation Keith Webster visited RDECOM Oct. 2. Webster met with RDECOM acting Deputy Director Barbara Machak to discuss the command’s international science and technology collaboration priorities and advances.
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
ARL scientists win patent for advanced neural chip By David McNally RDECOM Public Affairs ADELPHI, Md. — Two Army scientists and a university professor earned a patent for the forerunner of a powerful quantum neural dynamics computer chip. The device uses nonstandard mathematics to accomplish analog problem solving at high speed. “The patent covers different ways to make computer chips,” said Army scientist and principal investigator Ronald E. Meyers. “These computer chips can represent biological and physical processes.” Meyers and his colleague, Army mathematician Keith Deacon, joined forces with Dr. Gert Cauwenberghs, a professor of bioengineering and biology and co-director of the Institute for Neural Computation at the University of California at San Diego. “This is as a first step toward largescale non-Lipschitz intelligent information processing systems,” Cauwenberghs said. Cauwenberghs worked with Meyers and Deacon to map the mathematics onto an analog “continuous-time neural architecture.” He also designed and tested the integrated circuit implementing the architecture. “Experimental data from our silicon integrated circuit demonstrated the elements of terminal repulsion and attraction in neural dynamics and synaptic coupling,” he said. In other words, by using different mathematics, the scientists potentially removed a limit on how fast functions can change — clearing the way for ultra highspeed computing. “The chip has a lot of application to both the military and civilian use,” Meyers said. A unique aspect of the research is the use of synaptic connections for interfacing neurons and learning through feedback, which is modeled after biological systems, Meyers said. It’s all part of the futuristic vision of quantum computing. Researchers believe one day they will effectively harness individual atoms to build complex super-computers. Meyers delves into quantum physics research projects at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Currently his project is to invent a secure communications system immune to the awesome power of future quantum computers. “Quantum computing will give unparalleled computational ability,” he said. “We’re talking about an ability to compute that exceeds exponentially millions of times greater than any of the computers that exist or are on the drawing boards using
Ronald E. Meyers delves into quantum physics research at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Meyers, fellow researcher Keith Deacon and Gert Cauwenberghs, a professor of bioengineering and biology at the University of California at San Diego earned a patent for a futuristic neural computer chip. (U.S. Army photo illustration by David McNally)
conventional approaches.” Meyers said neural chips can be made with classical computers or in the future with quantum computers. “This is a different type of chip that we’ve developed … and it’s somewhat in between,” Meyers said. “It’s not a classical approach, and it’s not quantum yet. But, we’re wanting to evolve the concepts into quantum computing.” The research took several years. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent Sept. 11.
“We work for the Soldier. We work for the warfighter and that’s what our thinking is. That’s why we’re trying to solve these difficult problems.” — Ronald Meyers “It looks like a breakthrough to others but it’s just a lot of hard work, continuous work,” Meyers said. “When you put something out it’s a milestone. It means you’re able to explain it in a way that the Patent Office understands, or that other scientists understand. So what happened here is we’re looking into one of the most important problems that the Army faces and it turns out — from my perspective, the ones that
are not solved and are most important.” Meyers is listed as the inventor on 14 patents. He co-authored a book, “From Instability to Intelligence: Complexity and Predictability in Nonlinear Dynamics,” — covering nonlinear equations in math, physics and biology, and authored a plethora of scientific papers. “Problems are unsolved because they’re difficult to tackle,” he said. “I tend to seek out a different path … to go toward solving problems that before have not been solved. I think I have a background that can do that. I’ve gained some insight. It’s putting together your experience and you’re trying to project it into the future. And so in my mind I see how things can be applied in the future and I look at how to solve these. Quite often if you go for the hardest unsolved problem that’s the one that gives you the most benefit.” Inspired by difficult problems, Meyers said he and his small team of scientists and mathematicians are focused on the end-user of this technology. “We work for the Soldier,” Meyers said. “We work for the warfighter and that’s what our thinking is. That’s why we’re trying to solve these difficult problems. As Army scientists we are responsible to really help these Soldiers operate in a way that can defend the country and protect them and anticipate any threats and deal with them in an effective manner. RELATED LINKS ARL: http://www.arl.army.mil/
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
Spotlight: Joseph Wienand leads chemical, biological research RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Joseph Wienand is the technical director for the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. He became its leader in June 2010, but he has a long history of working in the chem-bio field here. Before assuming the top job at ECBC, Wienand served as program integration director. He earned a bachelor of science in chemical engineering in 1978 from New Mexico State University. He earned a master of science in systems management in 1987 from the Florida Institute of Technology. Wienand served as an active duty U.S. Army chemical officer at APG from 1979 to 1981. What is the role of Edgewood Chemical Biological Center? ECBC has been around for a long time, but I see our role as increasing in importance over the next few years. All you have to do is look at the things that are going on around the world where there is unrest. Our role is to provide the warfighter with protective equipment, devices -- respirators -- things that keep them safe on the battlefield. In fact, I just saw the top 10 S&T priorities for the Army recently from the Honorable Heidi Shyu [Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology] and one of them was that the Army needs to be able to fight and win in a [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives] environment. That is our mission. That is what our business is -- to make sure our warfighters are safe from the deadly effects of chemical or biological material. I see that we’re going to be relevant well into the future. We have such a diverse infrastructure for containing and working with these deadly materials that we end up doing everything from basic research to demilitarization and disposal, and that is because of the unique nature of these materials. You don’t want a lot of people working with these materials because of an increased potential for something unfortunate to happen. Our core competency is working safely with the most deadly compounds known to man. I don’t see that diminishing in any case over the next few years because we still have people in the world who don’t like us and they’re working on things like this that can harm our Soldiers. Our role in all of this over
Joseph Wienand gives an interview for The INSIDER Oct. 11 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Wienand leads more than 1,200 scientists, engineers and researchers at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. (U.S. Army photo by David McNally)
the next few years is important. We’re called upon in many cases for operational issues. We get called from Central Command or Pacific Command to help them out when situations happen. As far as being part of RDECOM, we are providing the basic applied science, the applied research to support the program executive office and program managers associated with chem-bio defense. We see our future as being quite important and solid even through all the budget machinations. One of the Department of Defense priorities -- I think they have seven -- is combating weapons of mass destruction. Of course chemical and biological warfare is two of the three weapons of mass destruction. We also don’t seem to have any trouble attracting people to work here. Even though you think about it, the stuff we work with is hazardous. A lot of young researchers, scientists and engineers want to work here because it’s unique. How do you encourage collaboration and sharing across RDECOM? We’ve actually got to start that at the lowest level. Most of our organization is reimbursibly funded. This means 90 percent of the funding we operate on is provided to us by other people. We receive about 10 percent of our budget from the Army. Most of our small teams are very entrepreneurial. They try to insulate and isolate themselves so they can go after the work. So I have to start at a very low level. What I’ve been doing over the past two years
is pushing and encouraging collaboration. We have Innovation Forums to provide a forum for showcasing when multiple organizations work together across ECBC. They are a series of workshops at which they talk about their successes and lessons learned. We’ve also encouraged and rewarded people who have ideas that go across the organization. Now we are pushing to reach out beyond our organization to show how we can work with other RDECs to demonstrate our value to the warfighter. We just had a meeting recently with members of the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center workforce. We’re working on sensor systems for chemical warfare agents. It’s very similar sensors looking for explosive precursor devices. So, we saw an opportunity to get together. We’re going to put together a workshop in which CERDEC comes and spends some time with our researchers; our researchers go spend some time with theirs. You’ve really got to start it at the basic level of principal investigator to principal investigator, engineer to engineer, and once they understand and see value in the fact that some people know how to approach a problem maybe a little differently -- and that could add value -- maybe we will provide a better service or device to the warfighter. We also collaborate beyond the other RDECs. We just signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Homeland Security at Fort Detrick, Md. We’re collaborating with our partners over at the Edgewood Area Institute of Chemical
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER Defense. We just stood up a proteomics facility that we’re going to jointly operate for large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions. It’s becoming part of our nature at ECBC to collaborate beyond stovepipes of our organization. What are the biggest challenges facing your workforce? I think they are the same challenges that face most of our RDECs and within the command. We see the budget machinations that are going on, and there is a fair amount of insecurity as far as what the future holds for our research and development budget. We’re going to see decreases in funding. If we do, that is going to be somewhat of a disincentive to some people to reach out. They’re going to want to hold on to what they’ve got. I think one thing that I’m going to continue to push though in this time of diminishing resources is that we can still achieve more if we’re working with other people. The solutions are better. More people will be able to see what we’re doing. In the time of diminishing resources it is really the time that you’ve got to reach out and collaborate more. What are the things that excite you about the future? We’re trying to replicate what we call “human-on-a-chip.” Instead of having to come up with detector systems that are electronic we can actually come up with biological systems with cells that replicate parts of the human body, like liver cells or heart cells or whatever. You can do it on such a small scale you can replicate and coax things like stem cells and other types of cells so at some point you can have cell-based sensor systems literally sewn into Soldiers’ uniforms, helmets or something, so if they run into an environment that could be toxic these cells or detector system would go off and somehow would send out signal or warning. So in the future I think all these big sensor systems that we’re using, at least for hazardous chemical, biological agents, are going to be downsized to things as small as the tip of your finger and then sewn into Soldiers’ uniforms. It’s just really exciting to see the young researchers now who are envisioning this. They are playing in the laboratory with skin cells that can turn into heart cells, liver cells, kidney cells. Then we dose them with one of these toxic materials and you can see changes in the cells. That kind of stuff is fascinating. The nanotechnology world is going to create new capabilities for us to identify threats and protect Soldiers on the battlefield.
In the engineering realm, anything you can dream up in your head and you can put on a computer you can reproduce it now. You can make it on a 3D printer -- 3D printers are making things out of metal now. We can produce items that you can’t machine. Across the board it’s just so exciting to see the application of some of this technology to our problems. The future is going to be very exciting for the people who work in this business. Since we work with dangerous materials, trying to find new ways to identify and essentially warn our Soldiers before they walk into something that they can’t see is going to drive a lot of different technologies. We’ll be able to have things that protect firefighters from dangerous situations, first-responders, police officers -- all of the stuff that we do that applies to Soldiers is also going to apply to emergency responders within the country. It’s very satisfying to see that in the future we’ll be able to better protect people. What advice do you have for the workforce? I think you have to have fun at work. When you come in and find your work exciting and enjoyable you find that most days you’ve got a positive outlook on what’s going on. That’s going to take you through any of the budget machinations or what goes on around you. The attitude and excitement that you bring to the job as a member of a science and technology workforce is infectious. I would encourage everyone that is passionate about their job to tell other people. They want to be able to understand and be passionate too. Attitude is one of the most important things.
“I would encourage everyone that is passionate about their job to tell other people.” — Joseph Wienand If you’re in a situation where you don’t feel passionate or there are things that you don’t enjoy about what you’re doing that’s the time you have to look around and ask, “What can I be passionate about?” There are so many things in this command and in these RDECs that you can do -- you can probably have eight or nine different careers in RDECOM if you just look around find something that excites you and makes you passionate and want to race to work every morning like I do. Continuing education in our business is something that I cannot emphasize enough. I’ve been involved with the leader development
7 education here at Aberdeen since I got here because not only the technical education but also for people going into leadership positions you’ve got to be continuously learning and challenging your mind. You’ve got to seek out what it is you have to do in your career to move forward. Education in the technical area, if you’re going to stay in the technical field that you’re in, everybody knows that you’ve got to be the best that you can be in those fields. So search out and find the places that you can get that kind of education. Probably around every one of the RDECs there are academic institutions that are extremely good. Here we have Johns Hopkins, the University of Delaware, the University of Maryland and some really high-end organizations that are trying to put together night programs for us. They’re looking to make it easier for us to advance our education while we’re working. That’s how I got my graduate degree. A lot of us do that. We study at night while we’re also trying to hold down a job. It’s hard, but it’s well worth it. One thing that we’ve done quite a bit of over the past few years is leader education, or leadership development. We started a program this year for junior folks who may be interested. We call it mid-career leader development for folks at the GS-11 or GS-12 level. They’re still thinking about where they want to go in their career -- into a leadership position or not. We’ve tried to put programs together so they can explore leadership so they can see if that’s something they want to get into. Once people decide that, we have cohort programs for the GS-13 level. We have executive development or executive officer positions within all the directorates for people who are GS-13 or GS-14 levels so they can see what it’s like to be a manager and spend time with a director. We’ve encouraged, and put quite a few people through the Aberdeen Proving Ground cohort program, which is a GS-14 and GS-15 leader development program. You can figure out if you want to be in management and once you’ve decided that you’ve really got to learn how to do it. It’s very different from the engineering, science or business curriculum that you took through school. To be a leader; to be a manager, it’s all about psychology, people skills and those kind of things. Those can be learned. I would encourage everybody who is interested in management or leadership to take some classes to see if that’s what you really want to do. There are a number of programs. Defense Acquisition University has some programs here on post. Office of Personnel Management offers some programs. Take a look. Try it out. See if that’s something you want to do.
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
Army researchers use cutting edge 3D printers By David McNally RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — When you walk into this research lab you hear the overpowering hum of massive machines with robotic parts swinging past viewing windows as technicians spray objects with lasers attached to limber metallic arms. Fifty years ago what goes on in this lab would have been considered science fiction, but what these Army researchers do is scientific fact. These artisan engineers create threedimensional objects out of plastic and metal in printers that seem more like Star Trek replicators. “It’s allowed us to develop items for the warfighter quicker,” said Rapid Technologies Branch Chief Rick Moore, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. “We’re able to come up with concepts and designs using our [computer-aided design] software, print them out and have them in an engineer’s hand the next day.”
The lab is an element of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has labs and research centers across the country. Army scientists, researchers and engineers reach out to the team as needed.
“It is kind of a magical thing ... seeing people who have never seen it before come through the lab finally get it and understand it ... you can see it in their face. They think it’s something from the future.” — Rick Moore Three-dimensional objects are created with computer-aided design programs, but Moore and his team also use lasers to “read” an object to create a 3D file. This process allows them to reverse engineer practically anything.
LASER SCANS PUT DATA IN COMPUTERS For example, an Army technician scans part of a protective mask. As the laser passes over every millimeter of the object, the computer plots points in 3D space. Onscreen the mask immediately comes into view as a three-dimensional object. Sending the file to the printer results in a solid copy you can hold in your hand within a few hours. “It is kind of a magical thing,” Moore said. “Seeing people who have never seen it before come through the lab finally get it and understand it ... you can see it in their face. They think it’s something from the future.” The team’s 3D printers churn out new objects day and night. Researchers use a variety of techniques to get the job done. Some printers use lasers, others spray heated plastic through print heads. One system uses a vat of “goo” to hold the object in place as it creates it layer by minuscule layer. One massive printer uses a carbon dioxide
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER laser to precisely melt powder. As one layer solidifies, the platform drops a little, a fresh layer of powder is spread and the laser goes to work on the next layer. “In the end we’ll raise the platform up and we’ll have the printed object encapsulated in powder,” Moore said. “We pull it out, shake off the excess powder and then we’ve got a part.” Modeling artist Bradley Ruprecht said other printers in the lab are similar to desktop ink-jet printers. “Instead of depositing ink on a page, the print head deposits a photo polymer onto the platform. A photo polymer is liquid until it’s exposed to ultraviolet light and then it polymerizes, or solidifies, into a plastic,” Ruprecht said. “Just like your ink-jet printer can mix colors together to get a different color, we can mix materials together. So we can make a rigid plastic or adjust the shore value and make it the stiffness that you want. You can also make parts that have two different materials embedded in each other.” One recent project involved coming up with a solution to help Soldiers carry a
“The fact that we could do this many designs and print them out and have them in the [customer’s] hands in one week gave them the option to choose between what works best for their application.” — Rick Moore heavy piece of sensor equipment in the field. “The Army Research Lab asked us to develop a holder for a heavy handheld sensor called a Mine Hound, which is used as an improvised explosive device detection sensor,” Moore said. “They wanted something that would cradle the handle so it’s putting more weight on the Soldiers’ vest and back as opposed to just their forearm.” The team scanned the sensor and came up with a myriad of design options in short order. “The fact that we could do this many designs and print them out and have them in their hands in one week gave them the option to choose between what works best for their application,” Moore said. “This
Rapid Technologies Branch Chief Rick Moore (right) shows a 3D-printed plastic skull to visiting Chilean officials Sept. 25 at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)
is a good example of how we use the technology every day. Moore said the part is still in the design process. “We’re going to make 10 of them for testing,” he said. “Once we have their approval we’re going to do the rapid tooling and use injection molding to make several thousand of the holders.” Injection molding is a more conventional manufacturing technique; however, the team uses 3D printing technology to augment, test and even make molds that otherwise would add weeks or months to the process. “We are deftly pushing what we like to call rapid tooling,” Moore said. “It uses these technologies to build molds as opposed to conventional machining a mold.” WHAT LIES AHEAD In the future, Moore sees the technology becoming more commonplace. “I see it expanding in the materials,” he said. “I see the speed increasing and the sizes of the parts increasing. There are also a lot of fascinating medical applications, which kind of overlap with what we’d like to do in the Army in the future.” Medical personnel may use 3D laser scans on a Soldier before he or she is deployed. This would ensure all physical features are on file. “If a Soldier comes back wounded, we’d have that data on our side where we could
possibly build prosthesis that are exactly how the Soldier used to look -- instead of sculpting it and scanning it,” Moore said. 3D printing may have been pioneered in the 1980s and brought to the market in the mid-1990s, but combining the processes with more powerful software and accurate lasers offers potential for future manufacturing techniques.
“I see it expanding in the materials. I see the speed increasing and the sizes of the parts increasing.” — Rick Moore “Every day we’re building parts for the customer whether it is an exploded fragment or munitions,” Moore said. “The more our customers use 3D printing, the more they’re relying on it to do their testing before they do the manufacturing. So, it’s become an every day thing.” Moore said he and his co-workers enjoy their jobs. “If you take a look at this equipment, how could you not like the job?” he asked. “I make stuff every day … I make something from nothing with state-of-theart technology. The future is definitely fascinating.” RELATED LINKS YouTube: http://youtu.be/t594W-vwSK4
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
Protection from biological agents is Army scientist’s mission By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Biological agents remain a persistent threat to America and its Soldiers. U.S. Army scientists are researching new technologies to counter bioweapons in order to keep the nation safe. Dr. Mary M. Wade, a supervisory biologist with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, described her team’s work in the areas of detection and decontamination. “Biodefense research is vital to continuing to protect the warfighter and the nation from potential threats,” Wade said. “We have to be ready. We have to be able to respond, counter threats, and detect threats.” RDECOM’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center leads the Army’s efforts in researching, developing, testing and evaluating solutions to defeat dangerous biological agents that can be used as weapons by America’s adversaries. Wade serves as acting chief of the BioDefense Branch, where she leads 20 scientists. DECONTAMINATION GEL APPLIED TO SURGICAL EQUIPMENT Wade detailed a promising new technology that her team is evaluating for the Army to decontaminate biological threat agents. ECBC signed a cooperative research and development agreement, or CRADA, this year with CBI Polymers to test a decontamination gel manufactured by the company, she said. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding the program. “The gel contains a disinfectant, and you can spray or paint it on objects or surfaces,” Wade explained. “It will kill and immobilize the agent within the gel. Once it dries, you can simply peel it off just like tape. It will remove and retain that threat agent.” The Army could eventually use the gel to decontaminate surgical equipment, such as scalpels or forceps, she said. For testing at ECBC, researchers are inoculating the surgical instruments with bacteria and then coating them with the gel to see how well it decontaminates the bacteria. The gel is not toxic and takes three to four hours to dry before it can be removed. “This would eventually be for surgeons in the field,” she said. “They can print and develop surgical instruments [using 3D printers]. If they are not sterile or become contaminated, the decon gel is a product that could be used in the field.”
Dr. Mary M. Wade serves as acting chief of the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s BioDefense Branch. (U.S. Army photo by Mike Barnette)
The decon gel has already been fielded for radiological decontamination, and testing will continue for one to two years before it is ready for biological applications. Scientists are determining which materials the gel can be applied to for biological decontamination. SPECIALIZED TRAINING LEADS TO ARMY POSITION Wade earned a bachelor of science in biology in 1997 at the University of Mississippi and a doctorate in microbiology in 2002 at Mississippi State University. While studying tuberculosis as a postdoctoral fellow from 2002 to 2004 at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Wade gained specialized experience in a biosafety level 3 laboratory, or BSL-3. Scientists working in a BSL-3 handle airborne agents that can cause illness and use respirators, personal protective equipment and engineering controls within the laboratory to avoid exposure. ECBC is home to one of 45 BSL-3 laboratories in the United States. Although Wade anticipated working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta because of an interest in public health, her BSL-3 training led to a position with the Army. She started at ECBC as an on-site contractor in 2004 and then accepted a position as an Army civilian in 2007.
FROM BEGINNING TO END As a scientist in the laboratory, Wade said her greatest success was serving as a principal investigator, or PI, on a water-monitoring program. As a PI, she executed projects from beginning to end, and in some instances, saw a technology fielded for Soldier use. “This was a great success and extremely rewarding,” she said. “We were evaluating technologies for detection of biological agents in water. This was one in particular where I was able to see an item fielded to Soldiers. We fielded a water-test kit that contains antibody-based handheld assays for detection of biological toxins in water. Soldiers can screen water before consumption to ensure it is safe to drink.” “That was a rewarding program to see through fruition and see a fielded technology generated from research we had conducted,” she continued. Wade emphasized that her research team is continually focused on the end user -- the Soldier. “Every day we are conducting research that yields data that is going into the development of new detection and decontamination technologies,” she said. “We help to equip our warfighter with better tools, technologies and information to detect and counter biological threats.” RELATED LINKS ECBC: https://www.ecbc.army.mil/
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
U.S., Chilean officials discuss research cooperation By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Three Chilean Army officers visited the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Sept. 24-26, to learn about its science and technology capabilities for potential collaboration between the countries. The Chilean officers, Brig. Gen. Ricardo Martinez Menanteau, Col. Juan Guerra Bazaes and Col. Luis Araya Cano, toured RDECOM’s three research and engineering centers at Aberdeen Proving Ground -- the Army Research Laboratory, known as ARL; CommunicationsElectronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. Martinez and RDECOM Director Dale Ormond signed a statement of intent to work together in areas such as unmanned aerial systems; vehicle performance; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense; extreme environments technology; and modeling and simulation. The agreement is not legally binding but allows for proposals for science and technology cooperation under the 2012 United States-Chile Defense Consultative Commission. During the tours of RDECOM laboratories, U.S. Army leaders reiterated the important role of the command’s international presence in providing the world’s best technology to American Soldiers. During the tour at ARL, the group received briefings and presentations on fundamental research in materials for protection, cold spray, humans in extreme dynamic environments, hemorrhage control and stretchable electronics, manufacturing science for Soldier protection, and autonomous systems research. At ECBC, the Chileans learned about the center’s efforts in toxicology, genomics, decontamination sciences, and its Advanced Design and Manufacturing Prototype Integration Facility. Joseph Corriveau, director of ECBC’s Research and Technology Directorate, explained that America partners in CBRN defense through NATO and other agreements. “Chemical and biological defense is a national priority because there are still nations that have chemical and biological weapons,” Corriveau said. “What you
Brig. Gen. Ricardo Martinez Menanteau (left) signs a letter of intent with the U.S. Army as RDECOM acting Deputy Director Barbara Machak looks on Sept. 25, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. (U.S. Army photos by Conrad Johnson)
Chilean visitors tour the BioSciences Lab at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
will see today is incredible laboratory infrastructure and world-class scientists. It is a policy of the president, the Department of Defense and Army to value relationships with other countries. We are open to any discussions on working together in chemical and biological defense.” RDECOM partners with foreign universities, militaries and industry through its Forward Element Commands in Chile, England and Japan as well as International
Technology Centers. The command’s Field Assistance in Science and Technology Advisers are embedded with Soldiers around the world to link emerging requirements with nearterm solutions and provide commanders with immediate access to RDECOM’s laboratories. RELATED LINKS Photos: http://bit.ly/OTlDzU
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
Jennifer Exelby leads 10 chemical-agent handlers for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. (U.S. Army photo)
Army chemist provides expertise on unknown samples By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army scientists analyze unknown samples to determine whether hazardous chemical or biological warfare agents are present. Samples come from around the world. Jennifer Exelby, a chemist, leads 10 chemical-agent handlers for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, or ECBC. “I never would have thought that I would be working with chemical warfare materials,” said Exelby, who serves as the acting chief of the Chemical Operations Branch. “This is a world that I didn’t even know existed until I got the job at ECBC.” “It’s extremely rewarding, and I’ve learned so much in my years here at ECBC. A book couldn’t teach you the things I’ve learned here.” Exelby earned a bachelor of science in chemistry at Salisbury State University in 2001 and began working as an Army civilian in 2002.
The scientists in ECBC’s Chemical Transfer Facility screen samples for the Army and federal agencies such as the FBI. The CTF houses a biosafety-level 2 facility as well as several chemical fume hoods where the team handles munitions, liquid samples and solids, she said. The scientists split the sample into chemical, biological and untouched samples. Chemists and biologists conduct their screening, and a sample is saved in case further analysis is needed in the future, Exelby said. “Every day something new comes up. We’ll get a phone call that an unknown item was found on [APG] or will be shipped in from the FBI or a different government agency that [requires] work done that day and results tomorrow. The FBI is one of our major customers, and we support them fully whenever they find a sample,” she said. The CTF team members undergo rigorous training to become certified as a chemical warfare material handler. When working with unknown samples, Exelby and her colleagues also work closely with Army safety, hazardous waste and
environmental groups to ensure proper handling and disposal of agents. In addition to analysis of samples, Exelby’s team provides chemical agents as references to laboratories around the nation. The CTF distills and synthesizes chemical agents to provide chemical-agent standards for use as reference materials in protective and defense research projects. “Our mission changes daily. One day we’ll be synthesizing a chemical agent; another day we’ll be packaging agent to send to a customer so they can do their sampling and analysis,” she said. “What we are providing our customers is something that says, ‘this is HD [sulfur mustard agent] or GB [sarin],’ so they can use that chemical to run on their instruments.” Despite the dangers associated with handling chemical agents, Exelby said it is a vital mission to ensure Soldier and civilian safety. “It’s incredibly scary to think what we actually work with every day,” she said. “When you think about the service we’re providing and how important it is, you realize that you need to get over that fear and make sure the job gets done.”
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
Natick engineer back from Afghanistan after 18 months By Bob Reinert USAG-Natick Public Affairs NATICK, Mass. — He originally intended to stay for only six months, but after deploying to Afghanistan with the Army Corps of Engineers, Steve Belmore had a difficult time leaving the important work he was doing there. That explains why Belmore, a mechanical engineer with the Systems Equipment and Engineering Team, or SEET, Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, wound up spending 18 months with the Corps’ Afghanistan Engineer District-South. “It doesn’t seem like a big deal when you’re in it,” Belmore said. “It just seems very necessary. There’s always a deadline. There’s always something happening. So it’s a very, very quick battle rhythm, for sure.” Belmore, a 54-year-old Attleboro, Mass., native and Air Force veteran, spent his time as a project manager building bases for the Afghan National Security Forces. He worked on 11 projects totaling $450 million in contracts. His efforts earned him the Superior Civilian Service Award. “I wanted to be involved in something that was bigger than me, and this was a big effort,” Belmore said. “It’s been going on for a long time.” Belmore had the support of Bob Bernazzani, his team leader with SEET, and CFD Director Gerry Darsch from the outset. “When Steve mentioned that he would like to deploy in support of the Army Corps of Engineers, even though it did not directly support the NSRDEC mission, we knew helping to rebuild Afghanistan was what the military mission is all about,” Bernazzani said. “We had one worry -- once the ACE (Army Corps of Engineers) got their hands on Steve, we knew that they were not going to let him come back. This is because he is a very motivated and knowledgeable worker.” Belmore finally returned to Natick in midAugust. He’s happy to be home, but he continues to think about Afghanistan. “You feel kind of funny because there’s still so much work and you’re leaving some good people behind, colleagues behind,” Belmore said. “Yeah, it’s good to come back to family and friends and things, but those (Corps) people sort of become your family, too. You develop a bond that’s very close, because you’re working very close under difficult conditions.” Belmore described workdays that routinely lasted 10 hours and sometimes stretched
Steve Belmore of Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center handled 11 projects totaling $450 million during his 18 months in Afghanistan with the Army Corps of Engineers. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)
to 16 hours. He worked seven days a week while deployed, and he traveled to sites all over southern Afghanistan by private jets, helicopters and mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles. “There was quite a lot of coordination just to get out to the different sites,” Belmore said. “Sometimes you couldn’t go. There was a lot of coordination just to make these projects happen.” Belmore never went anywhere without his blue Combat Feeding bag. “Everywhere I went, when I went on a mission, I always took this with me,” Belmore said. “You can’t forget where you came from.” In fact, he never did, according to Bernazzani. “While there, even though it was not part of his ACE mission, he observed Soldiers using NSRDEC items and brought back a wealth of information that can be used to support our R&D projects,” Bernazzani said. “We are glad Steve is back safely and look forward to Steve using his earned knowledge in support of the CFD/NSRDEC mission, which is the same mission as when he was deployed -- to support the war fighter.” Among Belmore’s favorite projects in Afghanistan were the arch span steel buildings the Corps built while he was deployed. “Those buildings will last a hundred years in that desert, literally,” Belmore said. Digging wells was also important to him.
“A simple thing like water in the desert is a big deal,” Belmore said. “I think it’s going to make a big impact for the quality of life for the people.” Despite the rising number of “green on blue” attacks lately, Belmore said he never felt in any real danger in Afghanistan. “We got rocket attacks pretty regularly, but they were just pot shots,” Belmore said. “I never saw any real damage when I was there. We did have one suicide bomber outside the gate. This was in Kandahar. It shook our building so bad, it knocked me out of my chair. You just go, ‘What the heck was that?’” His experiences in Afghanistan have left Belmore with a greater appreciation for the military and for what’s important in his life here. “The things that you see that people get upset about now, they just seem so trivial,” Belmore said. Does Belmore have any regrets about his deployment? “All around, it was difficult, but I would go back tomorrow, actually,” Belmore said. “You know, you miss your friends and family and life and things, but when you’re immersed in that environment and you just engage it, it flies.” RELATED LINKS Natick: http://nsrdec.natick.army.mil/
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
What’s with the symbols? QR codes may be read by your mobile device to provide enhanced information on many of the topics covered in The INSIDER. Download a free QR code reader application, scan the code and learn more! Go to http://twitter. com/rdecom to follow. Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center Director Eric Edwards (center) receives the 2012 Government Science Technology, Education, and Mathematics Award presented by Union Chapel Christian Academy’s Headmaster, Dr. O. Wendell Davis (right) and Director of Development, Georgia Valrie, pose at a Gala event in September. (Courtesy photograph)
AMRDEC recognized for STEM outreach AMRDEC Public Affairs
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, was recently recognized by the Huntsville City Council and Union Chapel Christian Academy for the Center’s long-standing commitment to promoting awareness and education of science, technology, education and mathematics across local public and private schools. Science, technology, education, and mathematics, or STEM, education remains critical to the nation’s continued success and security. AMRDEC supports the Army Educational Outreach Program through Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships, and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students and teachers in STEM. AMRDEC Director Eric Edwards received the 2012 Government STEM Award on behalf of the Center at the Union Chapel Christian Academy scholarship gala sponsored by Tec-Masters, Inc. The City of Huntsville, represented by District 1 Councilmember Dr. Richard Showers Sr., congratulated Edwards and presented City of Huntsville Resolution
Number 12-751, which read “Through AMRDEC’s [outreach initiatives], scientists, technology experts, engineers, mathematicians and other professionals, who serve as ambassadors, visit the local elementary, middle and high schools and colleges and universities in the Huntsville-Madison County Community speaking to students in the classrooms on technical skills development and career opportunities in the STEM discipline and serve as guest speakers for special programs. AMRDEC has a robust and widely recognized program in the HuntsvilleMadison County Community.” AMRDEC participates in a number of Army Educational Outreach Programs, including College Qualified Leaders, eCybermission, Educational Partnership Agreement, Faculty Research & Engineering Program, Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science, Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, and Science and Engineering Apprentice Program. RELATED LINKS https://www.educationoutreachherald.com
What’s on RDECOM Twitter’s feed? @EdgewoodChemBio Check out this news: Scientists Build ‘Mechanically Active’ DNA Material http://engineering.ucsb.edu/news/664/ ~ imagine the possibilities! Wow! @RDECOM have reached 3,000 followers! See more stats at http://twtr.to/fWGj Interesting blog post from our 3D story: Plans For 3D Printers: Mobile Labs, Bomb Sniffers and Prototype Limbs http://bit.ly/OQkd9g Army successfully demonstrates tactical operations smart grid ... http://bit.ly/WtMsKm @ CERDEC
RDECOM has a free mobile app for both Android and Apple platforms: *iOS: http://bit.ly/RGN4h5 *Android: http://bit.ly/PAcTfM Follow Army Technology news, information and social media all in one place!
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
Army, Rowan University benefit from engineering collaboration By Kristen Kushiyama CERDEC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Quid pro quo. That’s the relationship established by the U.S. Army and Rowan University when it comes to their collaborative research in support of the Army and training America’s future workforce. The Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communicationselectronics center, or RDECOM CERDEC, has established a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, in order to work together to advance Army technologies in the areas of mission command, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance networks and systems. Ryan Fillman and Metin Ahiskali, CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate engineers and Rowan University alumni, spearheaded a collaboration agreement between Rowan in Glassboro, N.J.j and CERDEC I2WD here, in which Rowan students take courses, called clinics, in order to gain exposure to practical applications of engineering. Typically the clinic courses align with master’s students’ and professors’ areas of research. During the course, graduate and undergraduate students test different systems applicable to Army needs and requirements with the help and guidance of professors and fellow graduate students, Fillman said. By working with the government the university can fulfill its “hunger” for collaboration, said Dr. Shreekanth Mandayam, Rowan University associate provost for research and executive director of the South Jersey Technology Park. “Rowan University is driven to engage with government and industry in leveraging the R&D capabilities of our faculty and benefitting our students to gain real-world experiences that will enable them to be competitive in the workplace,” said Mandayam, who noted the university also collaborates with other universities, industry members, federal and state agencies, municipalities, local governments, and entrepreneurs. Many of the technologies students work on are directly applicable to Army programs. One technology students have had the opportunity to work with since the spring 2011 semester is the Army’s Remote Monitoring System, a wireless remote sentry monitoring sensor that can be left unattended for years, which sends information over far distances to Soldiers at a base station. Rowan students worked on automated calibration
Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ., partners with the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., to bring technology advancements to Army systems while giving students the opportunity to experience real-world engineering scenarios. (Photo courtesy of Rowan University)
procedures for the RMS. “The calibration is important in improving the direction finding accuracy of the system,” Fillman said. “Rowan’s research has improved the calibration accuracy as well as automated it.” Students will continue working on the RMS calibration project during this school year, and a graduate student will do a thesis related to the project, said Fillman.
“The students get real world experience that will be applicable after graduation” — Ryan Fillman “The students get real world experience that will be applicable after graduation,” Fillman said. Working with the students also gives CERDEC the chance to look at “up and comers” for possible jobs, said Mark Farwell, CERDEC I2WD Cyber ISR team lead. “Not only does this CRADA allow I2WD to collaboratively research areas important to the Army, it also allows us the opportunity to offer these students job opportunities as they become available,” Farwell said. The Army and university association with research and technology is beneficial not just to the organizations for the purpose
of building a stronger U.S. workforce and making advancements but to the students and faculty as well. “When students engage with faculty in their research enterprise, they are provided with unique opportunities to expand their work experience and will enable them to compete for jobs, not only with the U.S. Army but elsewhere in government and private industry,” Mandayam said. The feedback from students has been positive according to Dr. John Schmalzel, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rowan University. “Students are enthusiastic about having the opportunity to work on this project,” Schmalzel said. “It involves state-of-art tools and methodologies, demonstrates the nature of the type of problems that are important to an important industry, application sector; provides the opportunity to work with engineers whose skill sets closely match theirs; and may provide opportunities for post-graduate employment.” “This type of agreement provides an opportunity to demonstrate what students can accomplish- often exceeding expectations based on the assumed level of sophistication from junior- and senior-level engineering students,” Schmalzel said. RELATED LINKS Army.mil: http://go.usa.gov/rhWz
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
ARL researcher’s work may lead to JP-8 ‘super engine’ By T’Jae Gibson ARL Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Studies are under way at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to create a super engine that may allow military ground vehicles, stationary power generators, and small unmanned aerial vehicles, for example, to operate with the same kind of fuel. In the late 1980s, the Department of Defense issued a Single Fuel Forward policy calling for use of kerosene-based JP-8 fuel to reduce logistic burdens associated with transporting multiple fuels. Using a single fuel exposes many incompatibility issues. None of the engines that use JP-8 are designed and calibrated for JP-8. A design gap exists because there is not enough information on the specific combustion characteristics associated with JP-8 use in intermittent combustion engines, said acting team lead Chol-Bum “Mike” Kweon, from ARL’s Vehicle Technology Directorate said. “Usually large companies are not willing to develop engines specific for JP-8 because it requires significant effort and funding while the market for the military is relatively small and unstable,” Kweon said. “Small companies have been developing JP-8-fueled engines for unmanned aerial vehicles, while diesel engines are used for ground vehicle engines.” Small companies don’t have the capability to perform basic fundamental research, he explained. ARL research bridges the knowledge gap, which may lead to the creation of an engine that operates optimally with JP-8. “Fuel spray liquid penetration, quenching, vaporization and mixing characteristics must be precisely understood to properly design combustion chambers and fuel injection systems because a fundamental understanding of fuel spray and combustion is essential in optimizing combustion processes of JP-8-fueled engines to improve fuel efficiency, engine performance and reliability,” Kweon said. ARL’s Combustion Research Laboratory is a state-of-the-art, high-temperature and highpressure combustion chamber that opened this summer for fuel spray and combustion research, critical areas of interest Defense-wide to facilitate the basic research and development work necessary for the successful development of JP-8-fueled combustion systems. ARL collaborates with Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity to assess a fuel injector used in a Caterpillar C7 engine, used in Strykers. Results will define how fuel properties affect fuel injection systems performance.
Army researchers as the Combustion Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., enable a unique research capability within the DoD. (U.S. Army photos by Conrad Johnson)
UNIQUE LABORATORY, UNMATCHED IN INDUSTRY ARL’s vehicle technology research dates back to the early 1980s in gas turbine engines. ARL has broadened its vehicle technology focus to include internal combustion engines. The laboratory will also be used to develop heavy fuel injection systems for high-efficient UAV engines. “Currently, there is no ‘robust’ heavy fuel injection system for UAV engines,” Kweon said. Kweon has conducted research on diesel engines, various fuels and combustion, emissions. The laboratory contains a high-temperature and high-pressure combustion chamber to simulate real engine operating conditions. Researchers can study uninterrupted spray and combustion processes. “Currently, this is the only laboratory within DoD that has this capability,” Kweon said. Industry operates a first and second generation of the chamber for commercial research and development. ARL has a third-generation chamber. The facility also has air and onsite nitrogen supply systems to control oxygen concentration from zero (almost pure nitrogen) to 21 percent (pure air) in the gas mixing system. The laboratory also assesses heavy fuel injection systems performance for fuels such as JP-8, diesel, bio and synthetic fuels. “This laboratory has a unique capability to assess the various JP-8 surrogate fuels and
Dr. Chol-Bum “Mike” Kweon is acting team lead of the engines team at the Army Research Laboratory’s Vehicle Technology Directorate.
to compare the results with the combustion mechanisms developed by various universities and government laboratories,” Kweon said. This research will help scientists and researchers to develop a universal JP-8 combustion mechanism, he said. “These research efforts will enable [unmanned aerial systems] engines to efficiently run on heavy fuels such as JP-8,” Kweon said. “I am confident that this laboratory will be a critical asset to the Army and DOD to support the development and/or advancement of various ground and [unmanned aerial vehicle] engines.” RELATED LINKS Army.mil: http://go.usa.gov/YX2T
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
Army to field radio-based combat identification By Edric Thompson CERDEC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army announced it has completed field testing for radio-based combat identification capabilities, which it expects to field next year as part of Capability Set 14. Product Manager Network Systems and the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Command Center, concluded three and a half years of work this summer at Fort Dix, N.J., that will save money by leveraging and updating software embedded in the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System, or SINCGARS. Universal Network Situational Awareness, or UNSA, runs on multiple frequencies and will provide additional flexibility. With embedded or attached GPS, it’s able to send situational awareness data to Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below -- or FBCB2 -- and any other mounted or dismounted RBCI-capable SINCGARS within radio frequency range, regardless of the voice net being used. This capability has been jointly developed in close coordination between FBCB2 and PdM NS to meet a Threshold Requirement in the Joint Battlefield Command Platform Capability Development Document for a Beacon solution. UNSA allows radios to communicate with each other directly, regardless of voice net, thus allowing all SINCGARS radios to act as beacons, providing greater situational awareness to FBCB2. Designed to work on the Advanced System Improvement Program platforms, UNSA will be an important component in RBCI efforts to reduce air-to-ground fratricide, said John Wentworth, PdM NS lead engineer for radiobased combat identification. “If there’s a convoy rolling through your area and you didn’t know about it, these guys would be able to send you their position automatically before you tried to engage them. Some convoys don’t have the ability to beacon now, but all of them have radios. So once this software goes out there, they will have this ability,” Wentworth said. Recapitalizing on legacy radio systems in theater will save the Army money without adding to space, weight and power challenges. “There are more than 386,000 ASIP SINCGARS fielded, which means you’ll be able to field 386,000 beacons. And because it’s a software upgrade only, you’ll save $10,000 with each radio upgrade. You don’t have to install new hardware or train folks how to operate it; you don’t have to take eight pounds of ammo off a vehicle or make a dismount with a 110-pound
Where are your “friendlies” during a call for fire? With embedded or attached GPS, Universal Network Situational Awareness is able to send SA data to Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below and any other mounted or dismounted Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System within radio frequency range. (U.S. Army photo)
pack or have to carry 150 pounds. You get this for free in both cost and weight. And it really helps us get this capability to the Warfighter as fast as we can,” Wentworth said. The work, which was performed at CERDEC’s integrated C4ISR capabilities testbed, prepared PdM NS for Network Integration Evaluation 12.2, allowing insight to the capacity of the universal network, the number of beacons that could be used and how best to install the software. “It also gave us an idea about the amount of support we’d need to install the capability at NIE, and what legacy functions of the SINCGARS did or did not work at that time, which we would have needed to inform the users at NIE. It went well and the feedback at NIE was positive; we plan to participate in 13.1,” Wentworth said. Product Director Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Network Modernization -- which operates the testbed at Fort Dix -- is an R&D program within RDECOM CERDEC. It focuses on the future network, near term and several years out, providing the Army with a relevant venue to assess next generation technologies and to facilitate technology maturation. The program is also a key component in CERDEC’s support of the agile acquisition process, utilizing its field lab environment to perform risk mitigation and candidate
assessment/selection for future Network Integration Rehearsal/Exercise events. “What is the definitive data that allows maturation to happen? It’s taking a look at a capability, the gap, what technologies you have to fill that gap and how best to tweak that technology as you move forward. But you have to build an environment so you can get at those gold nuggets on the front end of the development cycle. We’re helping technology providers take a pulse check of where their technology is and then helping them shape it so it can work in the future network,” said Product Director Lt. Col. Quentin L. Smith, PD C4ISR & Network Modernization. “Part of this expertise involves looking at current and legacy systems, seeing what is not being used in those technologies that can potentially fill a gap and helping to flush out those capabilities. We’ve got legacy systems in which the Army’s invested and we have future force waveforms, such SRW and ANW2, coming down the pike. So it’s a good thing for the Army whenever we can teach old dogs new tricks,” Smith said. PdM NS is scheduled to deliver the software to Project Manager FBCB2. If certified and approved by the National Security Agency, the software upgrade would be available for all RBCI Capable SINCGARS radios within a year. RELATED LINKS Army.mil: http://go.usa.gov/YX2T
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
Brig. Gen. David P. Hughes
Picatinny Arsenal Senior Mission Commander Brig. Gen. Jonathan Maddux pins a Purple Heart Medal on Sgt. 1st Class Joshua A. Johnston Sept. 20. He earned the award for wounds received in action in Iraq in 2007. (U.S. Army photo)
Army awards ARDEC Soldier Purple Heart Ed Lopez ARDEC Public Affairs PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Sgt. 1st Class Joshua A. Johnston received the Purple Heart Sept. 20 at the Lindner Conference Center for wounds received in action Dec. 9, 2007, in Iraq while assigned to the 18th Ordnance Company, 79th Ordnance Battalion combined Joint Task Force Troy. Johnston has been assigned to Picatinny since May 2008 as foreign ordnance section noncommissioned officer. His organization, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Directorate, is part of the Munitions Engineering Technology Center. Johnston received the Purple Heart from John Hedderich, the head of the METC, which in turn is part of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. “When I got the word that he wanted me to present this to him … it meant a lot,” Hedderich said. “The honor of you asking me is just incredible. I don’t know how to express that.” Hedderich noted Johnston’s low-key demeanor during the rehearsal for the ceremony, quoting Johnston as having said, “Gee sir, I was just doing my job. I don’t like this big deal about getting a medal.” Brig. Gen. Jonathan A. Maddux, Picatinny Arsenal senior commander, praised Johnston for his contributions at Picatinny as well as a deployed Soldier. “He’s been doing a remarkable job
here, but we are indebted and grateful for the things he has done on both his tours,” Maddux said. “Thank you for what you have done for our nation.” In his brief remarks, Johnston thanked his family for its support “no matter what I do” and for resilience during the challenges of Army life. “I’m filled with humility and gratitude today,” Johnston told the audience. “Most of the men and women who receive this award do so on a hospital bed … today I’m fortunate to spend my day with you — my family, friends, fellow Soldiers and coworkers. “I’m thankful to be healthy, and home safe with the people that I care about. I pray every day for the safe and speedy return of all of our troops who remain in harm’s way.” Johnston entered the Army May 10, 2004 and attended basic combat training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He attended Advanced Individual Training at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., to become an explosive ordnance disposal technician. Johnston’s previous assignment was with the 18th Ordnance Company Fort Bragg, N.C. Johnston deployed to Iraq once in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Afghanistan once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (two battle stars), Iraq Campaign Medal (two battle stars), Combat Action Badge, and the Senior EOD Badge.
RDECOM welcomes new DCG RDECOM Public Affairs
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Brig. Gen. Daniel P. Hughes assumed duties as the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command deputy commanding general Nov. 1. Before coming to RDECOM, the general served as Director, System of Systems Integration at APG. He earned his commission in the U.S. Army Field Artillery branch through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Texas at Arlington in 1983. His assignments include Germany, Fort Sill, Okla., Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Saudi Arabia and others with increasing levels of responsibility. Hughes previously served as a project manager with the Program Executive Office, Command, Control, and Communications Systems, Fort Monmouth, N.J.; Deputy for Ballistic Missile Defense Systems, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.; Project Manager, Joint Tactical Radio Systems, Ground Domain, Program Executive Office, Command, Control, and Communications (Tactical), Fort Monmouth, N.J.; Deputy Program Executive Officer, Enterprise Information System, Fort Belvoir, Va.; and Deputy Program Executive Officer, Integration (Networks), Washington, D.C. He has a master of business administration degree from Oklahoma City University and a master of science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University. RELATED LINKS Bio: http://w w w.army.mil/ar ticle/9 03 40
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
CERDEC engineers develop chargers for phones, laptops in combat By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Soldiers deployed to remote locations around the world need a lightweight charger for electronic devices that are critical to successful missions in the 21st century. A team of U.S. Army engineers are developing new battery chargers for smartphones, tablet computers and laptops to use with military batteries for Soldiers without access to a traditional electrical grid. They have engineered and built prototypes for 8-port, 4-port, and 2-port USB chargers, as well as an AC/ USB adaptor -- all of which use a military standard battery such as the BB-2590 as the main power source. Electronics engineer Yuk Chan and electronics technician Ron Thompson are leading the effort for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. They develop solutions for Soldiers as part of the Command, Power and Integration Directorate at RDECOM’s Communications--Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center. The key innovation is to design units that are able to charge multiple devices simultaneously from different military standard batteries, Chan said. Having an on-site prototype integration facility at CERDEC reduces the time and cost of developing products for testing by Soldiers, Chan and Thompson said. “[The PIF] helps us with quick turnarounds. Otherwise, we would have to wait months for a company to build the box. Having a prototyping facility in our own lab has been an asset in providing [rapid] support to the Soldier in the field,” Chan said. “It is a unique value added.” Thompson said the PIF has a threedimensional printer and circuit-board milling machine to design and build prototypes in days instead of months. The group also assembles and tests its products internally. CERDEC’s first prototype was an eight-port battery charger designed for smartphones, Chan said. It weighs 2.5 ounces; can recharge up to eight phones simultaneously; and is compatible with the BB-2590, BA-5590, BA-5390, or BB-2557 military batteries. One fully charged BB-
The 150-watt USB/AC adaptor enables charging for a laptop and two smartphones. (U.S. Army photo by Tom Faulkner)
2590 can recharge a smartphone battery 37 times. After producing the 8-port charger, CERDEC expanded the capability to include charging for tablet computers. The third-generation was a personal 2-port battery charger, weighing 1.8 ounces, for phones and tablets. Late in 2011, Maj. Mark Owens of Project Manager Soldier Warrior at Fort Belvoir, Va., asked for eight 8-port chargers and eight 4-port chargers for field evaluation. In June 2012, he asked for additional 2-port chargers for field evaluation. At Owens’ request, Chan and Thompson then built a prototype with an AC adaptor, weighing 5.9 ounces, to enable charging for a laptop and two smartphones. Lt. Col. Margo Sosinski initiated a request to CERDEC in April 2012 for a USB charger to support Soldiers’ smartphones in the field. Sosinski is a uniformed science advisor at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., as part of RDECOM’s Field Assistance in Science and Technology program, known as FAST. RDECOM’s uniformed science advisors are assigned to major Army operational commands and training centers throughout the world to provide onsite technical advice and quick-reaction
solutions to technical problems. Chan said CERDEC’s reputation for delivering timely solutions and capabilities enabled by the PIF led to the initial and subsequent inquiries. “We have a history of developing prototypes to be used in the field. That’s why NTC came to us,” Chan said. “We got a request, we placed an order for parts, and within five days, we had a working prototype. Within a week and a half, we were able to ship the working prototype to NTC.” Four-port and 2-port chargers were issued to U.S. Africa Command in July. CERDEC also sent 20 2-port chargers to Soldiers in Afghanistan. Another important consideration for Soldiers is the reliability of a power source, Chan said. In developing countries such as Afghanistan, U.S. forces cannot rely on the local grid for dependable energy because of the wide fluctuations in voltages in AC power. The solutions from CERDEC help to fill that gap with portable power. The CERDEC team is now developing a 150-watt charger with AC adapter to power all commercially available laptops. RELATED LINKS Army.mil: http://go.usa.gov/ YnVd
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s Angel Castro (right) receives his award from Dr. Gerardo Melendez
Leticia Pachecho, Army Research Laboratory, speaks at her Oct. 11 award ceremony. (U.S. Army photos by Conrad Johnson)
Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center Director Dr. Gerardo Melendez speaks at the Oct. 11 award ceremony in Orlando, Fla.
RDECOM engineers receive HENAAC awards By Dennis Neal RDECOM Public Affairs ORLANDO, Fla. — Engineers with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command received awards Oct. 11 at the 24th annual Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Awards Conference. Leticia Pachecho, a human factors engineer with RDECOM’s Army Research Laboratory, and Angel Castro, an engineering technician with RDECOM’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, were honored. The conference Pacheco recognized as most promising engineer or scientist with a graduate degree and was presented with her award during the Salute to our STEM Military and Civilian Heroes dinner. Dr. Gerardo Melendez, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center director, presented the award. “Dr. Pacheco’s dedication and quick study has provided recommendations and assessments of military systems to many decision makers,” Melendez said, “and ultimately [to] Congress, with the purpose of informing their decisions on policy and equipping the force.”
Pacheco gave thanks to those who mentored her in school. “Reflecting back, I recall a conversation with my high school math teacher,” she said, “who challenged me to consider an engineering career. He listened to my interests and introduced me to the field that incorporated those interests. He planted the seeds and others would cultivate it. “Mentoring and investing time in our children and their interests can have a significant and lasting impact on the future of our Latinos in STEM.” “Pacheco is highly deserving of the award,” said Laurel Allender, director of ARL’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate. “The enthusiasm with which she tackles her responsibilities is testament to her inner drive to maintain the highest technical standards as well as her dedication to the users of our systems -- the American Soldier,” Allender said. “She has applied her valuable talents in diverse and innovative ways through her application of the science and technology upon which human factors engineering is founded.” Castro was recognized for outstanding technical achievement and was presented with a HENAAC Military Luminary award.
“Angel is a day-to-day mentor to the center’s engineers and scientists and he is proactive in offering his assistance to customers,” Melendez said. “In fact, he recently expanded the center’s ability to assist first-responders with maintenance and repair of their self-contained breathing apparatus.” Alvin Thornton, ECBC’s Engineering Directorate director, feels Castro deserves the award. “Mr. Castro’s quick support to our customer on two [overseas] deployments helped to strengthen the operational capability of our military,” Thornton said. “He is a retired Army noncommissioned officer and he brings a Warfighter’s perspective to our mission.” Humberto Galarraga, ECBC’s Detection Decontamination Engineering Division chief, agreed. “His unique capabilities and qualities set him apart from others in that he is selflessly dedicated not only to the Warfighter’s mission but the mission of the Center to provide the highest quality services to keep our military men and women safe,” Galarraga said. “It gives me a great sense of pride knowing there are individuals at the center like Mr. Castro.”
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
New thermoelectric technology looks to reclaim wasted energy ARL Public Affairs ADELPHI, Md. — U.S. Army researchers are scavenging heat that pours from major weapon system engines or tailpipes and turning it into electrical power, and if their experiments prove applicable across multiple military platforms, ground and air vehicles could get built smaller, weigh less and potentially save billions in fuel costs. In one of its latest research projects, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory is investigating thermoelectric properties of materials on the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aerial System, and techniques that could convert heat into energy. The Shadow UAS is used by the Army and Marine Corps for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment. The special effect they are leveraging is called ‘thermoelectric power generation,’ and researchers are relying on a unique effect that produces electric energy between hot and cold temperatures, like on one side of a device – a tailpipe which easily can climb past 2,000 °F – that meets with frigid flowing air at high altitudes above ground. It’s wasted energy that ARL researchers are looking to harness, package and shrink in hopes it could one day lead to Soldierworn power sources converted from body heat and cool ambient air, or reduce the size of a vehicle alternator. This work, like similar research throughout ARL, is expected to gain defense department attention because of its promising early signs to increase efficiency and improve fuel utilization, especially given constraints in energy budgets imposed on micro scale systems, said John Gerdes, mechanical engineer with the Technology Development and Transition Team of ARL’s Vehicle Technology Directorate. “Perhaps if the technology is advanced in later years, it will be possible to extend flight times, increase available mission scope and add additional sensors or payloads,” he said. Earlier this year, ARL teamed with Research Triangle Institute International, General Dynamics Land Systems and Creare, Inc., to demonstrate a prototype robust energy harvesting solution that converts residual thermal energy from an M1 Abrams tank exhaust into useable electric power. The waste heat recovery system captures heat from the exhaust of the turbine engine, converts this heat into electrical power with a thermoelectric generator, and dissipates the heat through a heat-rejection system.
A report of that effort revealed that the prototype waste heat recovery system, once scaled up, could be retrofitted to existing tanks without requiring any modification to the engine or powertrain. A small-scale demonstration of more than 80 watts of power from the exhaust heat of an M1 Abrams tank set the stage for developing a full-scale system to recover waste heat from the vehicle. Dr. Patrick Taylor and Dr. Jay Maddux, of the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate’s Electro Optic Materials and Devices Branch at ARL, recently coauthored a report stating that although the efficiency of thermoelectric power generation is generally considered low, there are many military needs for electrical power that thermoelectric technologies can uniquely and successfully address. “Thermoelectric power generation has rich potential to contribute to electrical power generation scavenged from waste heat and, hence, improve fuel utilization on vehicles. As more electrical components are delivered to Army assets, the electrical power needs grow dramatically, so all methods of producing electrical power are of acute interest,” Taylor said. “Thermoelectric power generation is preferred because it directly and simply converts heat to electrical power in a form factor that can be highly miniaturized and made extremely covert. As a matter of fact, applying thermoelectric power generators along the exhaust train of the Shadow will also reduce its infrared signature, and therefore reduce its detectability from adversaries.” Dr. Lauren Boteler, also with SEDD, teamed on this effort to develop advanced packaging technologies required for successful integration with the Shadow. Automakers General Motors, Volkswagen and BMW are developing thermoelectric generators that recover waste heat from commercial car and SUV combustion engines, and ultimately reduced mechanical load (alternator) and fuel consumption. Thermoelectric power promising for microsystems, major weapon systems ARL’s unmanned aerial vehicle study began as a first principles analysis that looked at the total energy available in the fuel, and made certain assumptions about how much was used in generating power and how much was lost as waste heat. Gerdes said researchers then applied that waste heat to a model thermoelectric device and showed that this work, at a minimum, is promising and there is perhaps some region
of overlap between the operating conditions of the UAV and the operating range of the thermoelectric device that will be useful to the military. ARL developed novel techniques to miniaturize and manufacture custom thermoelectric devices to increase the scope of applicable missions. For example, miniature autonomous microsystems that have curved exhaust ducting that generate heated surfaces from air swirling inside the duct, could offer could offer new potential areas for applying new thermoelectric devices. ARL’s Vehicle Applied Research Division is investigating more practical measures of efficiency from a systems engineering perspective, Gerdes said. “This means that we will consider factors like the match between a given device and the expected operational environment, the cost of the device, potential energy savings, the mass and volume of the device, and other more practical considerations that don’t matter as much in a lab but matter a lot in the real world.” Researchers say developing thermoelectric technology is a worthy pursuit, because it has no moving parts, low weight, modularity, covert and silent, high power density, low amortized cost and long service life with no required maintenance. “Many of the potential uses for mounted/dismounted power, such as recharging batteries, are therefore ideal for thermoelectric technologies. However, these applications will require interconnected, smaller-scale modular devices than are currently available. Most commercial-off-the shelf thermoelectric devices are optimized for cooling, not for generating power, so new device structures with materials and geometries better optimized for power generation are needed for broader use of thermoelectric technologies,” Gerdes said. He said taking a systems engineering approach to solving a problem is nothing new, but ARL’s focus is on developing an application specific approach that may be useful in showing where thermoelectric devices could be placed, especially in areas that might not be obvious. “Hopefully our work will illuminate some kind of a procedure for determining how best to match a given thermoelectric device to an application with some kind of general framework that may be applied to future unknown combinations of missions and such devices,” Gerdes said.
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
ARL uses human figure modeling for designing platforms ARL Public Affairs ADELPHI, Md. — U.S. Army Research Laboratory employees within the Human Research and Engineering Directorate are working to expand the use of modeling tools to assess and improve system performance, usability and overall ergonomic design. Modeling and simulation are playing an important role in the engineering development of modern military systems, such as ground and aviation platforms, and will play an even greater role in the future. The use of human factors engineering tools and techniques allow scientists, engineers and program managers to assess the accommodation of the intended user population for the system design early and continuously throughout the system lifecycle. This can help to reduce the time and costs required for successful development of military systems and help reduce the risk of not meeting requirements for human system integration. In addition to system ergonomic design requirements, modeling and simulation tools are also used to assess mental
“Finding answers to these questions early before any metal is bent saves the government time and money.” — Pamela Savage-Knepshield and physical workload, manpower requirements, safety related issues and other areas related to human system integration. One of the modeling tools that HRED uses is the Jack® human figure modeling software to assess the ergonomic design of military systems. Jack® is an interactive tool for modeling and analyzing human and other 3-dimensional articulated geometric figures and allows the user to develop models that represent a specific user population for whom the equipment is targeted. Rick Kozycki, HRED, who is located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, oversees the application of the Jack® human figure modeling software tool used to assess ground and aviation platform designs. Cheryl Burns from HRED’s Fort Knox Field Element is the lead for the analysis
work on ground vehicle systems and Dave Durbin from HRED’s Fort Rucker Field Element leads the research for the future vertical lift/joint multi-role or FVL/JMR program, which is the next generation of Army aircraft. “It is very exciting to see whether or not a vendor’s conceptual model for a vehicle design is actually feasible as in, ‘Can a Soldier wearing his/her gear get in and out of the vehicle?’” said Pamela SavageKnepshield, division chief, HRED’s Human Factors Integration Division. “Finding answers to these questions early before any metal is bent saves the government time and money.” That’s exactly what the team aims to accomplish. Burns, an expert in ground vehicle systems has been with ARL since 1997. Before coming to ARL, she worked for the U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity at Aberdeen Proving Ground as their senior intelligence officer. She spent time on government and industry panels to help write the requirements for the government to review designs of computer aided design proposed drawings and ask for clarifications prior to prototyping the vehicles. “Developers use CAD models at the beginning of a development program. If the government contract is not written correctly, it becomes difficult or is an additional cost for the government to acquire these models to review,” said Burns. “Early review of models allows the government to ascertain if the contractor is meeting design specifications and to ask clarification of the contractor’s design prior to building any mockup or prototyping. “In relative terms, it is very cheap and easy to make design changes during this phase of the program as opposed to further downstream in the program after physical prototypes have been built. At that point your design is set and you have to start performing significant tradeoffs and cost can escalate exponentially to achieve the desired result.” The CAD files represent the virtual model of the helicopter and the armored vehicle while the Jack® software adds models of Soldiers. “Using CAD files, we are able to see the actual design of a system in 3D on a computer and look at the design from any angle that we want,” Kozycki said. “The Jack® software allows us to put simulated
3D models of Soldiers in the CAD models to evaluate the fit, reach and vision they would have in the real life physical version of that helicopter or armored vehicle. In order for HRED to perform an ergonomic assessment of a system design, we must have access to the CAD files of that design.” Kozycki said CAD files typically come from the vendor or contractor that is designing and developing the ground or aviation platform. “Cheryl and Dave, as well as some of our other field element personnel, are helping HRED to gain access to the CAD files early in the acquisition process in order to apply human figure modeling tools to improve system performance,” said Kozycki. “Without access to the CAD files, we cannot apply human figure modeling and would otherwise have to wait until an actual physical prototype of the system is built.”
“It’s important we model both the Soldiers and the equipment for an accurate assessment.” — Dave Durbin Durbin has been with ARL since 1988. Prior to coming to ARL, he worked for the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala. He has teamed with Kozycki to conduct human-figure modeling for all current Army Aviation systems. In addition to using the modeling to help design current Aviation systems, he and Kozycki are working on the FVL/ JMR program to ensure Soldiers will be accommodated in the next generation of Aviation systems. “We are assessing volume of space requirements for FVL/JMR,” Durbin said. “How big will the aircraft need to be to accommodate nine to 18 combat troops to include the equipment required for each of them to carry? It’s important we model both the Soldiers and the equipment for an accurate assessment.” Durbin said initial results of the modeling have been provided to industry to ensure that Soldiers and their gear will be accommodated in future aircraft. Kozycki agrees. “Some of the equipment that dismounted Soldiers and Army aviators wear are bulky and restrict body movement as well as increase the space required to operate,
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER occupy and perform ingress or egress procedures,” said Kozycki. “If personnel in a design can’t fully access and view all displays and critical controls that they are required to operate, we need to know early and address this. It’s important that with our modeling we try to replicate the exact situations the Soldiers will face.” Kozycki said that some design requirements used for accommodation in the past are outdated due to the added bulk of the current clothing and equipment ensembles and additional requirements for occupant protection. For example, equipment such as a camelback worn may add an additional three to four inches of bulk to the back of dismounted Soldiers and changes the way they sit in a seat – they are no longer able to sit as far back in the seat as they used to – the seats in the past are no longer sufficient to accommodate personnel equipped with body armor, ammo, communications gear, protective masks and other equipment items that add bulk. “The human figures we use must also be equipped with models of the same mission essential clothing and equipment
to perform an accurate assessment of the design. That is why we have also put considerable resources into developing clothing and equipment models that not only represent the additional bulk, but are suitable to perform interactive movement and dynamic posturing of the models in order to perform the system design assessment,” Kozycki said. “Vehicle and aviation platform designs must plan for the equipment the Soldier wears or takes with them. In order to perform an accurate modeling and analysis, we have to keep updating our models to reflect realistic conditions, because the equipment constantly changes.” Soldiers cannot all be assessed the same. “We also want to assess a design for the entire range of Soldier population that a system is required to accommodate,” said Kozycki. “Does the seat move forward enough to provide sufficient forward adjustment to reach the pedals? Can the individual reach all critical flight controls? With the larger males – is there enough space? Is the ceiling high enough? Can the seat go back far enough? Are emergency
hatches and doors large enough to safely ingress and egress? There are many design parameters that must be examined to ensure that the entire target population is accommodated.” Human figure modeling is an important aspect in the design, usability and performance of the Army’s ground and aviation platforms and has been used successfully. “HRED has used human figure modeling to develop and test Army Aviation systems. The modeling results have been used by government and industry to improve the ergonomic design and functionality of the systems, assess anthropometric requirements and reduce analysis timelines,” Durbin said. “Human figure modeling will continue to be used to develop and assess new and upgraded aviation systems – it will continue to play an increasingly important role in the future as we work to reduce system design costs and shorten design, development and production times.” RELATED LINKS ARL: http://go.usa.gov/ YnVd
Defense investment in supercomputing is a game-changer ARL Public Affairs ADELPHI, Md. — Teams of Army experts have spent the last five months laying the groundwork for a computational powerhouse at the Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center, or DSRC, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. DoD’s High-Performance Computing Modernization Program, or HPCMP, announced the historic investment of $105 million in computer system infrastructure upgrades at the nation’s five DoD Supercomputing Resource Centers, May 16. “The collective [research and development] organizations at [APG] following the 2008 Base Realignment and Closure will have a predictive modeling and simulation capability that was not possible before,” said Raju Namburu, chief, Computational Sciences Division, Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory. “As we transition to the new systems, our support to research challenges most critical to our national defense will remain seamless.” The HPCMP funded two new IBM iDataPlex systems that are built upon Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor for the ARL DSRC. The second of the two systems were delivered to ARL’s DSRC, Oct. 1. Putting the power, speed and memory into
Technicians at Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., configure equipment.
perspective, the systems’ combined storage capacity of six PetaBytes is “enough capacity to store two billion average size MP3 songs,” said Thomas Kendall, technical director, ARL DSRC. “In four hours, the center’s computers can perform the same number of mathematical operations as the seven-billion-strong world population can calculate in their lifetimes, if each person completed one operation every second, without rest over a seventy year
lifespan,” Kendall said. “We are enabling the science of the future.” While the systems are normally upgraded every two to three years, the latest HPCMP upgrade comes along with a modern, betterequipped building, said Lee Ann Brainard, deputy director, ARL DSRC. “The new building will provide the floor space, power and cooling to house all future ARL DSRC computing resources under one roof, where in previous years we have been spread between two buildings,” Brainard said. This DOD Technology Insertion will also “carry us from teraflop computing into the petaflop computing range,” she said. The ARL DSRC capabilities will enable the recently established Enterprise for Multiscale Research of Materials, in partnership with academia, to scale from atom to continuum. The ARL DSRC capabilities advantage will also open doors for the Army Test and Evaluation community to address computational intensive requirements, and will strengthen multi-disciplinary computational capabilities across Army R&D, Namburu said. “Our focus is on the war fighter. We will be able to address most critical computational material science problems we face in the DOD today to better equip the war fighters,” Namburu said.
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
TARDEC takes a long-range perspective By Garett Patria TARDEC DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — To paraphrase a famous saying, “strategy is not everything, it’s the only thing.” This phrase has particular meaning for systems engineering, life-cycle management and professional development to instill this mindset in Army engineers and planners. From a logistics engineer’s perspective, strategy means looking ahead to sustainment and planning for a vehicle’s life cycle costs and burdens. Think about it: logistics ramifications (especially cost) occur every time a design decision is made, no matter where in the life cycle a piece of equipment exists — it is a matter of being situationally aware of the overall purpose and strategic goals. The Figure 1 diagram begins with a familiar construct that every Army engineer knows — the Iron Triangle that consists of Payload, Performance and Protection. In logistics engineering, however, we also must consider the Life Cycle Triangle, which encompasses Acquisition Costs, Timeliness and Logistics Burden/Support Costs. The trade-offs in the Iron Triangle involve technology decisions. But in life cycle strategy, we evaluate cost and burden trades. The most successful trades are the ones that correlate to both triangles — the engineering choices that make sense for both the vehicle’s development and sustainment phases. If we fail to address the life-cycle environment, we will not produce the best possible product for our customer. Making good design decisions must involve systems engineering and design for logistics discipline. Enter the concept of logistics engineering. Logistics engineering is responsible for the integration of support considerations in the design and development; test and evaluation; production and/or construction; operation and maintenance; and ultimate disposal/recycling of systems and equipment. Additionally, this discipline defines and influences the supporting infrastructure for these systems and equipment. The practice of logistics engineering is exercised throughout the system life cycle. Engineers continually analyze supportability and conduct trade-off studies to optimize costs while adhering to system, logistics, and performance requirements. Logistics includes both planning and execution in the sustainment of forces and equipment
Soldiers at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, rally up for the arrival of 10 Caiman Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. The Caimans came in exchange of Maxx-Pro MRAP vehicles the first of an exchange between U.S. military bases in the Middle East. Logistics engineers understand that end users (Soldiers and Marines) define the success of ground vehicles by their ability to use and sustain them. (Photo by Sgt. Jason Adolphson)
to support military operations. Specifically, the major focus of sustainment logistics is to ensure that fielded systems are maintainable and ready for operations. LIFE-CYCLE ENVIRONMENT NEEDS ADDRESSING The strategies involved with logistics and sustainment change the nature of the term “design.” Depending on where the product is in a timeline, design could mean a charcoal rendering in an artist’s portfolio or a product design born in a Computer-Aided Design model at the front end of a development cycle. Or, to a systems thinker, the word “design” embodies a plethora of mini decisions that have a synergistic effect on the whole. You might ask: “When should design for sustainment tasks be performed?” The answer, according to official policy, should be everywhere and all the time. Army Regulation 70-1 states that supportability is integral to the success of a system and will be considered equal in importance with cost, schedule and performance. DOD 5000.02 states that life-cycle sustainment planning and execution should seamlessly span a system’s entire life cycle from materiel solution analysis to disposal.
LIFE CYCLE DECISIONS LEAD TO BETTER RESULTS In our business, recognizing and addressing requirements across the entire life cycle will drive efficiencies and result in better products. Defense Acquisition University also supports this premise. The systems engineering curriculum constantly emphasizes that sustainment support dictates the most significant portion of a program’s life-cycle cost. Basically, a design decision completed once will continue to influence sustainment activities multiple times across the life cycle (see Figure 2). The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s tank and automotive center is taking steps to integrate the logistics engineering discipline and develop a supporting training curriculum to actually implement design for sustainment processes that apply across the equipment life cycle (see accompanying story on page 65). Each of our core competencies factor in the importance of logistics engineering discipline. The Department of Defense has created product support managers and TARDEC has leveraged logistics subject matter experts to help implement the sustainment perspective. The creators of these new roles know that planning for sustainment considers not only
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER the benefits (value) of the project, but also factors in all possible implications, or risks, along with risk mitigation plans (feasibility). A realistic systems engineering assessment that includes logistics, therefore, is the combined picture of value and feasibility. Engineers understandably feel a sense of accomplishment when they develop a platform and it’s fielded. But the user is just beginning his experience with the vehicle. The user measures success during the sustainment phase when the concept becomes reality and the equipment has to perform every day in often challenging conditions. The Army takes on all the responsibilities for total life-cycle support. TARDEC recognizes this and has initiated efforts to develop logistics engineering processes as an integral competency necessary to successfully support the TACOM LCMC. INDUSTRIAL BASE ANALYSIS OFTEN OVERLOOKED One of the key competencies related to planning and execution of sustainment is the strategic analysis of the Industrial Base. This often overlooked function involves the analysis of equipment’s existing or proposed parts requirements and how we develop support strategies to maintain capabilities. TACOM LCMC’s Industrial Base Integration Team is a shared partnership between the Integrated Logistics Support Center and TARDEC that fosters communication (and data access) in
The Total Picture Solution
Cost and Burden Trades
INFORMING AND INFORMED BY
The Iron Triangle
Logistics Burden, Support Costs
The Life-Cycle Triangle
Figure 1: Life-cycle management aids in technical situational awareness.
pursuit of the strategic IB matters that affect us all in the long run – again, systems thinking, but through a sustainment lens. It is important to realize that the structure, policies and procedures of the IBIT are applicable to all of the TACOM LCMC supported community, including program executive offices, program, project and product managers, TARDEC engineers, as well as all other equipment managers supporting the LCMC. Sustainability concerns need to be addressed, both during a piece of equipment’s initial concept development as well as in the post-fielding realm.
Operating & Support Investment Research & Development
Materiel Solution Analysis and Technology Development Phase
Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase
Production and Development Phase
Figure 2: The chart shows that a vehicle’s sustainment phase dominates the other engineering phases.
BIG-PICTURE ESSENTIAL Moving upstream on the development end brings us to the implementation and training pieces of the logistics engineering mission. The implementation piece hinges around integrating processes and checklists into each of the five stages of the TARGET (TARDEC Gated Evaluation Track) technology development process. After all, what gets measured and reviewed, gets done. In addition to TARGET, other logistics engineering processes and disciplines that support development and sustainment of LCMC equipment are being incorporated and recognized as systems engineering elements. It is imperative that we take an active role in implanting a big-picture mind-set, while tapping into all the diverse experience, knowledge and capability across our entire LCMC, which brings us to education. The training, spearheaded by the return of retired executive director of TACOM’s Integrated Logistics Support Center, Janet Bean, encompassed core training for all employees. Transitioning from a rigidly chronological acquisition mentality to a life-cycle management ethos is not easy. But developing a logistics strategy is no different than any other trade analysis conducted in accordance with system engineering philosophy. TARDEC’s Logistics Engineering program is a surefire way to instill a strategic mind-set into our workforce. Education or experience in any one area is not the key to system success, but rather a diverse understanding of “what makes a system tick” is. In terms of projecting and supporting defense equipment across the globe, sound systems/logistics engineering is what makes a system tick if your clock is tracking dollars.
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
(Above) Lance Cpl John McCoy hammers an M88A2 Hercules recovery vehicle’s track. (Photo by Cpl. Marco Mancha) (Left) The 97th Military Police Battalion, rolls out of Camp Nathan Smith, Kandahar City, Afghanistan, May 8 in their new MRAP All-Terrain Vehicles. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Casey Collier.)
Academic partnerships provide opportunities TARDEC Public Affairs DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — America’s colleges and universities have long been the source of life-saving breakthroughs and technological advancements. Partnerships with academic experts and researchers have proven invaluable as the U.S. Army develops its ground vehicle fleet. Work with the nation’s colleges and universities not only allows the Army to leverage the latest technology studies, but also readies the next generation of scientists and engineers as they prepare to support the future force. ACCESS TO THE EXPERTS The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center partners with several academic institutes and consortiums to leverage research expertise as its associates develop and integrate the latest ground vehicle technology. These partnerships include: The Automotive Research Center – Established in 1994 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the ARC is an Army Center of Excellence for advancing the technology of high-fidelity simulation for military and civilian ground vehicles. The alliance includes several colleges known for their modeling and simulation expertise. Simulation Based Reliability Systems Consortium – Managed by Mississippi State
University, SimBRS provides M&S research to TARDEC. Begun in 2008, the five-year contract mechanism includes a variety of partners in private industry and affiliated universities whose research is directed to TARDEC’s M&S capabilities by enlisting subject matter experts in the following specialties: warfighter-based survivability simulations; M&S validation, verification and accreditation; systems integration and optimization; multiscale, multiphysics modeling for vehicle dynamics and structural reliability, durability and survivability; and the simulation of fluid-structure interactions. Composite Vehicle Research Center – A partnership with Michigan State University, the CVRC is an Army Center of Excellence in the research and design of composite structures for lightweight, durable and safe vehicles for air, ground and marine transportation. Fastening and Joining Research Institute – Located at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., FAJRI is the only known facility of its kind in the world: an academic, nonprofit research facility dedicated solely to the fastening and joining of materials. This congressionally approved institute pursues fundamental and applied research to develop and disseminate new technologies for the fastening and joining of metals, composites and polymers. These partnerships allow Army scientists and engineers to work closely with university researchers, students and faculty, many of whom are recognized experts with a reservoir
of specialized knowledge — critical information as the Army develops new technologies to advance state-of-the-art technology and help Soldiers and Marines meet emerging threats. “They are experts at the type of deep-dive research we don’t always have the opportunity to take part in,” remarked TARDEC University Partnership Team Leader Mike Letherwood. “At the ARC, for instance, there are experts specializing in modeling engine processes. We just don’t have the people or time to be able to do that basic level of research, so the ARC and these other partnerships give us access to the universities and all the work they’ve done to supplement what we do here.” RECOGNIZED IN THEIR FIELDS Partners were selected after careful consideration and thorough vetting to ensure the research will help the Army achieve its objectives. “These areas were suggested because they are areas where we have significant interest,” commented Dr. Douglas Templeton, TARDEC’s Senior Technical Expert for survivability, and the CVRC’s government representative. “For instance, composite integrity is one area where we need more research, which the CVRC assists with. Metals fatigue — everybody knows that if you take a beverage can and keep bending the metal tab back and forth, it’s going to weaken until it breaks. With a composite, that’s not necessarily how it happens — it will be fine and keep its
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER strength and then, all of a sudden, it fails, with no graceful degradation in most cases. When there’s a catastrophic material failure on an airplane or vehicle, it’s generally a bad day.” That in-depth subject matter expertise is what makes these partnerships so important as TARDEC engineers design and integrate new platform components. “Working for the Army, you can get involved in topics where you don’t really have the background, particularly when you’re first getting involved with a new challenge,” commented TARDEC engineer and former TARDEC SimBRS Technical Lead Matt Castanier. “These universities have world-class experts, and it’s invaluable to be able to discuss with them how you start attacking the problem.” M&S is one crucial area where these partnerships are reaping major benefits. ARC research has led to advances in modeling engine combustion behavior, and the SimBRS consortium has been instrumental in helping TARDEC better understand blast behavior in an effort to better protect crews in vehicles. “There are new aspects of vehicle response that we’ve never modeled. We need their lessons learned,” Castanier explained. “We are able to benefit from the work done by students and faculties, both from successes and failures. If they find that a certain approach doesn’t work on a certain application, then that saves us from going down that path. But these partnerships allow us to see the possibilities of what can be done.” COMMON INTERESTS, BENEFITS One of the ARC’s primary drivers is its “Quad” concept, which requires all research projects to include participation from government, students, faculty and industry before they can proceed. Dual-use applications — when government and industry seek solutions to the same problems — are a desired outcome. “At the end of the day, government and commercial needs are pretty much the same. Automotive systems are automotive systems, and when you get to that basic research level, it’s very similar for both of us,” Letherwood remarked. “We want the same things, but may have different end goals. Both the Army and industry want lighter, stronger materials, so the concepts and research topics are fairly close. The differences don’t really show themselves until later in the research, but this early research that universities excel in is something we can both leverage.” This dual-use focus allows both parties to benefit, leading to advancements in areas such as fuel efficiency, survivability and engine optimization. As automotive companies take advantage of the research, it can also accelerate
the Army’s improvement of its ground vehicles. “We want anything that comes out of this research to be commercialized and put on our systems when we purchase them from the truck companies or defense contractors,” Letherwood explained. “If both parties benefit from this research, at the end of the day we can produce something everybody can use, and get cost savings from the economy of scale.” SIMULATIONS SAVE MONEY These partnerships have led to improvements in ground vehicle performance, survivability and efficiency. “The Army has been the benefactor of a lot of new technologies and software programs that have been developed through the ARC and our other university partnerships,” Letherwood commented. “We have to demonstrate that benefit and show what we’ve gotten from the research when we renew each contract. We’ve gotten a lot of formulas, algorithms and tools. In a lot of cases, there’s been hardware. It’s been very beneficial.” M&S has heightened the Army’s ability to improve vehicle efficiency and lower the dependence on fossil fuels. Understanding combustion behavior and how alternative fuels flow through engines will provide insight as the Army seeks alternative sources of energy. “We need to develop advanced engine models that look at how different fuels will work in those engines,” remarked Letherwood. “How can they optimize performance of diesel engines? [Soldiers] might be out in the middle of nowhere and have to use a different kind of fuel. So they’ve been able to look at that using M&S instead of having to build and buy very expensive engines.” SimBRS has helped the Army dissect blast events, providing TARDEC engineers with M&S software that allows them to model these events down to the soil, air and vehicle components that interact with occupants, leading to more survivable vehicle and crew compartment designs. The SimBRS consortium’s expertise from several leading universities and industry partners has also benefitted other areas of ground vehicle research. “Elastomer fatigue has been a great area of research for SimBRS,” commented Castanier. “The Army has tracked vehicles with rubber components that have incredibly high thermal and stress loadings that you don’t see on other vehicles, so it provides fundamental research topics for the SimBRS partners to work on, and we get advances in the state-of-the-art and predicting these components’ fatigue life.” Opening up each consortium to additional partnerships and allowing each strategic focus area to work organically with other areas also leads to greater developments and mutually
27 beneficial solutions. “With the CVRC, we remove stove-piping, so what we have now are integrated activities where you have compositejoining, manufacturing and materials research all working together on common projects to develop new impact-resistant material. We’ve also expanded what we’re doing to other areas of vehicle concern, like fire, smoke and toxicity,” stated Templeton. “We’re also doing work with the FAJRI to explore joining armors and adhesives.” PREPARING THE FUTURE WORKFORCE In addition to assisting the Army’s mission to provide Soldiers with safe, efficient and effective ground vehicle platforms, these partnerships also prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers as they prepare for their careers. The Quad concept and similar structures throughout these consortiums ensure that research projects have students, industry and government involvement throughout. Government and industry engineers work to assist them and provide them with research topics, but it’s the work of the students and their faculty advisors that lead to the breakthroughs. “Each project gives them real-world, hard problems to work on. And they can see the differences they make and how it’s going to be applied on our future vehicle systems,” Letherwood commented. The hands-on approach also allows students to understand what careers are waiting for them after graduation. “It makes students aware that you can do research and development type work without actually enlisting,” said Letherwood. “They know that there are government labs, but they don’t understand the depth and the breadth of government careers that are available. It’s getting the word out that the DoD offers careers where you don’t have to join the Armed Services.” TARDEC associates are also encouraged to visit universities, participate on dissertation committees and assist students with papers. The CVRC provides Templeton with an office on campus, and several other associates occasionally work from Michigan State. “It’s a two-way street,” Templeton concluded. “We want them to become integrated with what we’re doing, and we want to become integrated with what they’re doing. Open, honest communication between the centers and between the individuals is key to success. It’s not just that we’ve given them the scope of work and told them to go off and generate papers — if you don’t have the interaction, it doesn’t work.” RELATED LINKS TARDEC: http://go.usa.gov/ YnVd
NOVEMBER 2012 – ISSUE NO. 5
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Chris Garneau is a mechanical engineer with ARL. He currently works on the Tool Development Team. In addition to developing mobile software applications and tools for human factors integration, he is coordinates research for the newly established System Assessment and Usability Laboratory.
Program paves the way for recent ARL hire ARL Public Affairs ADELPHI, Md. — After completing two eightweek internship’s through the Department of Defense’s Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation scholarship for service program, Garneau began working full time at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. The SMART program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be contributing to Army research and development upon degree completion. The program is particularly interested in supporting individuals who demonstrate an aptitude and interest in conducting theoretical and applied research and primarily targets “hand-on-the-bench” researchers and engineers. Garneau is a recent graduate of Penn State University. “I found out about the SMART program through meeting John Lockett at a conference at which I was presenting research,” said Garneau. “He’s the one that helped me get into the SMART program here at ARL.” “His internships at ARL allowed him to gain a better understanding of how the Army does business allowing for a smooth transition from student to full time government researcher,” Lockett said.
Garneau observed a collection of Army and Marine Corps anthropometric data during the first internship as part of a Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center effort to update 30-yearold data. “This represented a once in a career opportunity for Chris to see the origin of the type of data that would form the basis of his dissertation,” Lockett said. “In 2011, Chris surveyed ARL and other human factors practitioners on their use of anthropometric data for setting design requirements and analyzing materiel concepts.” Garneau completed his undergraduate, masters and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering and is now working to develop new tools, including mobile software apps, that assist the integration of human factors in the design and evaluation of systems intended for use by the Soldier. His research enabled him to create an app for visualizing anthropometry and determining the range of anthropometry that must be considered for a target level of user accommodation. Assessments of minimum user space requirements for equipment manufactured for the Army are conducted by HRED personnel who provide human factors engineering and Human System Integration Program support to acquisition Program Managers as well as to the Army Test and Evaluation Command.
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