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ISSUE NO. 7
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
DIRECTOR’S CORNER Happy New Year, Page 2 RDECOM NEWSBRIEFS News and information from across the organization, Page 3 ECBC SCIENTISTS IMPROVE GARBAGE-TO-ENERGY PROTOTYPE DEVICE Page 4 ARMY PROGRAM AIMS TO PROTECT SOLDIERS’ HEARING Page 6 AMRDEC SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST RETIRES Page 7 SPOTLIGHT: ROGERS RUNS TARDEC Page 8 ARL TECHNOLOGY NAMED ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE PROJECT OF THE YEAR Page 10 C4ISR COMMUNITY CONTINUES SUPPORT TO STEM PROGRAM Page 11 LEADERS PREDICT ARMY OF THE FUTURE Page 12 ARMY INVESTS IN IDEAS FOR STRONGER FUTURE Page 14
New technology spatially identifies trace amounts of explosives by collecting thousands of wavelengths of scattered light across magnified images of a collected fingerprint. (U.S. Army photo)
Army uses battlefield forensics to trace explosives
By Kristen Dalton ECBC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A scene decimated by a suicide bomber or an improvised explosive device leaves little evidence of what life was like before its destruction. It does, however, leave traces of life in fingerprints that can be collected by weapons intelligence personnel and analyzed at forensic laboratories to identify the enemy behind the explosion. “The Department of Defense has adopted battlefield forensics as a capability for future operations, primarily from the counter insurgency operations that have gone on in both Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Dr. Augustus W. Fountain III, a senior research scientist at
the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. “When the Warfighter is confronted with an enemy that’s not wearing a uniform, they’re shadows that don’t follow the normal conventions of a Westphalian state army. So you have to be able to separate the sheep from the goats in that environment, and in many cases, forensics has been very instrumental in identifying a bad actor, or a person who has left significant evidence that builds up into a case file and then gets turn over to local authorities for prosecution.” Imagine if that case file could be filled with hard data in minutes. Using Raman Chemical Imaging technology, Fountain is leading a team
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JANUARY 2013 – ISSUE NO. 7
U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Director Dale Ormond (right) enjoys the festivities as the organization’s holiday party Dec. 12 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)
Director’s Corner: Happy New Year
By Dale A. Ormond As I reflect on my first year at RDECOM, would like to tell you how proud I am to serve with you in this state-of-the art organization. 2012 was a year of great progress and technological contributions to the Warfighter. Our value is unmistakable, as is the critical role that each of you play. I’m excited about RDECOM’s prospects for 2013 and the continued opportunities we have to impact our Warfighters and enhance their technological edge. Most of all, I’m impressed with the competence and dedication of our entire workforce. RDECOM personnel do fascinating and important work every day. One of the things I realize is the sun never sets on RDECOM. From our folks in harm’s way at the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, to our team at the RDECOM Forward Element Command - Pacific in Tokyo, we have professionals seeking technology solutions the world over. I have been traveling seemingly non-stop and yet I have just scratched the surface of our 16,000-strong workforce. To better support these endeavors, we are making a number of changes in the headquarters and I want to make sure you hear about them directly from me: Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center Technical Director Eric Edwards is currently serving as acting deputy director. Edwards will serve as the ADD for 45 days. I would like thank Jill Smith for her terrific support to the headquarters serving most recently this role. Eric Stevens, the current Edgewood Chemical Biological Center liaison officer supporting the G5, will serve as Mr. Edwards’ executive officer. Paul Brozovic from ECBC will serve as the next acting RDECOM chief information offi cer/G6 behind Dr. Nate Buchheit. I would like to thank Nate Buchheit for his leadership as our acting G-6. Effective Jan. 13 the G1 and G8 staff sections will return to their original state of two separate staff sections. Todd Morris, the current deputy chief of staff, will assume duties as the G1 and responsibility for maintaining and enhancing our world-class work force. I would like to thank Todd for taking on this important leadership role in the headquarters. The role of deputy chief of staff will not be back-filled at this time. Paul Dunaway will re-assume his role as the G-8. Lionel Brown will return from an overseas assignment in Korea to assume his role as the G5, Strategy and Communications. Lionel previously served as the G5 before leaving RDECOM to accept an OCONUS position. Also, I am establishing a Strategic Initiatives Group, led by Linda Longo, to help with planning and coordination across the headquarters and the Command. The SIG will consist
of three sections: strategy integration; STEM; and a fusion cell. Col. Chris Oliver, currently assigned to Communications - Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, will replace Bob Lyons and assume responsibility for Programs and Engineering. Bob will return to ECBC after an overlap period with Col. Oliver. I would like to publically thank Bob for his willingness to take on this position and his leadership in this important role. Maj. Mike Baker, currently a member of P&E, will serve as my military executive offi cer in a developmental assignment rotation. Larry Dougherty will remain in his position as my civilian executive officer. Other details are yet to be finalized, but I wanted you to be aware of these coming changes, and we can discuss further at the RDECOM headquarters town hall scheduled for Jan. 14. I also want to let you know that there are no further Task Force APG updates at this time. Analysis and coordination is ongoing and we will keep everyone informed as the situation progresses. Once again, I would like to commend you for your dedicated efforts on behalf of our Soldiers and thank you for your continued to support to RDECOM. RELATED LINKS Biography: http://go.usa.gov/vK8
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
RDECOM HQ ENJOYS HOLIDAY PARTY ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — RDECOM headquarters staff members enjoyed an afternoon of comraderie and holiday cheer Dec. 12 at the Ruggles Golf Club. Photos are online at http://flickr.com/ rdecom.
Jill Smith, acting deputy director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, discusses RDECOM’s partnerships with industry during the Advanced Planning Briefing for Industry conference at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Dec. 5. (U.S. Army photo by Tom Faulkner)
RDECOM shares contracting opportunities at APBI
RDECOM RECOGNIZES WHISMAN ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Army Research Laboratory Military Deputy Col. John Shanklin (left) awarded Staff Sgt. Markus P. Whisman with the Army Commendation Medal Dec. 4 for winning the Army Materiel Command Noncomissioned Officer of the Year Competition. By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command presented contracting opportunities Dec. 5 as part of APG’s first installation-wide Advanced Planning Briefing for Industry, or APBI, conference. Jill Smith, RDECOM acting deputy director, provided an overview of the command and discussed how the Army’s research and development community partners with industry during her opening remarks at the Post Theater. “Across the command, we leverage industry for about 40 percent of applied research funding,” Smith said. “RDECOM partners with industry for about 60 percent of RDECOM’s advanced technology development budget because that process involves integration, and we want industry to be prepared if we proceed to production in quantity.” Smith also emphasized that technological solutions usually require collaboration between at least two of the command’s seven research organizations. She gave the example of the Objective Gunner Protection Kit in which RDECOM’s tank-automotive and armament centers joined to deliver a product. “When we look at the capabilities that we are being asked to deliver by the [Training and Doctrine Command], 86 percent of them cross our RDECs. We need to work together, whether it’s a rapid-equipping program or a long-term program. We look across the RDECs,” she said. Representatives from the command’s three organizations at APG -- Army Research Laboratory; Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center -- then discussed forecasted business opportunities and explained their acquisition priorities. APBI is taking place Dec. 4-6. The command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, commonly known as C4ISR, presented first; followed by research, development, test and evaluation on the second day; and chemical and biological defense on the final day. Army representatives will present more than 180 potential contracts worth an estimated $19.5 billion. RELATED LINKS More photos: http://bit.ly/XmK8Du
FRED BREWINGTON RETIRES HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. — Fred A. Brewington retired after 40 years of service and received the Superior Civilian Service Award. The award and many letters of recognition were presented by RDECOM Director Dale A. Ormond.
JANUARY 2013 – ISSUE NO. 7
With a zero carbon footprint, the improved TGER 2.0 prototype reduces the volume of waste in 30 to one ratio. According to ECBC scientist James Valdes, 30 cubic yards of trash could be reduced to one cubic yard of ash.
ECBC scientists improve garbage-to-energy prototype device
technologist at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. “You also don’t want to be hauling fuel in because those convoys are targets and risk the lives of Soldiers and contractors.” For 90 days, Camp Victory in Baghdad was home to the first two TGER prototypes, a deployable machine tactically designed to convert military field waste into immediate usable energy for forward operating bases. The biorefinery system is a trailer-mounted hybrid technology that can support a 550-person unit that generates about 2,500 pounds of trash per day, and converts roughly a ton of that garbage--paper, plastic, packaging and food waste---into electricity via a standard 60-kilowatt diesel generator. “We picked a forward operating base in Iraq because we wanted to really stress
By Kristen Dalton ECBC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The year was 2008 and the on-going war in Iraq was a dangerous landscape for Soldiers on the ground, especially convoys traveling to and from base camps. Roadside bombs and enemy ambushes were frequent occurrences for U.S. Armed Forces transporting fuel, a risk that may be reduced if camps are equipped with a Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery prototype. “If you’re a forward-operating base, you don’t want a local contractor coming in to haul your garbage out because you don’t know if they’re good guys or bad guys,” said Dr. James Valdes, a senior
the system. All other energy systems had been tested in laboratories or under ideal conditions and temperature climates. What we really wanted to do was stress it with heat, sand and real world trash in a low infrastructure environment,” Valdes said. “You know that old Chinese saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for, you might get it’? Well, we got it,” We learned an awful lot over there about what works, what doesn’t work and what’ll break.” As ECBC project director for TGER, Valdes is responsible for leading a team that has successfully implemented the necessary re-engineering of the new prototype, TGER 2.0. Among them is an automated interface that uses a touchscreen panel, which makes it easier for workers to input information and monitor every part of the machine, from oxygen
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
levels in the gasifier-to-ethanol production and power output. What used to take three technicians to operate the machine now takes two people: one person to feed the garbage and another person to monitor the progress. But Valdes hopes that as the prototypes advance, TGER could eventually be used by one technician or Soldier. One of ECBC’s most valuable lessons learned while the TGER was deployed in Iraq was the realization that the downdraft gasifier had a tendency to get clogged if there was too much plastic in the fuel pellets. Additionally, a large percentage of the synthetic gas was inert and could not be used as viable fuel. To fix the problem, Valdes’ team developed a horizontal gasifier with an auger device that rotates the trash, eliminating the mechanical step of pelletizing the trash. The TGER 2.0 prototype also enables steam to be injected into the gasifier, which allows a larger conversion of output gas to become energetic. According to Valdes, the old system produced 155 BTUs (British Thermal Unit)/cubic foot of gas, whereas the new TGER 2.0 prototype produces 550, more than tripling the amount of usable energy. Also, TGER 2.0 is environmentally friendly with its zero-carbon footprint. “We think of garbage in terms of volume, not weight. There are things that take up a lot of space in landfills but they don’t weigh much, like Styrofoam. TGER reduces the volume of waste in 30 to one ratio. If you start off with 30 cubic yards of trash, you end up with one cubic yard of ash, and that ash has been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency. They call it a benign soil additive. You could actually throw it on your roses,” Valdes said. The advanced prototype was shipped back to the manufacturer for modifications after undergoing a final field trial on Sept. 20 here, where the green technology was tested to see how long it could run at the highest levels of garbage input before breaking down. Within two hours of powering on, TGER 2.0 can make synthetic gas that enables a generator to be run on about ¾ power. Within 12 hours, alcohol is produced and blended with the synthetic gas to run on full power at a steady state if the machine is continually fed. One of the innovations Valdes said he would like to capitalize on is recapturing the excess heat that the machine produces with a heat exchanger that can apply the
An automated interface with a touch-screen panel makes it easier for workers to input information and monitor every part of the machine. What used to take three technicians to operate TGER now takes two people: one person to feed the garbage and another person to monitor the progress.
energy to field sanitation and heating water. The new TGER prototype could also be transitioned into the commercial sector, Valdes said.
“It’s really geared for where there’s a concentration of people and there’s a need to get rid of garbage and make energy.”
— Dr. James Valdes “Longer term, we will be talking to project managers about transitioning it but we’ll also be talking to some companies that do things like support oil and gas operations in places such as Mongolia and parts of the world that are difficult to have camps in,” Valdes said. Oil and mining operations, camp sites, hospitals, mess halls and even postnatural disaster events like Hurricane Katrina are just a few of the places the green technology could prove beneficial. ECBC and contracting firm SAIC recently
entered into a cooperative research and development agreement--an agreement between a government agency and a private company--to speed the commercialization of the technology. “It’s really geared for where there’s a concentration of people and there’s a need to get rid of garbage and make energy. If an oil exploration company is out in Mongolia, they’ve got a lot of people there. Those camps can be as big as 10,000 people,” he said. “TGER is geared toward a smaller base camp but industrial operations start off small and build up. They still have to get rid of garbage and they have to somehow get energy in. So what they’re looking for is ways to get rid of the trash and generate power. If you think about it, there are far more commercial opportunities for TGER than there are Army applications.” ECBC and defense contractor SAIC are also working with the TGER Technologies, Inc., Defense Life Sciences LLC and Purdue University. RELATED LINKS Online: https://www.ecbc.army.mil/
By Dan Lafontaine RDECOM Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army is evaluating commercial-offthe-shelf options for a new hearing-protection system that will provide Soldiers with the situational awareness to increase mission effectiveness and the safety and survivability they need, officials said. Capt. Randy Shields, assistant product manager for the Tactical Communication and Protective System, said the goal is preventing hearing injury while allowing Soldiers to remain cognizant of their environment during combat. “The capability gap is providing hearing protection and situational awareness,” he said. “Hearing plugs provide hearing protection, but situational awareness is operationally critical for a Soldier to be able to communicate and hear what’s going on around him.” Product Director Soldier Systems and Integration, part of Project Manager Soldier Warrior under Program Executive Office Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Va., manages TCAPS. Lt. Col. Marjorie Grantham, Army Hearing Program manager at U.S. Army Public Health Command, said TCAPS will provide an answer to Soldiers’ requests. “Providing Soldiers with TCAPS tells them that the Army has heard what they want: hearing protectors that actually help Soldiers shoot, move and communicate,” Grantham said. The systems being evaluated also have the potential to save millions of dollars by reducing hearing injuries and post-service disabilities. According to a General Accounting Office report in fiscal year 2009, hearing-related impairments were among the most common for veterans receiving disability benefits. Annual payments for hearing impairment exceeded $1.1 billion, and the Department of Veterans Affairs purchased 382,000 assistive hearing devices for about $154 million in fiscal year 2008. The TCAPS materiel solution has not been selected, Shields said. Shields said informing Soldiers about the importance of wearing the improved hearing protection will be critical. Soldiers need to understand the negative consequences of not using the protection. Grantham noted that Soldiers understand they need to protect their hearing but choose not to wear protectors because of perceived limitations.
JANUARY 2013 – ISSUE NO. 7
Army program aims to protect Soldiers’ hearing
Master Sgt. Tyler Thomas, a U.S. Army National Guardsman who works as a Contractor As Representative Soldier with the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center, participates in the localization testing of one of eight candidates for the Tactical Communications and Protective System at the Army Research Laboratory’s Environment for Auditory Research at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Dec. 3. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)
Shields agreed that this is the current perception. “The biggest hurdle is to get user acceptance,” Shields said. “Up to this point, we haven’t had a capability that we put in an operational environment where Soldiers can truly believe that if they have these in their ears, they still can hear what’s going on, feel safe and do their job.
“Hearing plugs provide hearing protection, but situational awareness is operationally critical for a Soldier to be able to communicate and hear what’s going on around him.”
— Capt. Randy Shields “With ear plugs, your ears are protected, but it’s a choice -- either force protection or ear protection.” Grantham said the Army is working to change that belief among Soldiers. “Providing TCAPS, plus training in operational environments early in a Soldier’s career, will lead to trust in the capabilities these systems offer with hearing-critical,
mission-essential tasks,” Grantham said. The U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center, a subordinate organization of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, and RDECOM’s Army Research Laboratory began acoustic testing Nov. 15 at ARL’s Environment for Auditory Research. ATC will conduct live-fire testing in January. The Army Public Health Command will participate with ARL and ATC in the testing phase. Operational testing will begin in February or March 2013. Shields said the system will be focused on dismounted Infantry Soldiers. The Maneuver Center of Excellence has identified wireless technology as an objective requirement. “The Soldier needs situational awareness. The end state is having a device that can integrate with the total system the Soldier has on him,” Shields said. “Evolving toward wireless will be the best end state for the Soldier -- that way he can integrate into a total Soldier system.” A final decision on the product is expected in spring 2013 with fielding to Soldiers in 2014, Shields said. RELATED LINKS Army.mil: http://go.usa.gov/g58m
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
AMRDEC senior research scientist retires
By Heather Smith AMRDEC Public Affairs REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Much of the details of Jay Loomis’ career are secretive, as a matter of national security, but what is not a secret is that his 40-year career as a radar frequency sensors expert has made a lasting impact on the Army’s aviation and missile efforts. Loomis is retiring this month after a long Army career, the last two decades of which were spent as a Senior Research Scientist at the Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. A retirement ceremony in his honor was held Nov. 30. “The work that I’ve done - with people that I have led and our team - has made a lot of contributions to the air defense products of the Army and the nation,” Loomis said. “I really feel like I’ve had an opportunity to work on important problems with a lot of dedicated people.” A self-described Army brat, Loomis was born in Oklahoma, and his formative years were spent following the military career of his father, Col. Jester M. Loomis Jr. He believes his Army career was somewhat pre-ordained because of to the heritage passed on to him from his father, and later his father-in-law, Maj. Gen. John G. Zierdt, who was the commanding general of the Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal from 1960 to 1967. Loomis studied electrical engineering at Auburn University, earning bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees, and upon graduation was given a direct commission into the Army through the university’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He served in the Army for two years and then began his civilian career with the Army Missile Laboratory at Redstone, in the Radar Technology Branch. After a decade of roles in research and development, Loomis earned a master’s degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Upon his return he became the Radar Branch Chief and served as Supervisory Electronics Engineer; leading some of the Army’s best radar engineers. Loomis was selected in 1992 into the second class of senior research scientists, or STs. “What that means, to be an ST,” explained AMRDEC Director Eric Edwards, “is you’re basically a national and international expert in a certain field. So in this case with Jay it’s radio frequency sensors.
Kevin J. Flamm, executive director, Programs and Technology Transition, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (right), presents a certificate of appreciation signed by Mary Miller, acting DASA Research and Technology, to Dr. Jay Loomis, Army senior research scientist, upon his retirement from civilian service at the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., Nov. 30.
“I can’t tell you all the things that Jay has done because a lot of it is at a level we can’t talk about here, but I can tell you that for systems that you know and hear about all the time -- the Patriot, both the missile and the radar, JLENS, the Sentinel, the fire-control radars that are on Apache -- Jay’s got his fingerprints on those weapon systems that are advancing Soldiers today.” Edwards went on to describe Loomis’ work in radio frequency sensors as game-changing and state-of-the-art. “Jay has always been a leader and mentor to the next generation of scientists and engineers,” Edwards said during the retirement event. “Before the ceremony I heard at least two people say, ‘Thank you for your mentorship over the years.’ I don’t know what better thing you’d want for somebody to say to you as you’re walking out the door than ‘thank you for your mentorship.’” Carol Tucker, chief engineer for the Missile and Space Program Executive Office, described Loomis as “the E.F. Hutton of radar.” “When he speaks about radars, ‘everyone listens,’” Tucker said. “PEO M&S is proud that Dr. Loomis is a part the Redstone Community, but is well known throughout DoD, industry and academia. We value his technical expertise, and he is our go-to man for all things related to radars. We appreciate the
time that he has personally dedicated to this PEO and the entire sensor community. The legacy that Dr. Loomis established will endure for generations.” In his retirement speech, Loomis reminisced about the people and programs that shaped his career path, thanking many, including Vicki, his wife of more than 40 years and a retired civil servant. “I’ve really never worked a day in my life,” Loomis said. “It’s not work when you love what you do, and I love what I’ve been doing because it’s challenging, it’s important, and most of all because of the support and assistance that I’ve gotten from so many of you.” A few weeks prior to his official retirement date, Loomis said he was counting down the days until his retirement but not in the traditional sense. There are still a lot of undone things, he said. “When people think about counting the days ‘til your retirement, I’m counting them in a very different way. I’ve only got 10 days more to get done what I want to get done and have things handed over. I’m not really strongly looking forward to retirement. I’m looking to perhaps stay engaged in one capacity or another a little bit of the time, and I’m certain I’m going to miss it a lot. Too many fun things to do and too many good people to work with.”
JANUARY 2013 – ISSUE NO. 7
Paul Rogers, Ph.D, is the director for the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. (U.S. Army photos)
Technical Director Spotlight: Rogers runs TARDEC
TARDEC Public Affairs DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — Paul Rogers, Ph.D, is the director for the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. He took over the top spot in August 2012 after previously serving as the deputy program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems and before that as the TARDEC executive director for Research and Technical Integration. The Army selected Rogers to the Senior Executive Service in 2007. As a member of the Michigan National Guard, he was acti vated and served in Iraq as battalion commander for the 507th Engineer Battalion. Rogers earned his doctorate. in mechanical engineering–engineering mechanics from Michigan Technological University. He also holds a master of strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, a master of science in engineering–mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan – Dearborn, and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from MTU. As RDECOM moves forward, what do you hope TARDEC’s role to be? We aspire to be the preferred source for ground vehicle life cycle engineering, a trusted and valued partner for collaboration and a conduit for the greater RDECOM capabilities. This requires that we continually strive for excellence in program execution – to be renowned for technology and engineering expertise by the ground vehicle community. We also want to serve the greater RDECOM as its conduit to comprehensive and synchronized support to the ground vehicle PEOs. I want RDECOM to be recognized for our innovation – our ability to push the envelope and think of new ways to find solutions. Sometimes, innovation can involve inventing something – a unique product, widget or design; but it can also be the result of finding a new way to do things differently, like process improvement. I believe innovation is dependent on an RDECOM-wide culture of collaboration and cooperation. It is also a byproduct of a healthy organizational culture, a culture that empowers employees to act on the organizational behalf without having to be told. It comes from having the energy, resources and leadership support to incentivize people to go the extra mile and take risk, not because someone asked them, but because they know the team is counting on them to make something better. They know how they fit into the big picture, that what they do matters, not just within TARDEC, but within the greater RDECOM community and the Army. To be truly innovative also means leveraging the talents of our colleagues, collaborating with our RDECOM counterparts and engaging with our industrial and academic partners. It is this culture, this innovative mindset, which enables us to aspire to be the preferred source for ground vehicle life cycle engineering. We want our customers to know that they can give us a mission and we will provide a superior product – a product based on the best systems engineering and program management practices – and that product will be delivered on time and within budget.
RDECOM’s THE INSIDER
How do you see TARDEC as a conduit for collaboration for RDECOM? TARDEC connects government and industry partners within the ground systems community to the right laboratory within the RDECOM infrastructure to best meet their needs. RDECOM is the largest technology de veloper in the Army. It employs a worldclass team of about 17,000 associates, with 11,000 engineers and scientists, many of whom are experts in their fields of study. TARDEC has a responsibility to provide its ground system customers access to these resources so as to ensure our Soldiers and Marines are provided the best technology solutions to meet their current and future operational needs. We also have a responsibility to connect industry partners with the PEO community. Our PEO customers want our support, and they need the support of the greater industrial base. We have an obligation to our life cycle management command partners to help make that connection to bring emerging technologies from these new and existing industrial partners into our programs of record. Just as important, we have an obligation to help our RDECOM counterparts connect with our ground vehicle community partners so they can leverage the capabilities of their unique laboratories. The centers that make up RDECOM all have their areas of expertise – TARDEC: manned and unmanned ground systems; CERDEC: communications and electronics; ARDEC: weapons, ammunition and fire control systems; AMRDEC: aviation and missile systems; ARL: research and analysis; and ECBC: non-medical biological and chemical defense. We want our RDECOM counterparts to be successful. TARDEC can be the bridge to facilitate collaboration within the ground vehicle community. What are the biggest challenges facing your workforce and RDECOM as a whole? In an era with declining budgets, we are challenged with retaining our Army engineering and S&T edge to support the Warfighter, while being good stewards of the taxpayer dollar. It is critical, now more than ever, that we focus our improvements on reducing non-priority capabilities and invest in innovative solutions that give the Soldier or Marine a decisive edge. To get the most out of every dollar, we must continue to promote meaningful collaboration between our partners, customers and stakeholders so as to leverage available capabilities, share resources, and transition technology. Information sharing makes us more productive and compounds the investments we make in ad-
culture-shaping organizations and professional societies. The thrill of discovering new strategic partnering opportunities can drive our associates to suddenly look beyond their own capabilities and partner with those who have the additional knowledge or resources to achieve disruptive advancements for ground vehicles. Finally, creating innovative solutions with direct input from the end-user, the Soldier, excites me. We are currently initiating opportunities to connect our engineers with those Soldiers who have the real-world experience and knowledge to influence future Army system design, development, and upgrades. What advice do you have for the workforce? Every day is another opportunity to learn and grow. We envision an organization that empowers people at all levels. If we want our employees to be the very best they can be, we must accept the responsibility to help them reach their full potential. We can do this by creating a healthy culture that encourages innovation, brings exposure to new ideas, and presents new opportunities. Our Leadership and Continuing Education program offers courses and workshops specifically designed to improve personal and interpersonal skills. These techniques can inspire confidence in an individual to accomplish what they may have once thought to be impossible. Employees are encouraged to take advantage of developmental assignment opportunities—avenues to help associates gain the knowledge and skills to further their career development. The added bonus for developmental assignments is that they also aid in information sharing and process exchange. As a technical organization, it is crucial that we support the efforts of those who want to pursue advanced knowledge. We have 85 TARDEC employees who are working toward their master’s degrees and 35 who are pursuing their doctorates. Finally, we must also nurture and develop our leaders so they can support the people who support our Warfighters. For example, the Senior Service College and the Defense Senior Leader Development Program provide senior leaders and managers with the opportunity to pursue continuing education courses that can help develop their leadership skills and potential. We have the resources, and we have the facilities. At the end of the day, it is up to each individual employee to take advantage of the opportunities around them. They have a responsibility to be the best they can be, because our Soldiers deserve nothing less. RELATED LINKS Biography: http://1.usa.gov/WqEn6N
Rogers speaks during a meeting at the TARDEC facility at Detroit Arsenal.
vanced technology research and development so we can do things smarter, better, and faster. Other ways in which we can increase communication efforts include: embedding subject matter experts within other government agencies; training with industry; and developing cross-training opportunities – all actions which are a result of creating a culture that inspires employees to look outside the box and tap into nontraditional sources for information. Today, we rely on more than 1,000 collaborative partnerships among government, industry and academia to achieve the nation’s strategic military goals. Through continued collaboration, I am confident that we, as a community, will overcome the budgetary challenges and continue to provide our Warfighters with the best technological capabilities now and in the future. What are the things that excite you about the future? The Army’s 30-year strategy in planning for the future is exciting. A long-range plan helps guide our priorities so our S&T investments are ready to transition when the programs of record are ready to accept them. The 30-year strategy also creates a reference for collaboration—an opportunity to synchronize our technical discussion with each other, our PEO acquisition counterparts, industry, and academia—so we can develop flexible, agile and adaptable systems which are as relevant for conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region as they are for conflicts in the Middle East. I have an immense appreciation for the relationships that we’ve developed with our current strategic partners and stakeholders, but I am also eager to tap into non-traditional, potentially
By T’Jae Gibson ARL Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A project involving the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s cold spray technology was named one of six environment technology Projects of the Year, recognized for research and technology developments with significant benefits to the Department of Defense. The Supersonic Particle Deposition for Repair of Magnesium Aircraft Components project, led by Victor K. Champagne Jr., of ARL’s Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, was named the 2012 Environmental Security Technology Certification Program Project of the Year. ESTCP is DoD’s environmental technology demonstration and validation program. The program’s goal is to identify and demonstrate cost-effective technologies that address DoD’s highest priority environmental requirements. The project team developed a cold spray process that involves accelerating aluminum alloy particles to high velocities, and impacting them on the surface of the magnesium alloy components. In their project, the cold spray process was demonstrated and validated to be a cost-effective, environmentally acceptable technology that could provide surface protection, as well as a method for restoring magnesium components that have been removed from service. The process can be incorporated into manufacturing, and portable systems can be developed for field repair. A cold spray demonstration facility was established at the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center -- East in North Carolina (formerly the Naval Air Depot Cherry Point). This project resulted in the implementation of cold spray by Sikorsky Aircraft Company. Both Sikorsky and the Army Program Office for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter have approved cold spray for use as a repair technology for one UH-60 magnesium component, with other approvals expected soon. ARL developed a Military Process Specification, MIL-STD-3021, Materials Deposition, Cold Spray, that was selected for the Defense Standardization Program Award in 2008. With future implementation, the cold spray process should provide a significant return on investment through increased inservice life and the ability to reclaim extremely valuable components. “I want to thank all who persisted in this effort with me to qualify the first DoD cold spray repair. It took us six years and a lot of sweat and toil from many fronts. We all know
JANUARY 2013 – ISSUE NO. 7
ARL technology named environmental technology, science project of the year
The Army Program Office for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter has approved cold spray for use as a repair technology for one UH-60 magnesium component, with other approvals expected soon. (U.S. Army photo)
how difficult it is for people to accept change, but we can all be proud that we will be saving the DoD and ultimately the tax payer millions of dollars in sustainment costs,” Champagne stated in a note to his team.
“I want to thank all who persisted in this effort with me to qualify the DoD cold spray repair.”
— Victor K. Champagne Jr. The Army, Navy and Air Force have experienced significant corrosion problems with magnesium alloys that are used to fabricate many different types of aircraft components. The most severe of these problems are associated with large and expensive transmission and gearbox housings for rotorcraft which have to be removed prematurely because of corrosion, research indicates. Many of the components cannot be reclaimed because there is no existing technology that can restore them adequately for service. The Corpus Christi Army Depot has millions of dollars of used magnesium housings waiting to be reclaimed. Overall, premature failures of these components cost the DoD approximately $100 million per year, Champagne said. The winning team also included Robert Kestler of the Fleet Readiness Center -East; Robert Guillemette of Sikorsky Aircraf); Michael Kane of Army Aviation Missile
Command; Timothy J. Eden of the Applied Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University; Keith Legg of Rowan Technology Group; Darren Gerrard of Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Australia; and Stacey Luker of Joint Strike Fighter Program’s Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Team. ESTCP and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program are the DoD’s environmental research programs, harnessing the latest science and technology to improve DoD’s environmental performance, reduce costs, and enhance and sustain mission capabilities. The programs respond to environmental technology requirements that are common to all of the military services, complementing the Services’ research programs. SERDP and ESTCP promote partnerships and collaboration among academia, industry, the military Services, and other federal agencies. They are independent programs managed from a joint office to coordinate the full spectrum of efforts, from basic and applied research to field demonstration and validation. SERDP is DoD’s environmental science and technology program, executed in partnership with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. SERDP invests in basic and applied research and advanced development. RELATED LINKS ARL: http://www.arl.army.mil
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C4ISR community continues support to STEM program
By Allison Barrow CERDEC Public Affairs ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Army engineers, scientists and business professionals volunteered to be virtual judges for an online science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, competi tion for students during an annual signup road show at the C4ISR campus here, Dec. 11. The eCYBERMISSION road show hosted by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center, CERDEC, recruited members of the C4ISR community to participate in the Army Educational Outreach Program, which challenges student teams in grades six-through-nine to apply the scientific method to solve a problem in their community.
“In order for not only the program, but the students to be successful we need the support of the current workforce to nurture their efforts and reinforce the importance of what they are doing.”
— Erica Bertoli “The students who participate in the eCYBERMISSION program really do rep resent the best and brightest of our future generation. In order for not only the program, but the students to be successful we need the support of the current workforce to nurture their efforts and reinforce the importance of what they are doing,” said Erica Bertoli, CERDEC Outreach team lead. This year student teams can choose a problem relating to one of the following topic areas: alternative sources of energy; environment; food, health and fitness; forces and motion; national security and safety; robotics; or technology. Participation in the competition is free, with awards for state, regional and national winners. Virtual judges are assigned to review and grade student-team submissions to help determine which teams will advance to the regional competition. The reviewing is done completely online, allowing virtual
A member of the C4ISR community at Aberdeen Proving Ground volunteers to be a virtual judge for the eCYBERMISSION program at the road show hosted by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center, Dec. 11.
judges the convenience of grading during their free time from any computer, Bertoli said. “By serving as a virtual-judge for eCYBERMISSION, you are taking an active role in ensuring the continued excellence of American innovation for generations to come,” Bertoli said. The CERDEC Outreach team is nearly halfway to its goal of registering 200 virtual judges and plans to host another eCYBERMISSION road show in late January. STEM professionals who want to sign up to be virtual judges or would like more information can email CERDEC Outreach at usarmy.apg.cerdec.mbx.outreach@ mail.mil.
“By serving as a virtualjudge for eCYBERMISSION, you are taking an active role in ensuring the continued excellence of American innovation for generations to come.”
— Erica Bertoli
STEM professionals who want to sign up to be virtual judges or would like more information can email CERDEC Outreach at usarmy.apg.cerdec. email@example.com.
JANUARY 2013 – ISSUE NO. 7
Leaders predict Army of the Future
By David Vergun Army News Service
POTOMAC, Md. — Trying to anticipate what the world might be like in 2030 would seem to be in the realm of science fiction writers, but the Army is interested too. Helping the Army to get a better sight picture on the future are some of the world’s greatest minds, from the academic and scientific communities, as well as the Army and Defense Department. Many of them met here at the Bolger Center for a week of participation in Unified Quest break-out study groups on future trends. And, incidentally, science fiction writers, many of whom have advanced degrees in science and whose future visions are sometimes on target, were part of the collaboration process of Unified Quest. STRATEGIC TRENDS The Army’s senior leaders think it is important for planning purposes to know where the service will be in 2030 and beyond, dates it terms the “deep future.” The reason deep future is important is because plans often take decades to materialize into reality. First there are discussions and concepts leading to models and simulations; then to live experimentation, aka field exercises, to “battle-test” those plans with real Soldiers; and, finally to put it in doctrine, from which real-world decisions are made in manning, materiel, tactics and strategy. The process is dynamic, meaning these plans and concepts are continually revised based on new technologies and the ever-changing world. Leading the future planning effort is the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, the organization which heads the Campaign of Learning, of which Unified Quest 2013, the deep future study portion, is part. To promote the candor necessary for open and meaningful dialog, names of the panelists and the some 100 participants could not be used for attribution, except during the media roundtable that followed, with Maj. Gen. Bill C. Hix, TRADOC’s director of the Concepts Development and Learning Directorate and Col. Kevin M. Felix, TRADOC’s chief of the Future Warfare Division.
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Hix emphasized that deep future thinking “is not about teleporting or trying to predict the future. Rather, it is about understanding trends and plausible scenarios so leaders today are better informed in their decision making and are not caught off guard by surprises.” REGIONAL FACTORS Hyper-empowered individuals are terrorists and criminals who are empowered by modern technologies, which they would be willing to use to cause harm and even threaten national security. These non-state actors are expected to proliferate. As they do, nation states are expected to form regional alliances and to grow more agile in responding to these threats, as well as to build a level of political and psychological resilience. Terrorist groups will continue to use social media as a tool to network and spread. Nation-states may become less relevant than they are now as people with common ideologies or grievances such as the haves and have-nots connect via social media. The Arab Spring was an example of how quickly word, followed by actions, can spread. The Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region will still be important in 2030 and beyond, with China and India growing as strong, regional military powers. “The global economy will likely still depends on Middle East oil and because of our interconnection with the global economy, that region will still be in our strategic interest, even though it will be unlikely that we get our oil from there,” Hix said. Henry Hudson’s 17th-century dream of finding the Northwest Passage may become a reality as global warming accelerates the melting of the Polar icecap. This will open the sea lanes for navigation and exploitation of natural resources. Russia in particular is expected to benefit from these climate changes. As many nations continue to age, thirdworld countries like those in Africa will have a “youth-bulge,” which could lead to displaced persons and civil unrest as poverty there increases, along with a climate less favorable for agriculture. Water will become an increasingly strategic asset, as nations in the Middle East and South Asia build dams upstream, denying water to those downstream. Also, desalination plants could become targets for terrorists, as their importance becomes increasingly important. As these scenarios play out, “we have to ask ourselves if it is in our vital interest to intervene,” Felix cautioned. Overall, economies of the world will likely
grow, resulting in a brain drain, as many scientists in the U.S. return to their native countries. “We need to work harder at attracting the best minds into the fields of science and technology rather than letting them to disperse around the globe,” Hix suggested. He said the possibility of an improved world economy “is not a problem for us as more boats are lifted by the rising tide of prosperity.” Hix added that economic competition is good for everyone, but that America must maintain its military edge so that prosperity and freedom will continue. HUMAN FACTORS The Army needs to put better corporate human factors into its design of future technology as funding for training and materiel tightens. Human factors include such things as user-testing and matching the best functions of machines with human physiological and psychological capabilities. Humans have certain advantages over machines like creativity and judgment. Repetitive and monotonous tasks are best done by machines so manpower is not wasted, experts said. Machines will continue to increase their advantage at processing information at a phenomenal rate of speed and robots will continue to proliferate on the future battlefield, putting Soldiers out of harm’s way, some experts said. This could mean Army recruits will be valued even more so for their technological abilities as they are for their physical prowess. Biomechanics, nanotechnology and medicine will make it likely that super powerful and intelligent Soldiers could be developed. Discussions in society regarding the ethics and possible restrictions of this science need to take place, some warned as they raised
an important question: If others have access to these advancements, will they be as concerned about the ethics? COST FACTORS The Army will need new partners, not just with the other services and treaty allies. These partners could include multinational and transnational business leaders. The partnership will be increasingly important as manufacturing becomes more global and decentralized and as machines become more intelligent. Hix discussed the symbiotic relation the Army could have with industry, helping them with the development cost, and in turn, acquiring those products at lower cost because of the economies of scale that the Army brings with its large size. Industry is already leading the way in new technologies that could conceivably be adapted for use by the Army. For instance, Google has already figured out how to make a self-driving car and manufacturers are producing 3-D printers. The convergence of those capabilities and trends could lead to a leaner sustainment footprint, eliminate a Soldier’s need to operate in convoys, and enable a more expeditionary Army, Felix said. “It is likely we will have increased robotics capabilities to enhance Soldiers and operations, but technology and economic constraints may limit the full realization of the convergence of robots with artificial intelligence by 2030, Felix continued. Hix concluded that “this is just the first step in looking at the future. But it’s an important step. We need to have some idea what’s over the horizon.” RELATED LINKS Stand-to: http://1.usa.gov/VNlH0E
By Kristen Dalton ECBC Public Affairs
JANUARY 2013 – ISSUE NO. 7
Army invests in ideas for stronger future
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment a scientist gets a spark of inspiration when a new idea strikes like lightning. It’s even harder to harness innovation and mold it in tangible ways that benefit the greater good. That’s why the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, or ECBC, here, is giving its workforce the financial push it needs to creatively pursue projects that could yield high rewards. By investing in projects that would otherwise be overlooked, ECBC is laying the groundwork for new innovation the same way a farmer plants seeds, watches crops grow and when the time is right, harvests the return. In 2011, ECBC provided three projects with a small amount of Section 219 funding that has generated new business worth millions of dollars. “This is to be used essentially as seed money to turn into more money. You invest a little bit of money to make a lot of money. A single grain of rice can tip the scale. That’s what this money can be used for at ECBC,” said Peter Emanuel, Ph.D., BioSciences division chief in Research and Technology Directorate. “It’s when you have a project that’s right there, when the golf ball is just hanging on the lip and is just ready to fall into the hole, it just needs a gentle nudge. We can’t fund full efforts with 219 funds but we can give it that nudge so the ball just falls into the hole to be awarded a larger pot of funding.” Section 219 funding comes from the National Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which allows military and government research laboratories to tax customers up to 3 percent of all revenue sources as an indirect fee that helps finance the overall cost of a given project. Justin Johnson, ECBC chief financial officer, said the center has never levied the full three percent on customers because of an economic climate of diminishing resources. Instead, ECBC has held a 1.3 percent rate across its customer base. Section 219 funding can be used for infrastructure improvements, the recruitment and training of personnel, and basic and applied research programs. Johnson said infrastructure projects included the repair and modernization of buildings, roofs and equipment, and they comprised nearly 90 percent of ECBC’s 219 funds
Peter Emanuel, BioSciences division chief in U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s Research and Technology Directorate, demonstrates the decontamination gel technology during a visit. The decon gel contains a “kill cocktail” solution that prevents biological agents from spreading through reaerosolization.
in 2012. By expanding opportunities for funding across the center, under-developed research projects could begin to thrive in places that are typically difficult to generate new business leads.
“If the research proves to be successful, it could catch the eyes of organizations that fund ECBC for research and development later on in the life cycle.”
— Justin Johnson “If the research proves to be successful, it could catch the eyes of organizations that fund ECBC for research and development later on in the life cycle. Potentially the Defense Threat Reduction Agency or the JPEO will be interested in funding additional research to utilize the technology generated out of this program,” Johnson said. “That’s the intent -- to transition new technologies to the warfighter force,” Johnson said. “Hopefully we do something in the basic or applied research arena that makes a light bulb go off for customers that want to utilize this in their programs.” Under the supervision of Emanuel,
two projects that started out with small amounts of 219 funding resulted in large investments from outside customers, including a project that turned $10,000 of seed money into a $330,000 contract with the Department of Homeland Security for the validation of a device that will help first responders analyze suspicious powders on-site. “We’ve always been on the search for a better tool. It’s essentially re-engineering a technology that we’ve seen before called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) detection,” Emanuel said. “Only living things have ATP. So if I look at a powder, is it even a biological powder or is it talcum? It could be coffee creamer. I want something that takes me three seconds to reliably determine if the powder is biological. If it’s not, I want to be able to rule that out. The company 3M originally developed the device to test meat packing plants to ensure the machines were properly cleaned in between processing batches of hamburger patties. Now, ECBC is reimagining the technology for a homeland security application. Emanuel said researcher James Wright used the 219 funds to buy testing swabs from 3M that were used to test powders. If the sample powder contained ATP, it would emit a light signifying its biological origin. The successful analysis of the pow-
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ders demonstrated the technology’s accuracy and efficiency that could one day save state and local governments millions of dollars that result in common powder hoaxes. But it also properly prepares first responders for an emergency in case of a real threat. The precision technology ultimately led to the contract that will enable ECBC to conduct more extensive research. Emanuel is also in the final stages of solidifying a second contract of $1.3 million with DHS and CBI Polymers to develop a cost-effective decontamination gel that could potentially kill chemical and biological agents like anthrax. This would not have been possible without the 219 funding that led to a breakthrough when researchers Vipin Rastogi, Ph.D., and Lisa Smith used a non-pathogenic strain of anthrax to successfully test various “kill cocktails” on samples of materials that makeup Army airplanes and vehicles as well as plexiglass, computer screen, concrete, carpet and rubber. The catalyst for developing this new product followed a talk with Larry Stack, CEO of CBI Polymers, in which he talked about his experiences responding to the radiation spill from Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant after it was devastated by a tsunami in 2011. Stack described how difficult it was to decontaminate rescue helicopters used to image the damaged reactor. Emanuel said the decontamination process took days and produced 19,000 gallons of radioactive liquid runoff that could have been prevented had the gel-based solution been developed. “When considering any response and remediation you have to consider how long it will take and how much it will cost. The full life cycle cost to resume the mission is crucial. Furthermore, what is the ecological footprint you leave behind?” Emanuel said. The new compound being developed by ECBC answers some of these questions. The solution, which contains the “kill cocktail” ingredients, would be sprayed onto a contaminated surface where it dries and hardens overnight, trapping the hot zone of biological agents to prevent it from spreading through reaerosolization. After 24 hours, the compound can be peeled off, crumpled up and disposed of as hazardous waste that has roughly 1/50th the volume footprint of the liquid runoff solution, Emanuel said. With the DHS contract, the R&T Directorate would be able to pursue ad-
are released at the same time, the grenade produces a seventh color -- black. The innovative design lowers the amount of equipment and ammunition the soldier would have to carry in combat. Domanico’s smoke grenade design was originally crafted 20 years ago but never came to fruition because of insufficient funding. With the 219 funding, however, Domanico and his team were able to pursue the project with a refreshed optimism that reflected the branch’s motto: yesterday’s techniques with today’s technologies. “I went back and looked at how I did things back then and thought if I change it a little now with the additional capability that I have, I think I could make it work,” said Domanico, who said he would not have pursued the project without the funding. Now the smoke grenade is on its way to becoming field operable for Soldiers in the ater. With the investment from PMCCS, the prototypes will undergo rudimentary testing at hot and cold temperatures as well as water submersion to check the overall design capabilities before being tweaked during human factor testing. Domanico said the 219 funding boosts the center’s ability to compete with commercial entities within the private sector that may be developing similar technologies. “The commercial market does their research and development, makes a product, advertises and sells it. The government says give me money, and I’ll make a prototype,” Domanico said. “So it really is completely different than the commercial world, but this funding can get us in line with competing commercial firms where the director takes an idea, evaluates it with a board, and then the good ideas can get some money,” Domanico said. “And this might be simple. It might be a clay model, a computer program, a set of drawings. It could be anything, but the idea is to open the 219 money to everyone in ECBC who might have an idea.” After successfully funding three projects last year, ECBC is looking to expand its 219 funding across the center. Johnson said all the directorates will received a formal data call for submissions in November while the feasibility of each will be determined in December by a panel of senior scientists. By January, the final projects will be awarded their respective 219 funding and have one year to execute their development plans. RELATED LINKS Online: http://1.usa.gov/U1diZC
The Selectable Color Single Canister Smoke Hand Grenade can produce up to seven colors for signaling or screening purposes, and reduces the amount of equipment the warfighter carries in combat.
ditional testing that could help scientists prove that many biological and chemical agents beyond anthrax could be safely and successfully decontaminated using the gel. “The 219 funding allows us to dip our toes in the pool,” Emanuel said. “Now we’re ready to take some laps.” Joe Domanico, pyrotechnics and explosives branch chief within the Engineering Directorate, received $25,000 in Section 219 funding for the development of a smoke grenade design that could serve multiple purposes for the warfighter in theater. The result: a $250,000 investment by the Project Manager for Close Combat Systems. Domanico said Soldiers who are illequipped in the field are forced to creatively use color smoke grenades for screening even though the grenades are designed for signaling purposes and produce smoke for short durations and in various colors. A screening grenade, on the other hand, is designed to last longer, provide more on-the-ground-coverage and is typically white or gray in color. To address the problem, Domanico developed an all-encompassing smoke grenade that could be used in multiple ways. The Selectable Color Single Canister Smoke Hand Grenade utilizes a horizontal configuration with three dye chambers, each filled with a primary color: yellow, red and blue. The top part of the grenade features two dials that when twisted together open two dye chambers that can create new colors: orange, green or purple. When all three dye chambers
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of scientists at the Aberdeen Proving Ground to develop a device that could be used by the Warfighter to give a high degree of chemical specificity that would identify the explosive without compromising the fingerprints; used for biometric attribution. Working with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s chemical and biological center has demonstrated that RCI could be used to collect a biometrically relevant fingerprint image and spatially identify trace amounts of explosives by collecting thousands of wavelengths of scattered light across the magnified images of the fingerprint. When light interacts with the surface of the sample, it is scattered by molecules both elastically and inelastically, Fountain said. Photons in elastically scattered light do not lose energy and there is no change in wavelength. However, photons in inelastically scattered light result in a net transfer of energy based on the molecule’s vibrations and result in a slight change in the wavelength. Measuring the difference between the original wavelength and the scattered wavelength indicates what molecules are present on the surface, he said. “By knowing and identifying things like the oils in the fingerprint, we can get a rough estimate and a good enough image to feed into AFIS, the Automated Fingerprint Identification System used by the FBI and law enforcement agencies,” Fountain said. “A trained forensic fingerprint analyst can identify who left the fingerprint. Additionally, if chemical residue was left behind, the chemical would be embedded within the ridges of the fingerprint so we can also tell what chemicals that person recently handled,” he said. What used to take hours to identify the fingerprint and determine the trace explosives now only takes a few minutes. That kind of information could help create a body of defendable evidence that builds a case file against a suspect believed to be involved in an IED incident or attack on U.S. Forces. The RCI technology supports the DoD’s effort to utilize fingerprinting, facial recognition, retinal scans and other biometric indicators to catalogue a person’s history, especially on the battlefield where a threat to soldiers remain high. Producing positive identification in austere environments in a timely manner better protects soldiers from future attacks by holding accountable those responsible. The leads that analysts verify are pursued by local law enforcement and DoD agencies, but unclean data could prevent authorities from properly tracking evidence. After being
JANUARY 2013 – ISSUE NO. 7
deployed to a forensic laboratory in Iraq in 2010, Fountain immediately found himself at a crossroads with the evidence returning from various scenes of terrorist attacks. “Where does the evidence go? Does it go to biometrics first or chemical analysis? If it went to biometrics, standard forensic methods for pulling out fingerprints would chemically contaminate the sample. If it went to chemical analysis, you could potentially ruin the sample for further biometric analysis. With very small quantities of materiel, you run the risk of losing key information if it goes to one or the other places,” Fountain said. The RCI technology alleviates that risk by creating an alternate way to retrieve both components of vital information: the biological metrics and the chemical analysis. The venture was developed out of an Army Technology Objective that began in 2010. The three-year-old project currently utilizes a commercial RCI unit designed for large scale laboratory analysis and features a multitude of computers, lasers and optical systems necessary to detect traces of explosives on realistic surfaces such as polystyrene, polycarbonate and painted white, black and silver car panels. The successful testing has spurred further work to speed up the imaging process and integrate automatic targeting regions of interests. According to Fountain, the ultimate goal is to make the RCI system field operable as a smaller, ruggedized tabletop unit that can produce accurate forensic analysis for the Warfighter in theater. The fate of the new model rests on seeking out manufacturing companies that could provide ECBC with the optical design requirements for the equipment. It will also be determined by how user-friendly the upgraded system is for soldiers, many of whom are high-school educated and do not hold advanced degrees like many of the scientists and engineers developing the technology. The ability to detect trace quantities of explosives has become increasingly important in recent years due to several high profile terrorists attacks around the world, and the RCI system advances the DoD effort to bring justice to the battlefield. “It provides a real capability not only to the Warfighter but to the supporting DoD organizations that support the Warfighter,” Fountain said. “I think that’s been incredibly rewarding not only for me personally but for the organization as well.” RELATED LINKS Army.mil: http://go.usa.gov/gyjR/
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