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Special 2010 Edition

Lead · Innovate · Integrate · Deliver

• People, Collaboration and NASA-Style Innovation — RDECOM Commander Shares Vision
• Fueling Development for Future Force Vehicles
• Innovative Materials Bridge Partnership Between TARDEC and Lawrence Tech
• Total Immersion in Virtual Environments Leads to Engineering Innovation
• TARDEC Chief Scientist Helps Develop Army Ground Systems Technology Focus


Intellectual Rigor a Hallmark of TARDEC Capabilities

Within TARDEC’s labs, and our Ground System Survivability Armor Ballis-
the heavy lifting needed tics Lab performs ballistic testing on transparent and
to provide innovative, opaque armor materials to determine whether they
integrated solutions for our meet necessary threat levels. Additionally, we must be
warfighters takes place. able to react quickly as problems arise, and the Cave
Our sophisticated labora- Automatic Virtual Environment uses virtual reality
tories are only one of the to create 3-dimensional models that significantly cut
means through which we down on the time needed for the design process.
complete our work. It is
the intellectual rigor of our Part of our role is to bring systems integration
people, the thoroughness excellence to the community, which is why we
of our processes and our innovative technologies that pride ourselves on the openness of our labs. Private
give these labs life. The combination of state-of-the-art organizations can use our labs through Test Service
equipment and the expertise of our engineers, scien- Agreements (TSAs) where all inventions and data
tists and technicians allows us to tackle the challenges belong to the partner organization, but the work is
faced by the Army’s ground vehicle fleet. performed using TARDEC associates, equipment,
material and facilities.
A particularly powerful capability is our advanced
modeling methods, through which we can simulate We continue to bring capabilities to the Ground
conditions faced by Soldiers in the field. Physics-based Systems Enterprise with the addition of two labs that
modeling allows us to realistically assess system per- focus on areas of growing importance to the military
formance and Soldier responses under realistic condi- — power and energy (P&E) and robotics. The new
tions, which in turn gives us a deeper understanding Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory will be
of what warfighters go through and the training they completed in September 2011 and has the capability to
need to successfully complete their missions. With further research into alternative fuels and propulsion
these capabilities we are able to infuse intellectual systems and focus efforts to address critical combat
rigor early in the development phase, which shortens vehicle fuel efficiencies. Once complete, the 8-labs-in-1
lead times and makes the integration process more complex will have one-of-a-kind research and testing
efficient in both time and cost. We work out the details, capabilities and will serve as the cornerstone for the
large and small, in the labs so the integration into the Army’s next generation of P&E initiatives. Just as P&E
vehicle is part of a seamless, repeatable process. will continue to be a focus, so too will robotics. Au-
tonomous ground systems have incredible potential
Part of what makes TARDEC unique is our focus on to positively impact Soldiers. The U.S. Army TACOM
systems integration. TARDEC’s more than 50 labs have Life Cycle Management Command’s Joint Center for
the capabilities to evaluate entire vehicle systems, Robotics has built a state-of-the-art robotics lab at the
individual components and all levels in between. Our United States Military Academy at West Point. This
Systems Integration Laboratories offer a platform for facility provides a venue for educational and research
engineers to find the best fit for new technology within opportunities and familiarizes future military leaders
an existing vehicle and see how all systems work to- with the benefits robotic systems can provide.
gether before final integration. The equipment we use
allows us to push vehicles to their limits, checking the We provide capabilities that match the broadness and
durability and reliability of the system and thereby al- importance of our mission. Our systems integration
lowing us to find potential problems before they occur. responsibilities mean we must be ready to address
That is the case in the High-Performance Computing whatever problems — current or future — we are
Center, which allows us to do classified and unclassi- presented with. The resources available in our labs
fied analysis. One thousand processors spread over provide us what we need to lead, innovate, integrate
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

two systems and accounting for a combined 12.4 tera- and deliver solutions to meet those challenges.
flops of memory are used in conducting tests that help
verify vehicles meet the Army’s rigorous requirements. Dr. Grace M. Bochenek
Vehicle armor also must meet very high standards, TARDEC Director

Special 2010 Edition

Lead · Innovate · Integrate · Deliver

On the Cover: The 3-dimensional cubes depict TARDEC laboratory facilities and the integrated Many of our labs are one-of-a-kind and provide our associates with a leading-edge environment to
approach our scientists and engineers take to ground vehicle systems engineering and design. build the most capable combat and tactical vehicle fleet in the world. And because the pieces are
Each cube represents a carefully integrated system-of-systems capability designed to produce engineered to fit together using a system-of-systems approach, the Ground Systems Enterprise has
unprecedented battlefield lethality, survivability, mobility and sustainability across the full spectrum constructed a solid foundation of laboratories that interlock to provide the American Soldier signifi-
of conflict. cant overmatch capability in any environment, night or day, against any potential threat.

TARDEC’s laboratory facilities provide a home for the U.S. Army’s and Department of Defense’s Take the time to learn more about Team TARDEC and the awesome capabilities our people bring
advanced science and technology research, development, life cycle engineering and ground vehicle to the design table. We deliver the most technologically advanced integrated solutions and sustain-
systems integration. TARDEC technicians, scientists and engineers partner with other major defense ment expertise possible so that our Soldiers are protected by the best vehicle systems imaginable.
laboratory associates, industry representatives and engineers, and academic researchers, engineers
and scientists to integrate technology into the Army’s and other services’ manned and unmanned
ground vehicle systems. Michael I. Roddin
This special edition is designed to give the reader an up-close-and-personal look into the science
behind the technology and the systems engineering integration that makes the technology possible.

6 14 20

24 38 50
5 Collaboration Yields Game-Changing Innovation 22 Integrating Systems Engineering for Robotic
for Our Warfighters Battlefield Deployment — Intelligent Ground
Michael I. Roddin Systems (IGS) Laboratory and Vehicle Bay
Michael D. Kaplun
6 People, Collaboration and NASA-Style Innovation —
RDECOM Commander Shares Vision 24 TARDEC’s Battlefield Observation Room (BOR)
Katherine H. Crawford Provides Leading-Edge Teleoperation and
Data-Sharing Capabilities
28 TARDEC-Funded West Point Robotics Lab
14 Intelligent Ground Systems (IGS) Robotics Builds Future Engineers
Laboratories — Finding Robotics Technology Patrick Pinter
Solutions Through Innovation
16 VSIL Technology Test and Validation Center 34 TARDEC Associates Display Capabilities
Provides Systems Engineering Integration Capability to ARDEC Visitors
Sp eci a l 2 01 0 Ed i ti o n

Carrie Deming Chris Williams

18 TARDEC Robotics Systems Integration Lab (SIL) 38 Designing a Unique Lab for Advanced
Carrie Deming Military Vehicles
Michael A. Kluger and Felt A. Mounce
20 Technology Integration for Unmanned
Ground Vehicles
Michael D. Kaplun
DISCLAIMER: accelerate is published by TARDEC. Dr. Grace M. Bochenek Paul Skalny Michael I. Roddin Matt Sablan
Articles express the written views of the authors and TARDEC Director Director of National Editor-in-Chief Writer/Editor
not necessarily official opinion of the Department of Automotive Center
the Army (DOA). If articles are reprinted, please cite Magid Athnasios Meg A. Carpenter Chris Williams
accelerate, the author and photographer. Executive Director of Terry Gonda Publications Manager Writer/Editor
Reference herein to any specific commercial company,
Engineering Director of Strategic
Transformation Katherine H. Crawford Nojae Kim
product, process or service by trade name, trademark, Managing Editor Henry Marnghitr
manufacturer or otherwise does not necessarily Thomas Mathes
Rhonda Wilt
constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, Executive Director of Jennifer Hitchcock
Pete Wardrope Graphic Design
or favoring by the United States government or DOA. Product Development Chief of Staff Senior Editor
The opinions of the authors expressed herein do To contact the Editorial
not necessarily state or reflect those of the United Dr. Paul Rogers Michael I. Roddin Carrie Deming Office, call
States government or DOA and shall not be used for Executive Director of Director of Strategic Writer (586) 582-0288 or
advertising or product endorsement purposes. Research Communications (586) 838-2302
Michael D. Kaplun FAX: (586) 838-2360
POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to U.S. Dr. David Gorsich Writer/Editor e-mail: accelerate@
Army TARDEC, 6501 E. 11 Mile Road, Bldg. 200A, Chief Scientist
RDTA-ST, Mail Stop #206, Warren, MI, 48397-5000. Patrick Pinter

58 64 56 70

74 80
44 Fueling Development for Future Force Vehicles — 70 Advancing Ground Vehicle Research
TARDEC’s Fuels and Lubricants Laboratories and Development
Provide Leading-Edge R&D Michael D. Kaplun
Matthew Sablan
48 EARL Runs Batteries Through Paces
Chris Williams 74 Testing Facility Provides Clean Water
Solutions for Soldiers
50 TARDEC Engineers Advance Hybrid-Electric (HE) Patrick Pinter
Technology and Systems Integration
Chris Williams 78 Keeping Warfighters Well-Hydrated — SDTF
Delivers Optimal Water Purification Systems
54 Fueling Station and Maintenance Facility Keep Matthew Sablan
Hydrogen Vehicles Powered
Chris Williams 80 TARDEC Leads Fuel and Lubricant
Technology Development and Design
58 Optimized Combustion and Fuels Focus of Single Patrick Pinter
Cylinder Test Cell
Chris Williams G R O U N D SYST E M S
S p ecia l 2010 Ed i ti o n

60 Systems Engineers Keep Vehicles on Track
Chris Williams 86 Lab Puts Armor Under the Gun to Save
Soldiers’ Lives
64 TARDEC Turns Up Heat on Vehicle Testing Chris Williams
Chris Williams


Lead · Innovate · Integrate · Deliver

accelerate Magazine is seeking articles for upcoming issues. Are you researching new technologies? Have you faced and overcome
engineering challenges and created innovative designs that will aid Soldiers in theater? If you have, TARDEC, the Nation’s laboratory for
advanced military automotive technology, wants to publish your story. Submit your article and photo images to:

Inform your colleagues and community by writing for TARDEC’s monthly online news magazine, GVSET News. As a member of the ground
systems enterprise, you have the opportunity to express your professional voice and engage the public by writing for GVSET News, which has
a subscriber base of more than 3,000 readers. If you work in or around ground vehicle systems technology, engineering, robotics, survivability
or power and energy, your expertise would be of interest to our readership. Submit your article or photo images today

86 98 102

106 108 116 116

90 Innovative Materials Bridge Partnership Between 114 Assessing Material and Microstructural Failures —
TARDEC and Lawrence Tech Metallurgical and Failure Analysis Laboratory
Matthew Sablan Provides Critical Analysis
Michael D. Kaplun
94 Testing Capabilities Help Mitigate
Explosive Damage 116 Conducting M1A2 Software Maintenance
Patrick Pinter and Enhancement — M1A2 System
Integration Laboratory
98 Laser Protection Research and Integration Michael D. Kaplun
Laboratory — Protecting Soldiers’ Eyes
and Optical Sensors 118 DREN Provides TARDEC’s Computing Power
Michael D. Kaplun Michael D. Kaplun

MODELING AND 120 High-Performance Computing Center Delivers

S I M U L AT I O N Proven Vehicle Solutions
Patrick Pinter
102 Total Immersion in Virtual Environments
Leads to Engineering Innovation 122 Dynamic Structural Load Simulator Laboratory
Patrick Pinter Bridges Capability Gaps (DSLSL)
Sp eci a l 2010 Ed i ti o n

Matthew Sablan
106 A Virtual Environment Gets Soldiers
Ready for Action 124 TARDEC Chief Scientist Helps Develop Army
Patrick Pinter Ground Systems Technology Focus
Michael I. Roddin and Chris Williams
108 Ground Vehicle Simulation Laboratories Simulate
Real-World Testing and Analytics
Patrick Pinter and Matthew Sablan
Collaboration Yields Game-Changing
Innovation for Our Warfighters

The U.S. Army Research, • Technology Integration for develop, install and operate
Development and Engineering Unmanned Ground Vehicles — an environmental/loading
Command (RDECOM) Tank TARDEC’s Small Robotics chamber to test advanced
Automotive Research, Develop- Laboratory focuses on develop- materials for vehicle armor
ment and Engineering Center ing and integrating technology and structural components.
(TARDEC) supports warfighters advancements for unmanned • Total Immersion in Virtual
through research, development, ground vehicles, designing and Environments Leads to Engi-
engineering, integration and analyzing advanced behavior neering Innovation — the Cave
delivery of innovative technolo- control schemes for future ve- Automatic Virtual Environment
gies. In executing this mission, hicle implementation. (CAVE) is an immersive, virtual
TARDEC, in close collaboration • It's TARDEC-Funded West reality environment in which
with program, project and prod- Point Robotics Lab Builds Future users view 3-dimensional graph-
uct managers, provides systems Engineers — TARDEC and the ics that show an object’s various
engineering and technology Robotic Systems Joint Project sides and components.
integration for all manned and Office led the construction of a • TARDEC Chief Scientist Helps
unmanned ground systems. robotics lab at the U.S. Military Develop Army Ground Systems
Academy, West Point, NY. Technology Focus — TARDEC
At the heart of TARDEC’s • TARDEC Turns Up the Heat Chief Scientist Dr. David Gorsich
science and technology (S&T) on Vehicle Testing — to improve leads the center’s S&T portfolio to
research, demonstration, devel- vehicle mobility, TARDEC’s better equip and improve current
opment and full life-cycle engi- Ground Vehicle Power and Mo- and future Soldier operations.
neering collaborative work are bility team is rapidly testing and
its laboratories. This special issue evaluating vehicles, ensuring they These featured articles, and
of accelerate Magazine highlights are optimally equipped to endure their companions, focus on the
TARDEC’s cooperative work and the harshest environments. capabilities that TARDEC and its
world-class facilities, conveying • Keeping Warfighters Well-Hy- partners strive to deliver daily.
how the RDECOM enterprise drated — SDTF Delivers Optimal Find out how collaboration with
supports warfighters efficiently Water Purification Systems — the Army partners, industry and
and effectively. U.S. Navy’s Seawater Desalina- academia helps the Army and
tion Test Facility (SDTF) enables Department of Defense lead,
Articles of particular interest in the Army and U.S. Marine Corps innovate, integrate and deliver
this edition include: to test and develop field water the most advanced technology
purification equipment to keep and leading-edge solutions to
• People, Collaboration and warfighters replenished and en- our Nation’s warfighters.
NASA-Style Innovation — MG ergized in theater.
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Justice’s Vision for RDECOM — • Innovative Materials Bridge

an exclusive interview in which Partnership Between TARDEC Michael I. Roddin
the new RDECOM Command- and Lawrence Tech — TARDEC Editor-in-Chief
ing General MG Nickolas G. entered into a partnership
Justice discusses his philosophy with Lawrence Technological
and vision. University in October 2008 to
People, Collaboration and
NASA-Style Innovation —
RDECOM Commander
Shares Vision
Katherine H. Crawford
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

RDECOM CG MG Nickolas G. Justice visited a number of technology

displays while attending All-American Bowl Week festivities in San
Antonio, TX, Jan. 7-9, 2010. RDECOM had a large technology display
of its own at the annual event. (U.S. Army RDECOM photo.)

n his New Year’s message to sustainable. Justice believes that to shaped to an understanding of a
the 17,000-strong U.S. Army improve RDECOM and the Army certain solution.”
Research, Development and in general, we all need to work on
Engineering Command processes and make them broader Power of Collaboration —
(RDECOM) workforce, in scope to better solve opera- Bringing Soldiers and
Commanding General (CG) tional problems. Technical Experts Together
MG Nickolas G. Justice directed Justice strongly believes in the
his team to move out in triple concept of something being greater
time. “We provide America’s than the sum of its parts: “You can
warfighters with strength create more capabilities with syner-
through technology,” Justice gies versus with individual compo-
declared. “There is no other or- nents.” His goal is to partner do-
ganization in the Army that does main experts with those from each
what we do, so we must all be subject area and have them col-
first-string players. We must be laborate so that their systems work
at the forefront of our expertise, together. “Look at the strength of
striving to be world-class. Our what I’m doing: I’m taking those
Soldiers deserve no less. I’m sure unique, one-of-a-kind experts,
you’ll agree. Your mindset must and I’m multiplying them to the
be — Fast. Furious. Now.” power of the number of experts I
put together, not just adding them
During accelerate Magazine’s together. It just becomes geometric
December 2009 interview with in what you can accomplish.”
the new commander at RDECOM
Headquarters in Gun Powder, Justice (center) learns more about the TALON
“We provide America’s
MD, Justice was fired up with robot from TARDEC Robotics Engineers
plans for fusing Soldiers’ experi- Bernard Thiessen (left) and Jeremy Gray at the warfighters with strength
RDECOM exhibit at the All-American Bowl.
ence with the RDECOM work- (U.S. Army RDECOM photo.) through technology. There is
force’s knowledge and expertise
to take science and technology Justice asserted RDECOM should no other organization in the
(S&T) solutions to the next level. be defining the requirements and Army that does what we do.
working with industry to fulfill
Justice’s Philosophy those requirements rather than We must be at the forefront
and Vision accepting industry-driven solu-
Justice, a Soldier for more than 38 tions. He stated that RDECOM of our expertise, striving to
years, has served most of his career has not been precise in express- be world-class. Our Soldiers
in electronic warfare communica- ing itself and its needs, but that
tions systems and software engi- the engineers within RDECOM deserve no less. Your
neering. His most recent leader have the knowledge and exper- mindset must be —
role was as Program Executive tise to drive innovations and
Officer, Program Executive Office articulate warfighter needs. By Fast. Furious. Now.”
Command, Control and Commu- truly understanding systems
nications-Tactical (PEO C3T). and components and the way in Another way in which Justice
which they work in the field, as plans to build the strength of
He breaks down everything that well as the research, development his organization’s people is to
he does into four parts: people, and engineering (RD&E) behind leverage the power of the mili-
purse (funding), problems and them, better solutions can be tary personnel within RDECOM.
processes. To him, connecting found. As Justice explained, “Be- There are approximately 200 Sol-
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

these four parts correctly achieves ing able to put those understand- diers within RDECOM, and their
optimal solutions. If you can ings and real-world knowledge insight and input is invaluable
team the people with the funding into the technologies we pro- because they come to the problem
and then use processes to solve duce allows us to shape how the with a different perspective. A
problems, you come out with a problem is solved before we get firm believer in the idea that you
product that is better and more a problem that has already been can’t solve a problem until you
understand the problem, Justice technicians working on the equip- Power of Collaboration —
is keen to harness the know- ment that these NCOs’ fellow Creating Common Systems
ledge and experiences of these military personnel will be using in Justice applies this same strat-
service members who have been the field. RDECOM’s Command egy of networking to developing
in the field. “We’ve got noncom- Sergeant Major Hector Marin platform architectures. One of
missioned officers [NCOs] and will be responsible for bringing in his major objectives is to bring
officers here who have experi- qualified crewmembers who can commonality to everything —
ences that our folks with S&T and operate as a unit rather than as systems, components, platforms,
engineering backgrounds don’t individuals. The idea is to “bring etc. His ideal is an infrastructure
have. These NCOs are just as the reality and the practice of that can host many components,
valuable, if not more so, because what we do back into the labo- the idea of “one-to-many versus
that’s where the clarity of the ratories to see it,” Justice stated, many-to-many.” If various pieces
problems will come,” he com- and “connecting the right people of architecture aren’t compatible
mented. Additionally, these mili- — the innovators and the user with one another, it just wastes
tary personnel can easily establish community — to create a product time and money. “Commonality
a network of people to work on a that is better than either could is incredible,” Justice explained.
specific task, project or problem. develop alone to make the Army “It will reduce the costs in the
“They’re used to moving around, the best in the world at solving contracts for components because
and they have friends and associ- particular problems.” you’ll be able to build components
ates they’ve known on a personal
basis around the Army, and they RDECOM should be defining the requirements and
can easily establish a network of
people because that network is working with industry to fulfill those requirements
already there.” rather than accepting industry-driven solutions. By truly
To this end, Justice plans to bring understanding systems and components and the way in
five senior NCOs to the Army’s which they work in the field, as well as the RD&E behind
research, development and engi-
neering centers to ask challenging them, better solutions can be found.
questions of the engineers and
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

Justice visited the Detroit Arsenal to get an up-close look at the RD&E conducted by TARDEC. From left: TARDEC Executive Director of Re-
search Dr. Paul Rogers, TARDEC Director Dr. Grace M. Bochenek, TARDEC Military Deputy COL Eric Fletcher and Justice speak with TARDEC
Associate Dr. Mark Brudnak in TARDEC’s Ground Vehicle Simulation Laboratory. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Elizabeth Carnegie.)
industry and academia. “What we
want to do is get into the position
of setting those standards, defin-
ing them and being the under-
writer’s lab equivalent for the
Army, and that means focusing
very heavily on the engineering
component,” he observed.

Justice knows that this type of

commonality can be achieved by
bringing the right communities
together and fostering collabora-
tion. He spoke of witnessing, in
his previous role, the communica-
Justice gets a driver’s-side view from the cab of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected
tions and electronics community
vehicle in TARDEC’s Prototype Integration Facility (PIF). PIF Associate Director Luis and the vehicles and sensors com-
Hinojosa (front) describes vehicle components and platform-unique capabilities to him. munity getting together to “create
Justice believes in bringing together experienced NCOs, researchers, developers and
technicians to achieve great things for RDECOM and the Army as a whole. (U.S. Army
a common driving infrastructure
TARDEC photo by Elizabeth Carnegie.) that allowed integration to occur.”
Once a common platform was
to specification and know that Justice gave another household created, ultimately, “They created
you’ve already got the infrastruc- example to show that common- more capability than the individ-
ture to plug into.” ality is possible, noting that we ual components had organic to
have standards for various specifi- themselves by creating synergies
Currently, he noted, the Army’s cations in our homes. “Everybody across the components.”
usual practice is to replace a knows exactly what the specifica-
system and the whole infra- tion is for a 110-volt, 60-cycle The other crucial consideration
structure, which causes costs to power outlet on your wall. You that RDECOM scientists and
skyrocket. Justice used a house- know exactly how to plug it in engineers must always take into
hold example to illustrate his and how it’s got to be wired, so account is product and system
point: “What if every time you anybody in the country who can longevity. RDECOM must an-
replaced a TV in your house produce electronics knows what ticipate future requirements and
you had to replace all the elec- the power that will be available design components that will have
trical wiring, too? That sounds for that device is, and they know a long life cycle and can take on
crazy for me to say that, right? how to configure it and have it many potential systems. “One of
But that’s oftentimes what the ready for your home.” Justice the things I see us doing is design-
Army would do. We’d replace a seeks to bring this same type of ing components to use infrastruc-
system, but we’d have to replace standardization to Army equip- ture that we know will have a
the complete infrastructure. Not ment and platforms and have fairly long life cycle, and we need
only the infrastructure, but the RDECOM set the standards for to find touch points of modern-
parts supply. We’d also have to ization with that infrastructure
replace the repair facilities. When “What we want to do is get that allow us to grow its capability
you start doing that, your costs down to where we are and capacity to a potential capac-
go orders of magnitude more ity that we never realized in the
than the actual capability you’re funding those things that initial fieldings,” he emphasized.
putting into the combat forma- For example, “I want my commu-
directly make a difference
tions. What we want to do is nications systems to be capable
and make an improvement
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

get down to where we are fund- of 50 or 100 megabits per second,

ing those things that directly though I may field them with five
make a difference and make an to combat formations megabits per second, and I want
improvement to combat forma- without having to replace to be able to take small compo-
tions without having to replace nents of that and change them
complete infrastructures.” complete infrastructures.” out. That will give me a doubling
or a 10-times capability in that you need to lighten your load as
network but not have to replace quickly as possible,” he noted. “We
everything there.” want to empower our portion of
that combat brigade with a smaller
Reaching to the Stars — footprint, a much more sustain-
Harnessing NASA’s able equipment set, so that those
Expeditionary Mindset kits allow a unit to pack and move
Justice is always planning for faster than they’re able to do today
the “Army after next,” seeking with very large supply tails.”
strategies to modernize and
looking for long-term solu- “We have an insatiable
Justice receives the RDECOM colors from
tions. He firmly believes that
appetite for things that save U.S. Army Materiel Command CG GEN
RDECOM and the Army need to Ann E. Dunwoody during a Dec. 4, 2009,
Change of Command Ceremony. (U.S.
think longer-term and be better lives and make us more Army RDECOM photo.)
at anticipating future needs and
technologies. “We want to plan effective, that close time and own expeditionary force. The
things that fall over at least three distance problems, so you human as its own closed, self-sus-
generations of packaged capabil- taining system is the same idea as
ity — packaged capability is all see us in this same geometric an astronaut, and he’s looking to
the equipment in there — so that demand cycle for things NASA for inspiration on ways of
the infrastructure crosses mul- bringing this thinking to the Army.
tiple generations of equipment. like bandwidth and energy
Don’t solve my problem today — Justice noted that all the future
solve my problem today that has
and many other things, but platforms the Army is moving to
legs to the future and the ability bandwidth and energy are are for 2- or 3-men crews, which
to be modernized,” he remarked. is similar to the Apollo program,
The Army needs to be able to see two things that fall into the and so it may be useful to see if
“disruptive” technologies coming, big infrastructure pieces.” there are any lessons that can be
like cell phone technology was 10 gleaned from history. “Some of
years ago, and plan for it so that Justice views the Soldier as his or the things that we achieved with
it’s not stuck with legacy systems her own self-sustaining system NASA in the late 1950s and 1960s
that cannot be adapted or will be that’s equipped and plugged into are the kinds of engineering that
too expensive and time-consum- the network — each is his or her we want to do in this organization.
ing to modernize.

Standardizing equipment and

ensuring that it is built for a
long product life cycle also al-
lows Soldiers to become more
expeditionary. If you “standard-
ize equipment so that the vehicle
comes ready for plug-and-play
kind of applications, then every
piece of equipment that goes in
that vehicle doesn’t have to have
its own installation kit, its own
installation crew to support that,
its own maintenance, its own
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

tail of supply that’s out there in

the unit,” Justice observed. This
allows the Army to lighten its
load of parts and people, yield-
ing a more mobile and agile force. Justice (center) examines the 3rd Infantry Division’s course to integrate PEO C3T equipment into
its predeployment exercise at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA, in August 2007. (U.S.
“Being expeditionary means that Army RDECOM photo by Richard Mattox.)
They’re directly related to what we Justice views equipment during a demonstration by a staff member at Tobyhanna Army Depot,
do in the Army on the battlefield. PA, to PEO C3T on March 17, 2009. (U.S. Army RDECOM photo by Richard Mattox.)
The Soldier is the astronaut. The
spacecraft becomes the combat
vehicle — it’s tailored to a specific
mission, it’s expeditionary.”

This collaboration with NASA is

real and, in fact, Justice is talk-
ing with Astronaut William M.
Shepherd regarding potential
opportunities for collaboration.
This is just part of his forward-
thinking strategy for bringing
innovation and new partnerships
to RDECOM to achieve techno-
logical breakthroughs. wealth of test equipment that For the near-term, Justice will be
TARDEC has for measuring the focusing RDECOM’s innovative
Justice used the NASA analogy stresses on vehicles — some of the and collaborative resources on
during the U.S. Army All-Amer- shake, rattle, roll kind of devices two critical challenges facing the
ican Bowl held in January in San that TARDEC has in its labs. I Army — bandwidth and energy.
Antonio, TX. He escorted Secre- was surprised to find a couple of “We have an insatiable appetite
tary of the Army John McHugh supercomputers, and the kind of for things that save lives and
through the Army Strong Zone, modeling and simulation they were make us more effective, that close
which demonstrated the Army’s doing, the fabrication facilities, how time and distance problems, so
future vehicle concepts, Soldier they were able to produce things you see us in this same geomet-
gear and technology. Standing — actually make components in its ric demand cycle for things like
next to a Soldier wearing com- facilities — that’s just fascinating,” bandwidth and energy and many
posite armor, Justice explained, he exclaimed, adding, “This was the other things, but bandwidth and
“This is the astronaut version of a first time I had a chance to go into energy are two things that fall
Soldier. He can live in any envi- those facilities and see what was into the big infrastructure pieces.”
ronment. He can do anything. going on.” His main tool for tackling these
If I add the ‘Sense through Wall’ challenges will be people. “It’s all
technology being demonstrated Justice also took note of the many about the people, and we’ve got
behind me, he can see through young TARDEC associates, com- the talent pool, we just need to
walls. He’s got X-ray vision.” menting, “There are lots of bright, get them into the network — the
young kids up there who know people with the problems — and
Exploring TARDEC what they’re doing.” TARDEC has get them out there working, and
In the past six months, Justice has done an exceptional job of build- the power of people is amazing.
visited U.S. Army Tank Automo- ing its future workforce, and these Other than that, it’s all to be dis-
tive Research, and Development “kids” comprise another piece of covered, and that’s what I need to
Center (TARDEC) four times, and the collaboration puzzle — bring- do,” he concluded.
he is learning more about other ing diversity of age and experi-
disciplines and domains, particu- ence to tackling difficult chal-
larly “getting to work with the lenges. As Justice stated, “That’s Katherine H. Crawford is the
vehicles — that’s just exciting.” It is the kind of thing we want to do: Managing Editor for TARDEC’s
this type of hands-on interaction bring the power of networking, GVSET News and accelerate Magazine
that he thrives on. Justice said he bringing the bright, talented and a Senior Publications Manager
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

is thrilled to visit the various labs people we have who are experts with BRTRC, providing contract
and see the innovative work being in the problem and experts in the support to TARDEC’s Strategic
done firsthand. He is particu- sciences and experts in the en- Communications team. She has a
larly impressed by the multitude gineering capability, bring those B.A. in English from Boston College
of capabilities TARDEC offers. people together and see if we can’t and an M.A. in literature from the
“It was interesting to look at the solve some of these things.” University of New Hampshire.
Intelligent Ground
Systems (IGS) Robotics
Laboratories — Finding
Robotics Technology Solutions
Through Innovation
Michael D. Kaplun

UGV Current Operations Support Team Leader

Systems-based software —
Lonnie Freiburger (left) and Robotics Systems among other projects.
Manager MAJ Seth Norberg install the TARDEC-
developed Tanglefoot tripwire mitigation device to
a FasTac 510 PackBot. IGS Robotics Laboratories These facilities also have networked
engineers are at the forefront of TARDEC’s robotics computers (Windows and Linux)
R&D. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Bill Dowell.)
to support R&D efforts. Com-
puter software includes Visual
Studio, used mostly for C++ de-
velopment; Eclipse, an integrated
development environment for
Java; modeling software, such
as SolidWorks; and other, more
specialized software.

“IGS Robotics Laboratory

initiatives, such as the
Velodyne LIDAR project and
the Segway Robotic Control
IGS RL engineers and tech-

he Intelligent Ground
project, help enhance robotic
Systems (IGS) Robotics nicians primarily focus on
Laboratories (RL) pro- researching and developing development in a time of ever-
vide the U.S. Army Tank hardware, software and sensors.
Automotive Research, Development is being performed growing technology.”
Development and Engi- on a Velodyne Light Detection
neering Center (TARDEC) with and Ranging (LIDAR) — a Key recent IGS Robotics Labora-
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

an extensive laboratory setup, 360-degree, high-resolution laser tory projects include:

compromising facilities, tools range-finding sensor — Segway
and equipment to design, inte- robots; 360-degree cameras; • Velodyne LIDAR — performed
grate, test and validate diverse open architecture; Java-based advanced characterization of
robotic systems to meet Soldier robotic control software; and LIDAR performance, especially
needs and requirements. Joint Architecture for Unmanned in detecting people; utilized
people from 360 degrees around
a vehicle; used radar to perform
obstacle detection and avoidance,
focusing on smaller unmanned


ground vehicles (UGVs).
• Segway robotic control —
roboticized Segways and put
mannequins on systems to sim-
ulate humans moving through
hostile environments.
• Pressure-sensitive Membrane
— utilized a material that
changes resistance based on
pressure to create a circuit
Pictured here is a Segway robot at TARDEC’s IGS capable for use on manipulator
Robotics Laboratories at the Detroit Arsenal in
Warren, MI. System developments, such as the end-effectors.
robot, are expanding TARDEC’s role in robotics • iPod Touch — used an iPod
innovation to augment Soldier capabilities. (U.S.
Army TARDEC photo by Carrie Deming.)
Touch to control the Omni-
Directional Inspection System-
information from LIDAR to T3 vehicle and an iRobot PackBot.
perform obstacle detection. • Electronic Ink (e-ink) — used
• M/A-COM Radar — performed the display to compare the day-
radar characterization to deter- light readability of e-ink versus
mine performance in detecting other displays.

UGV Current Operations Support Team Leader

TSGT Jeffrey Wasik kneels next Lonnie Freiburger helps Robotics Systems
to a TALON explosive ordnance Manager MAJ Seth Norberg strap on the Squad
disposal (EOD) robot. Systems Support UGV (SSUGV) control pack. TARDEC
like the EOD robot help to is helping develop the SSUGV for the U.S.
defeat seen and unseen threats Marine Corps. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by
while minimizing Soldier vul- Bill Dowell.)
nerability in theater. (U.S. Army
photo by MSG Brian Davidson.)
“IGS Robotics Laboratory
initiatives, such as the Velodyne
LIDAR project and the Segway
Robotic Control project, help
enhance robotic development in
a time of ever-growing tech-
nology,” remarked TARDEC
Engineer Matthew Skalny.
Through IGS associates’ R&D
efforts, TARDEC has taken the
lead in the advancement of vital
robotics technologies, provid-
ing state-of-the-art solutions to
meet critical warfighter needs.
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Michael D. Kaplun is a Writer/Editor

with BRTRC and provides contract
support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
munications team. He holds a B.A. in
English and media and society from
Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
VSIL Technology Test and
Validation Center Provides
Systems Engineering
Integration Capability
Carrie Deming
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

TARDEC Intelligent Ground Systems engineers collect data from recent

VSIL tests. The VSIL testing and validation laboratory helps to formulate
a common technical language for industry, academia and DOD robotics
technologies. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Carrie Deming.)

he Robotics Vehicle technology, research and end goal to provide interface
Simulation Integra- experimentation tools, which testing for validating unmanned
tion Laboratory (VSIL) allows for robust partnerships systems for industry controllers
provides potential solu- with other U.S. Army Research, and to provide an environment


tions to the universal Development and Engineering for sensor hardware evaluations
challenge of developing Command organizations, as to aid autonomous navigation
technology that can “plug and well as other military branches and human detection algo-
play” with other robotic tech- and academia. rithms,” explained a TARDEC
nology across the Department
of Defense (DOD). The lab “The VSIL is a continually evolving, virtual
provides a test environment
where industry members can environment with the end goal to provide interface
evaluate new technology be- testing for validating unmanned systems for industry
fore rolling it out. Technology
still under development can be controllers and to provide an environment for sensor
plugged into the VSIL testing
system to validate its utility
hardware evaluations to aid autonomous navigation
for Army and Marine Corps and human detection algorithms.”
ground systems robotics.

Currently, the VSIL is working Presently, the VSIL is collaborat- Embedded Distributed Simula-
in conjunction with TARDEC’s ing with the U.S. Army Night tion team member.
Concepts, Analysis, System Vision and Electronic Sensors
Simulation and Integration Directorate team on comprehen- The VSIL is funded by the
(CASSI) group on modeling sive munitions and sensor servers, TACOM Life Cycle Management
mobility, arm manipulator which are used to model tactical Command’s Joint Center for
components and providing a unmanned ground sensors and Robotics (JCR) and is currently
simulation environment for new electrooptical infrared sensors. supporting Battlefield-Extraction
robotic technologies. By using The VSIL is also integrating tech- Assist Robot (BEAR) testing at
CASSI’s simulation environ- nology with the aviation mobility the Maneuver Battlefield at Fort
ment, the VSIL has the ability to server for modeling unmanned Benning, GA. The testing objec-
apply modeling architecture for air systems flight dynamics from tive is to evaluate the need for
the U.S. Army Aviation and robot assistance in recovering
Missile Research, Development wounded Soldiers on the battle-
and Engineering Center, as well field. Through testing at the VSIL,
as providing infantry warrior the TARDEC robotics team can
simulations for modeling infan- ensure that the mature technol-
try behavior from the U.S. Army ogy they integrate today onto
Natick Soldier Research, Develop- robotic platforms can provide a
ment and Engineering Center. strong foundation upon which
to build integrated solutions for
Additionally, the VSIL is focused tomorrow’s unmanned ground
on building a cost-effective, vehicle systems, DOD-wide.
A Future Combat Systems (FCS) Lead Sys-
tems Integrator performed a bezel study on
integrated profile testing ca-
the FCS Robotics Common Controller. The pability for small unmanned
study involved technologies developed as ground vehicles (SUGVs). The
part of the TARDEC Robotic Vehicle Control
Architecture program, and simulations were capability would allow for a test
developed as part of the TARDEC JCR VSIL. bed for SUGVs that would sup-
Soldiers evaluated different bezel placements
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

port the Robotics Systems Joint

and alignments using reconfigurable touch
screen technologies for controlling the FCS Project Office with modeling Carrie Deming is a Writer with BRTRC
SUGV performing an urban area search. and simulation, demonstration and provides contract support to
SUGV functionality and the virtual urban
environment were modeled using VSIL
and transfer assistance. “The TARDEC’s Strategic Communications
technologies. (U.S. Army TARDEC image VSIL is a continually evolving, team. She has a B.A. in creative writing
courtesy of Paul Bounker.) virtual environment with the from The Evergreen State College.
Robotics Systems
Integration Lab (SIL)
Carrie Deming

TARDEC engineers test and validate emerging technologies by using the crew station
in the Robotics SIL. Currently, IGS is reducing Soldier workload for both manned and
unmanned systems through the development of products such as autonomous driving
aides. The driving aides allow for vehicles to drive in autonomous mode, thereby freeing
Soldiers to perform other tasks. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Carrie Deming.)

he U.S. Army Tank Automo- robotic systems’ applicability Behavior Simulator
tive Research, Development and Soldier-machine interfaces The behavior simulator pro-
and Engineering Center’s with emerging technologies, vides an initial look at human
(TARDEC’s) Intelligent many systems are tested at performance when using certain
Ground Systems (IGS) and TARDEC’s Robotics SIL. The technologies that would exist as
the Joint Center for Robot- SIL houses two major com- part of a Soldier-machine inter-
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

ics (JCR) serve as robotics research ponents for testing: a vehicle face on a crew station, such as a
hubs for the Department of behavior simulator and mod- route planning aid. Scott Lohrer,
Defense (DOD). Reducing Sol- eling and simulation (M&S) a TARDEC Engineer with the
dier workloads and increasing equipment that can work in Embedded Distributed Simula-
Soldier safety is at the fore- concert or independently of tion team, explained, “The M&S
front of their missions. To test one another. environment provides battlefield
that must be controlled by the
Many robotic systems are tested at TARDEC’s Robotics SIL, including the Multi-
Mission Work Station (MMWS). Soldiers in the back of a Stryker Fire Support crew station. “The crew station
Vehicle navigated an experimental unmanned vehicle robot in autonomous mode must be able to control the driv-
around obstacles just by moving a set waypoint using the MMWS touch screen, ing for manned and unmanned


which was tested at TARDEC’s SIL. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Larry Siegh.)
systems,” IGS Engineer Paul
Bounker related. “M&S provides
models of vehicles moving within
a virtual world so that the driving
control software can be tested and
debugged as needed in the lab set-
ting. This saves time and funding
and reduces safety concerns with
the development of new software.”

“M&S provides models of

vehicles moving within a
virtual world so that the
driving control software can
be tested and debugged as
autonomous driving aides, which needed in the lab setting.”
allow vehicles to drive in autono-
mous mode, thereby freeing the
Soldier to perform other tasks, By capturing simulated and
such as scanning for local situ- modeled tactical behavior for
ational awareness. platforms and human actions
through a tasking network, IGS
M&S engineers can test new technolo-
The SIL’s M&S component assists gies and see how those technolo-
in developing software by providing gies may affect the performance
stimulation to different subsystems of a vehicle or Soldier interface
simply by running a program
through the SIL laboratories.

Through the TARDEC IGS SIL’s

capabilities, robotic engineers
can more successfully test robotic
technologies’ systems-of-systems,
predict how the technology will
affect Soldiers and determine
stimuli to stress the Soldier as if how new technologies can be in-
he or she were in battlefield con- tegrated into existing platforms
ditions. One of the capabilities we and software.
try to expand on is what type of
Soldier tasks can be automated
so that they can perform other
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

[higher order] tasks.”

Carrie Deming is a Writer with
JCR and TARDEC’s IGS serve as robotics BRTRC and provides contract
Currently, IGS is reducing Sol- research hubs for DOD. The IGS mission support to TARDEC’s Strategic
dier workload for both manned for crew station development is to maximize
Communications team. She has a
Soldier-system effectiveness, reduce warfighter
and unmanned vehicles. One training burdens and increase control of a B.A. in creative writing from The
example of task automation is variety of unmanned systems. (U.S. Army Evergreen State College.
TARDEC photo by Carrie Deming.) 19
Technology Integration for
Unmanned Ground
Michael D. Kaplun

he U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and
Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s) Small Robotics Laboratory
(SRL) is focused on developing and integrating technology ad-
vancements for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), such as the
PackBot and TALON. UGV laboratory work includes designing
and analyzing advanced behavior control schemes for future
vehicle implementation. The facility, which serves as a System Inte-
gration Laboratory for implementing internal and external sensor
packages, also provides for indoor mobility testing, sensor/payload
integration and testing, platform characterization and training.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

An explosives ordnance disposal technician maneuvers a robot to disarm a mock

improvised explosive device (IED) during a training exercise. Robotic systems are
advancing to better protect warfighters on a diverse battlefield. (U.S. Armed Forces
photo by CPT David Faggard.)

Intelligent Ground Systems
(IGS) personnel, particularly
the UGV Operations Support
team, provide support to orga-


nizations such as the Robotic
Systems Joint Project Office
(RS JPO) by creating, acquiring
and evaluating diverse robotic
payloads. Recently, the team led
an effort to integrate and test a
payload called “Tanglefoot” in
response to an operational field
request. The SRL is also used
for characterizing and testing
new platforms. Periodically,
IGS will receive new platforms
from Small Business Innova-
tion Research Programs, and IGS engineers at TARDEC’s SRL integrate robotic technologies for small and medium platforms
the platforms’ initial evaluations for IED removal and an ever-expanding range of operational capabilities. IGS personnel provide
occur in the SRL. support to organizations, such as RS JPO, by acquiring, creating and evaluating payloads. (U.S.
Army TARDEC photo by Carrie Deming.)

The Multi-function, Agile, Remote Control Robot (MARCbot) is one

piece of technology helping in the fight against IEDs in the theater of
operations. The MARCbot is one of several robotic systems that can be
used to safely disengage threats without putting Soldiers in harm’s way.
(U.S. Armed Forces photo.)

Another significant together to build subassemblies

laboratory aspect is its while also preparing to perform
ability to provide infor- full SSUGV assembly and testing
mation for platforms once the system is built.
or sensors/payloads. If
a robotics organization, “The SRL’s various system
such as RS JPO, needs developments will continue to
technical information expand TARDEC’s role and ca-
on a particular plat- pabilities in the field of robotics
form, the SRL serves as as well as increase our in-house
the information source. expertise,” remarked TARDEC
Acting Administrator for IGS Jeff
“The SRL’s various Jaster. TARDEC’s SRL future de-
velopment and integration efforts
system developments
are improving future UGV capa-
will continue to bilities for our Soldiers today.

expand TARDEC’s role

and capabilities in the
field of robotics.”
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Currently, TARDEC Michael D. Kaplun is a Writer/Editor

is building the Squad with BRTRC and provides contract
Support UGV (SSUGV) support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
in the SRL. Addition- munications team. He holds a B.A. in
ally, IGS and contractor English and media and society from
personnel are working Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Integrating Systems
Engineering for Robotic
Battlefield Deployment —
Intelligent Ground Systems (IGS)
Laboratory and Vehicle Bay
Michael D. Kaplun

he U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s) IGS
Laboratory and Vehicle Bay integrates component technologies, such as perception systems, human
detection and intent analysis hardware/software, onto unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) platform
components, while also integrating these component technologies onto platforms for testing and
evaluation. TARDEC engineers and industry partners perform critical research, development and
engineering in the IGS Laboratory to enable better transition of components and subsystems to
the complex designs, systems, integration and test phases for UGV platforms. The facility’s components
and subsystems are assembled and integrated onto platforms to be tested in relevant operational scenarios
in the field.

The MARCbot is a result of TARDEC’s IGS Laboratory

S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

and Vehicle Bay’s component technology integration

efforts. The MARCbot is a lightweight robot that provides
warfighters with remote, look-only capabilities. This
MARCbot can look around a corner while a warfighter
observes from a safe standoff distance. (Photo courtesy of
American Reliance, Inc.)

TARDEC Engineer Sean Hadley works on an SSUGV
robotics system in TARDEC’s IGS Laboratory and
Vehicle Bay. At the facility, component technologies,
such as perception systems, human detection and
intent analysis hardware/software and unmanned
ground vehicle platform components, are developed
and integrated. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by
Carrie Deming.)

IGS technicians and engineers solve

battlefield and operational challeng-
es that call for intelligent, automated
ground vehicle systems capable of
engaging threats while interact-
TARDEC’s IGS Laboratory and Vehicle Bay integrates systems to enhance Soldier capabilities on ing with and through their Soldier
the battlefield. Systems like the APD are an example of successful integration efforts. The APD operators. Through autonomous
can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and can operate at 113 degrees Fahrenheit. (U.S. Army
TARDEC photo.) perception and navigation, intel-
ligent tactical behavior, command
The high bay houses small- to JPO continues to be a productive and control, IGS further develops
mid-sized robots that are cur- relationship, and TARDEC remains the Army’s significant capability to
rently in theater or getting ready to excited to work so closely with its deliver near real-time situational
be fielded or deployed. Presently, customer,” remarked TARDEC’s awareness, and foresee and diagnose
through a Robotic Systems Joint Shanna Render, UGV Current Op- potential battlefield threats.
Project Office (RS JPO) charter, erations Support Engineer.
IGS engineers ensure upgrades are From small robotic systems, such
implemented to improve reliabil- as the Omni-Directional Inspec-
ity, maintainability and ease of tion System and Multi-Function
tactical UGV use in the theater of Agile Remote Control Robot
operations. By building the system (MARCbot) surveillance system,
to better standards and ensuring to the full-size Autonomous
the drawing package is production- Platform Demonstrator (APD),
quality, facility engineers are cur- TARDEC researchers and engi-
rently assembling and integrating neers are pushing the boundaries
a teleoperated, 2,600-pound Squad of robotic technologies to provide
Support UGV (SSUGV), which is our warfighters more safety and
capable of being integrated with a an operational advantage.
remote tactical capabilities.

The UGV assembly involves

S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

TARDEC’s Shanna Render, UGV Current Michael D. Kaplun is a Writer/Editor

TARDEC IGS, a local automotive Operations Support Engineer, helps TARDEC’s
supplier’s research, development, with BRTRC and provides contract
IGS Laboratory and Vehicle Bay integration op-
support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
design and fabrication expertise, erations, increasing the center’s role in robotics
munications team. He holds a B.A. in
technologies. The 2,600-pound SSUGV is cur-
the participation of other cross- rently undergoing assembling and integration English and media and society from
disciplinary TARDEC personnel with a remote tactical capabilities. (U.S. Army Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
and the RS JPO. “Working with RS TARDEC photo by Bill Dowell.)
TARDEC’s B Battlef
Provides Leading-Edge
and Data-Sharing
Matthew Sablan

he BOR, a facility operated by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive
Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), was
originally established in 1994 to complete simulations for TARDEC.
Simulations were performed off-site throughout the Nation and
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

were linked through the Systems Integration Lab (SIL). Each loca-
tion had the capability to virtually control simulated assets.

Observation Room (BOR)

S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

A 4th Infantry Division Soldier communicates via

radio while a Bradley Fighting Vehicle crew pro-
vides site security. TARDEC engineers routinely
use the BOR to help spiral unmanned ground ve-
hicle technology into Bradley and Stryker vehicle
platforms. (U.S. Army photo by SPC John Crosby.)
inputs to various destinations,
both internal and external,”
remarked TARDEC Computer
Science Specialist Matthew
DeMinico. After routing this
information, the BOR also will
be able to act as a central hub for
viewing various tests and pull
data from any of its sources. The
SIL is one of these data sources,
and, in the future, these sources
could include facilities anywhere
around the world.

“The BOR will serve as an

observation and control facility
for vehicle testing,” DeMinico
explained. The BOR will
also allow remote viewing of
robotics tests alongside manned
The BOR serves as an observation and control facility for vehicle testing. Images, data and
videos are displayed to allow TARDEC engineers immediate access to field data. (U.S. Army
TARDEC photo by Carrie Deming.) “The BOR is available for use by
The BOR is becoming a central the country. “The planned BOR any organization within TARDEC
hub of powerful audio and video upgrade will use a sophisticated
that requires its observation and
capabilities to remotely view control system that allows the
tests as they are conducted at user to select input data from control functions.”
training centers and labs around multiple sources and route those
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

A TALON and MARCbot are displayed during the TARDEC

Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory Tour, Aug. 17,
2009. TARDEC’s BOR has been used to test various robotic plat-
forms that Soldiers use to assist with dangerous tasks in theater.
As the technology and operator systems mature, unmanned
ground vehicle systems will be rapidly fielded to support ground
combat operations. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Carolyn Baum.)
Vehicles proceed along a test course. Every day, TARDEC engineers and scientists bring remote teleoperation closer to reality through
concentrated research and development, modeling and simulation, and a rigorous field test schedule. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)


platform test observation. In providing the Army with cost
combination with the SIL, the savings and better preparing
BOR will observe robots during warfighters in the field.
testing at external locations,
while operators in the SIL The BOR continues to expand
control the robots. In the future, its capabilities and support
crew stations will allow remote TARDEC’s mission. “The BOR
operation of robots, with the is available for use by any
BOR serving to route data organization within TARDEC
between the operator and assets that requires its observation and
at the test facility. control functions,” DeMinico
offered. “Due to the BOR’s large
“The planned BOR upgrade size and powerful audio/video
A crew station operator in the SIL can
teleoperate a robot from the BOR. In the future,
capability, it is also capable
will use a sophisticated crew stations will allow remote operation of of serving as a meeting or
robots, with the BOR routing data between the conference facility when it is not
control system that allows operator and assets at external test facilities.
(U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)
in use as a lab.”
the user to select input data
While testing these robots,
from multiple sources and the BOR will allow TARDEC’s
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Matthew Sablan is a Writer/Editor

route those inputs to various engineers to remotely gather
with BRTRC and provides contract
data. TARDEC associates could support to TARDEC’s Strategic
destinations, both internal then analyze this data to find Communications team. He has a B.A. in
and solve potential engineering English and history from Marymount
and external.”
or design problems with the University in Arlington, VA.
technology before fielding it, 27
West Point Robotics Lab
Builds Fu
ture Engineers
Patrick Pinter
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

West Point cadets show off some of their robotic
skills while operating an iRobot PackBot. This lab’s
development led to robotic platform integration
throughout the electrical engineering curriculum.
(U.S. Army TARDEC photos by Patrick Pinter.)

he battlefield is an ever-changing environment that constantly
presents new threats to Soldiers. Developing new innovative
technologies to protect Soldiers’ lives is something engineers and
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

scientists are working around the clock to accomplish. To keep

Soldiers out of harm’s way, one key area the U.S. Army is focusing
its research and development (R&D) resources on is robotics.

West Point faculty member Dr. John Rogers shows TARDEC
Robotics Systems Manager MAJ Seth Norberg a battery from a
small robot his cadets recently completed.

Realizing the value of advanc- Greg Hudas. “RS JPO is directly in- funded by the JCR, is a way to
ing this emerging capability, the volved, too. They provided us with increase robotic educational
U.S. Army has taken an aggres- the setup and insights on what and research opportunities. The
sive stance in developing robotic they would like this lab to do. RS lab allows future U.S. Army sci-
technologies. Toward this end, JPO knows this is necessary. This entists and engineers to become
the U.S. Army Tank Automotive effort is going to help out in the more familiar with robotic sys-
Research, Development and En- area of generating future robotic tems and to conduct research.
gineering Center (TARDEC) and requirements. We want to create “We need cadets to drive these
the Robotic Systems Joint Project future robotic experts here.” requirements. We want cadets
Office (RS JPO) took lead roles in to be aware of the technologies
constructing a robotics lab at the In 2008, TARDEC’s JCR initiated that are out there,” remarked
U.S. Military Academy (USMA), the effort to construct a state- Hudas. “We don’t want them to
West Point, NY. “There is a mu- of-the-art, fully instrumented be shell shocked when they get
tual operating agreement with and reconfigurable experimen- out and see these platforms for
RS JPO, which is the acquisition tation facility centrally located the first time.”
authority for the lab,” explained at USMA so faculty and cadets
TARDEC Joint Center for Robot- would have access to a world- Since the project’s initiation, the
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

ics (JCR) Deputy Director Dr. class facility. The robotics lab, USMA Electrical Engineering and
Computer Science Department
“We want cadets to be aware of the technologies that are out renovated an old small-ballistics
there. We don’t want them to be shell shocked when they get out laboratory and converted it to a
dedicated support facility that
and see these platforms for the first time.” contains educational and fielded
robotic platforms. “A large part of “Now that we have this lab, 2006, USMA established a Co-
the research done here in robot- operative Autonomous Robotics
ics is in the capstone projects we want to start funding for Military Applications work-
done by the seniors,” commented specific experiments. We ing group consisting of nearly


LTC Robert McTasney, Assistant 20 faculty and staff from several
Professor at USMA. “They use want to bring in original academic disciplines interested in
robotic platforms to explore equipment manufacturers and robotics research opportunities.
navigation and safety, as well as That spirit of collaboration in
a number of other topics. Here, have their platforms integrated which the lab was begun contin-
with this lab, we are just trying to ues today. “We want to make sure
leverage everybody’s strengths to
into the curriculum.” all departments are coordinat-
reach certain goals. A large part of ing with each other and working
funding is coming from TARDEC, about ways to enhance learning together. This is systems engi-
which has allowed us to do some in the robotics field,” commented neering technology,” commented
great things here.” McTasney. “We were working to Hudas. “Now that we have this
lab, we want to start
funding specific ex-
periments. We
want to bring in
original equipment
manufacturers and
have their platforms
integrated into the
curriculum. I want
them to be working
on relevant platforms.”

The Army’s use of

robotic systems in
Iraq and Afghanistan
has demonstrated
these systems’ ability
to assist Soldiers in
a range of missions.
Robotic systems pro-
duce the capability to
conduct reconnais-
sance, surveillance
and mine mitigation.
A cadet operating a robotic controller attempts to pick up a pen with a PackBot’s articulating arm and With continued study
pincers. The robotic technologies that cadets are using in the laboratory are the same ones that are being
used in the field by Soldiers today. and applied R&D in
this technology area,
The idea for a dedicated robot- integrate robotics in computer sci- robotics may enable the Army to
ics lab took shape in 2003 when ence and information technology. discover entirely new capabilities.
Army leaders realized that there Once we got things off the ground,
was a definite need to apply cadets were showing that they
more focus to the robotics field. really liked the robotic programs
To do that, USMA restructured here. It has been a good vehicle
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

its electrical engineering major to tie everything in engineering Patrick Pinter is a Writer/Editor with
to offer more in-depth courses in together within a single program.” BRTRC and provides contract support
robotics, which led to integrating to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
robotic platforms throughout Since then, the use of robotics as tions team. He has a B.A. in journalism
the electrical engineering cur- a common educational platform and political science from Western
riculum. “We started thinking has increased dramatically. In Michigan University.
TARDEC Associates
Chris Williams

epresentatives from two U.S. Army research facilities
held a “meeting of the minds” and discussed
future collaborative opportunities during a recent
tour of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research,
Development and Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s)
facilities at the Detroit Arsenal, in Warren, MI.

ARDEC representatives visited TARDEC in December 2009 to tour the labs and see
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

the test equipment in operation to gain a better understanding of TARDEC’s R&D

capabilities. TARDEC’s Team Leader for Motion Base Technologies Harry Zywiol
(left) describes TARDEC’s modeling and simulation capabilities to ARDEC Senior
Associate for Future Weapon Concepts and Business Development Mike Zecca
(right) in TARDEC’s Ground Vehicle Simulation Laboratory. (U.S. Army TARDEC
photos by Elizabeth Carnegie.)

Display Capabilities to

Three associates from the U.S. Vince Matrisciano and ARDEC’s technology solutions to improve
Army Armaments Research, Enterprise and Systems Integra- the Nation’s ground vehicle fleet.
Development and Engineering tion Center (ESIC) Director COL The tour highlighted the Detroit
Center (ARDEC) at the Picatinny Scott Flynn toured TARDEC’s Arsenal’s state-of-the-art mod-
Arsenal, NJ, visited the Detroit facilities and received an up-close eling and simulation facilities,
Arsenal. ARDEC Senior Associ- look at the organization’s facilities including the three-dimensional
ate, Future Weapon Concepts and and capabilities. video and audio Cave Automatic
Business Development Mike Zec- Virtual Environment (CAVE),
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

ca, Program Integrator for Small During the visit, TARDEC associ- the Vehicle Inertia Properties
and Medium Caliber Armaments ates shared how they are using Evaluation Rig and Ride Motion
and Remote Robotic Armaments their expertise to deliver advanced Simulator. Engineers from

CGVDI engineers and technicians provide systems engineering integration for all of the Army’s combat and tactical ground vehicle fleets.
The CGVDI integrates vehicle technologies that increase battlefield survivability and systems performance. ARDEC team members were duly
impressed by TARDEC’s unprecedented ground vehicle engineering capabilities and capacity.

TARDEC’s Ground Vehicle Power

and Mobility (GVPM) Team
highlighted the critical role TAR-
DEC is playing in the progression
of advanced automotive batteries,
hybrid-electric technology and
track and suspension. GVPM
associates also highlighted the
capabilities of TARDEC’s fu-
ture Ground Systems Power and
Energy Laboratory, which opens
its doors in September 2011 with
eight state-of-the-art laboratories
in one building.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

As robotic systems continue to

play a crucial role in keeping
warfighters out of harm’s way,
From left: Mike Zecca, Vince Matrisciano and TARDEC Team Leader for Lightweight Structures
both TARDEC and ARDEC – Survivability Donald Ostberg discuss armor solutions in TARDEC’s CGVDI, formerly the
are seeking ways to utilize the Prototype Integration Facility.
at the work being done by the
organization and opportunities
for future collaboration. “During
our visit to TARDEC it quickly


became apparent that the orga-
nization has made great strides
in its efforts to further develop
core competencies, including
new areas such as the robotics
team,” remarked Flynn. “I com-
mend TARDEC leadership on
the outstanding improvements
to its facilities and, more impor-
tantly, to its renewed operational
focus. I am very excited about the
tremendous opportunities for
Foreground: TARDEC Engineer Jonathan Aboona (left) and TARDEC CGVDI Associate ARDEC and TARDEC to expand
Director Luis Hinojosa (right) give an overview of the work conducted in the CGVDI our collaboration in armaments
to (back row, from left): Acting Associate Director for IGS Jeff Jaster, Mike Zecca, Vince
Matrisciano and ESIC Director COL Scott Flynn. integration for both manned and
unmanned platforms, as well as in
capabilities of those systems. advancement of armaments systems engineering.”
Associates from TARDEC’s technology and engineering in-
Intelligent Ground Systems novation. As one of the special-
(IGS) detailed the work being ized research, development and
conducted in their technical engineering centers within the
areas. The tour also included a U.S. Army Materiel Command,
visit to TARDEC’s newly formed ARDEC has the responsibility
Center for Ground Vehicle for meeting this critical demand.
Development and Integration ARDEC’s workforce provides life-
(CGVDI), which merged the cycle support for nearly 90 per-
capabilities of the Prototype cent of the Army’s lethality used
Integration Facility and Ground every day by the U.S. warfighter.
Vehicle Integration Center to Last October, TARDEC Director From left: ARDEC Program Integrator for
Small and Medium Caliber Armaments and
align and expand research and Dr. Grace M. Bochenek and her Remote Robotic Armaments Vince Ma-
development (R&D) activities ARDEC counterpart Dr. Joseph trisciano; ARDEC Senior Associate for Future
and establish a new military Lannon hosted a joint panel at Weapon Concepts and Business Development
Mike Zecca; TARDEC GVPM Testing, Evalu-
nucleus for public-private the National Defense Industrial ation and Assessment Team Leader Michael
ground vehicle systems Association’s Ground Combat Reid; TARDEC Deputy Associate Director
for Platform Mobility Michael Blain; and
collaborative partnerships. In Vehicle Conference, where they TARDEC Deputy IGS Associate Director Terry
the CGVDI, ARDEC associates emphasized the importance Tierney tour TARDEC’s GVPM test cells.
were shown TARDEC-developed of collaboration between the
auxiliary power units and Army’s Research, Development
received a demonstration of and Engineering Centers and
how armor is integrated onto a industry partners.
ground vehicle platform.
The ARDEC visitors remarked Chris Williams is a Writer/Editor with
ARDEC is an internationally that the time spent at TARDEC BRTRC and provides contract support
to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
acknowledged hub for the provided an eye-opening look
tions team. He has a B.A. in communi-
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

“I am very excited about the tremendous opportunities for cation from Wayne State University in
Detroit, MI, and has previously written
ARDEC and TARDEC to expand our collaboration in armaments for The Source newspaper in Shelby
Township, MI, and The Macomb Daily
integration for both manned and unmanned platforms, as well and C & G Newspapers in Macomb
County, MI.
as in systems engineering.”
Designing a Unique Lab for
Michael A. Kluger and Felt A. Mounce

A new Army facility will support warfighters with next-generation ground vehicles.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

A Combat Tactical Vehicle Technology Demonstrator, a test bed for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle family of vehicles, under-
goes testing at the Nevada Automotive Test Center in Carson City, NV. TARDEC’s new GSPEL will support the Army with
engineering systems integration for next-generation ground vehicles and equipment. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams.)

Advanced Military Vehicles

The pace at which cutting-edge with complexity rivaling that of a portant and extremely challeng-
vehicle technologies are being devel- fighter jet, and sophisticated battle- ing to deliver. The challenges are
oped to support warfighters’ needs field communications, command further compounded by the fact
continues to increase dramatically. and control. that military vehicles are operated
Vehicles are being designed with at extremely high power levels,
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

experimental engines, alterna- Evaluating those systems and must be tested at extreme condi-
tive fuels, nontraditional power- integrated vehicle platforms tions and typically contain new
trains, high-density energy storage requires development, validation and experimental technologies.
capabilities, high-voltage electrical and commissioning so they are
systems, armor plating, high-density battle-ready and highly reliable. To meet these challenges, the U.S.
electronics and navigational systems These qualities are critically im- Army determined it needed a
facility specifications necessary to
embody the centralized, state-of-
the-art facility containing eight
engineering laboratories. The goal
was to create a facility to evalu-
ate light transport, such as High
Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled
Vehicles (HMMWVs), to heavy
combat vehicles, such as military
tanks with hybrid-electric (HE)
and fuel cell configurations, and
to evaluate components, such
as engines, transmissions, axles,
electric motors, batteries, ul-
tracapacitors, engine auxiliary
systems, air filters, radiators and
heat exchangers. To develop the
specifications, SwRI assembled a
team of 31 engineers with a wide
SwRI provided this artist’s rendering of TARDEC’s GSPEL. The specification for the GSPEL facility variety of backgrounds.
contains a number of unique components, including this environmental chamber with wind and
solar simulators (orange, at center). (Image courtesy of SwRI.)
For more than six decades, SwRI
one-of-a-kind, fully integrated test rigid schedule to be eligible for has operated the Army-owned
facility, the likes of which had not congressional funding. TARDEC Fuels and Lubricants
been attempted before. The first Research Laboratory on the SwRI
step toward creating such a facility, Ground Systems Power and grounds in San Antonio, TX.
to be located alongside the Army’s Energy Laboratory (GSPEL) TARDEC Ground Vehicle Power
existing U.S. Army Tank Automo- The new GSPEL is expected to and Mobility operates its primary
tive Research, Development and require two years to construct and facility at the Detroit Arsenal in
Engineering Center (TARDEC) will become operational by Sep- Warren, MI, where engines and
laboratories in Warren, MI, was to tember 2011. The Army engaged vehicles are evaluated on dyna-
prepare a specification defining Southwest Research Institute mometers under extreme envi-
the different laboratories and their (SwRI), which has been involved ronmental conditions.
testing equipment, operational with advanced and unique
requirements and facility infra- engine, vehicle and emissions The team, drawn from SwRI’s
structure requirements. research laboratories over many automotive engineering divisions,
years, as a consultant to rapidly began by consulting with TARDEC
To create the specification, the Army provide engineering support engineers to gain an understand-
sought a collaborating research services for GSPEL. ing of the vision for the laboratory,
organization that would have: conceptualizing many options and
The Army had a concept in mind eventually arriving at a preferred
• A strong vision of where future but sought out SwRI to develop solution for each of the laborato-
vehicle technology is headed. the demanding equipment and ries. Estimates of electrical, water,
• A broad awareness of current
vehicles and drivetrain systems.
• A deep grounding in vehicle The goal was to create a facility to evaluate light transport,
and component testing and such as HMMWVs, to heavy combat vehicles, such as military
laboratory test equipment.
tanks with HE and fuel cell configurations, and to evaluate
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

• The ability to integrate multiple

engineering requirements asso-
components, such as engines, transmissions, axles, electric
ciated with mechanical, electri-
cal and electronic systems. motors, batteries, ultracapacitors, engine auxiliary systems, air
• The ability to complete speci-
fications under a demanding, filters, radiators and heat exchangers.
steam and gas utility requirements The team, drawn from SwRI’s automotive engineering divisions,
were developed for the overall
building specification. Detailed began by consulting with TARDEC engineers to gain an
projections based on expected
understanding of the vision for the laboratory, conceptualizing


utilization, equipment and discus-
sions with TARDEC engineers re- many options and eventually arriving at a preferred solution for
vealed opportunities for efficiency
gains as the team created a set of each of the laboratories.
facility requirements. The require-
ments were provided to the U.S. and performance criteria. Further- trical power architecture systems
Army Corps of Engineers to aid in more, GSPEL will help expedite integration, electric components,
the preparation of a bid request. the integration of state-of-the-art pulse power and directed energy,
HE and fuel cell technologies thermal fluids, fuel cells and air
Green Laboratory Mandate into advanced military vehicles to flow filtration. Taken as a whole,
Beyond the efficiency gains reduce fuel consumption, improve the laboratory will be able to ex-
that would be expected from a overall vehicle operation and em- amine various vehicle systems
new laboratory, the Army today ploy the most efficient use of as well as the entire vehicle.
mandates that all new construc- energy sources.
tion be certified under the “Silver” Some of the selected equipment
category of the U.S. Green Build- The new laboratory design ex- features include:
ing Council’s Leadership in En- pands the Army’s technological
ergy and Environmental Design thrust into cutting-edge power • Eleven alternate current electri-
(LEED) Green Building Rating and energy management technol- cally regenerative dynamom-
System. LEED is a third-party cer- ogy. The proposed facility will eters with ratings from 2,500
tification program that encour- have labs and offices and related foot-pounds (ft-lb) of torque
ages sustainable “green” build- spaces for a staff of more than and 14,000 revolutions per
ing and development practices 60. Laboratories are provided for minute (rpm), up to 26,500
through universally accepted tools vehicle environment, power, elec- ft-lb and 1,000 rpm.

S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

M1151 up-armored HMMWVs sit inside the 1st Battalion, 401st Army Field Support Brigade vehicle maintenance facility at Camp As Sayliyah,
Qatar, Oct. 10, 2009. The state-of-the-art GSPEL will contain eight engineering laboratories to create a facility to evaluate light transport, such as
HMMWVs. (U.S. Army photo by Dustin Senger.)
with yearly power consumption
of more than 2 million kilowatt-
hours. Cooling water needs were
projected at 2,500 gallons per
month. Power supplies to the
facility will be rated to 800 volts
direct current and 1,000 amps.
The environmental air han-
dling system will be able to flow
175,000 cubic feet per minute
with 90 tons of heating and cool-
ing to control air temperature
and humidity.

Meeting LEED certification stan-

dards for such a facility is extremely
challenging. Therefore, the SwRI
engineering team created methods
for quantifying LEED improve-
ments, enhancements and solu-
tions and for exploring multiple
equipment- and energy-related
issues. Some of those issues involved
different dynamometer operating
power scenarios during electrical
motoring and regenerative operat-
ing modes; dynamometer energy
recovery; electrical motor operation
in off-peak conditions; and preci-
sion power supply charge-discharge
cycles. For each lab within the facil-
ity, the dominant energy-consum-
ing or energy-producing items were
selected for individual study. For
example, dynamometer efficiency
was studied at various partial-load
conditions to produce accurate
The authors stand behind a scale mock-up of TARDEC’s GSPEL. Felt A. Mounce (left) assisted electrical consumption estimates for
with the specification design, build and installation of dynamometer test stands. Michael A.
Kluger leads SwRI’s effort for automotive-related test stand development for applications with
the facility.
high-power and high-speed requirements. (Photo courtesy of SwRI.)
GSPEL will help expedite the
• A full-size vehicle chamber dust media insertion. integration of state-of-the-art
with environmental controls • Four fuel cell test stands.
for temperature, humidity HE and fuel cell technologies
and solar simulation. The design team projected the
into advanced military
• Seven environmental chambers. facility’s electrical usage over 30
• Three extremely high-voltage years, based on various dyna- vehicles to reduce fuel
and current power supplies. mometer operating schedules,
consumption, improve overall
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

• One of the world’s largest calo- environmental chamber thermal

rimeters for testing radiators, cycles, power supply duty cycles, vehicle operation and employ
engine coolers and transmis- calorimeter test procedures and
sion coolers. air filtration testing requirements. the most efficient use of
• Four air filter test stands of The projected electrical service was
energy sources.
various sizes with combined determined to be 4.7 megawatts
Broad-Based Design
Capabilities The SwRI team was able to help the Army define, and then integrate, a
The creation of a specification for
a facility as broad and far-reach- wide range of laboratories and equipment into a single facility that will


ing as the GSPEL was an extremely allow vehicle testing and development across demanding test conditions
challenging task. The GSPEL
facility requires equipment to and in dramatically reduced time.
work at levels that are unprec-
edented in today’s engineering technologies. Testing these types The document SwRI prepared
laboratories and, in many cases, of components requires the use was integrated into a request for
will represent the largest such of intensive engineering to pro- proposal by the Army and adver-
capabilities in the world. Satisfy- vide creative and innovative tised for a design-build contract
ing such capabilities is a require- approaches and solutions, to construct the GSPEL labora-
ment to allow for testing of future whether by modifying existing tory. Multiple bids were received
military vehicles that will have testing equipment or fabricating and were reviewed to determine
performance well beyond that of custom equipment. if they met the specified facility
current vehicles. The SwRI team and equipment requirements. A
was able to help the Army define, GSPEL specification develop- construction contract was award-
and then integrate, a wide range ment involved the generation and ed by the Corps of Engineers and
of laboratories and equipment integration of massive amounts construction has already begun.
into a single facility that will allow of information associated with
vehicle testing and development extremely high-power electrical
Editor’s Note: This article was previously
across demanding test conditions equipment, high-speed rotating published in the Spring 2009 issue of Technol-
and in dramatically reduced time. equipment, very high voltage and ogy Today. The article is reprinted with the
authors’ permission and has been edited for
This, in turn, will allow the Army amperage levels, extreme heating style and to bring the content up to date.
to continue the development of and cooling, humidity control,
future generations of military and massive airflow. Comple-
vehicles, integrating current and menting this equipment was an
alternative vehicle propulsion, extensive suite of instrumentation
power generation, energy storage, for measuring torques, speeds,
power management and control pressures, flows and temperatures. Michael A. Kluger is a Senior Program
systems for current and emerg- Manager in the Fuels and Lubricants
ing classes of vehicles that are Acting as the client’s advocate by Research Division at SwRI, where he
both wheeled and tracked, and creating test stand and test facility leads the organization’s efforts for
manned and unmanned. specifications is a long-standing automotive-related test stand develop-
service that SwRI has provided ment, with an emphasis on unique
and novel test stands for applications
The SwRI team defined and for more than 30 years. By its very
requiring high-power and high-speed
prepared this specification using nature, it is a challenging and de- requirements. Kluger holds a B.S. in
its broad experience in testing manding discipline because of the mechanical engineering from Arizona
engines, transmissions, axles, elec- breadth of technologies and oper- State University, and he is a Registered
trical power components and ve- ating conditions that engineering Professional Engineer, State of Arizona.
hicles over the past 60 years. This testing involves. Because of the
experience has been enhanced many types of components SwRI
Felt A. Mounce is a Research Engineer
with real-world knowledge based is involved with on a daily basis, it
in the Fuels and Lubricants Research
on operating more than 240 provides such specifications and Division at SwRI, where he supports
dynamometers at its San Antonio test stands for applications involv- the development of broad-based, inte-
facility, which is believed to be the ing the next generation of heavy grated test stand fabrication and facility
largest dynamometer grouping of lift helicopter gearboxes, subma- specifications involving the integration
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

its kind in the world. In addition, rine propulsion systems, advanced of mechanical, electrical and electronic
much of this testing is extremely engines used in military vehicles, components and systems. Mounce
holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering
challenging, as it involves the drilling motors used in oil rigs, from New Mexico State University and
next generation of powertrain transmissions used in 18-wheel is a member of the American Society
components and vehicles that trucks and precision hydraulics of Mechanical Engineers and Society of
typically incorporate advanced used in high-pressure applications. Automotive Engineers.
Fueling Development for
TARDEC’s Fuels and

A History of Innovations: The TARDEC Fuels

and Lubricants Research Facility (TFLRF)
supports battlefield fuel and lubricant needs
for the Army and the other services. Its
unique location draws on Southwest Research
Institute’s (SwRI’s) interdisciplinary approach
to problem solving among its 11 on-campus
technical divisions. (U.S. Army TARDEC image
courtesy of the TFLRF.)
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

Future Force Vehicles —
Lub ricants Laboratories
Provide Leading-Edge R&D
Matthew Sablan

S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

fter World War II, the Army noted fuels and lubricant problems
that occurred in vehicles operating in harsh environments. To find
solutions to these engineering problems, the Army established
the Army Fuels and Lubricants Laboratories on May 9, 1957.
Over the years, the lab has evolved into a world-class research
facility with a much-expanded mission. Now known as the U.S.
Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
(TARDEC) Fuels and Lubricants Research Facility (TFLRF), it is located
on the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) campus in San Antonio, TX.
The SwRI location was already well-established with well-known experts
in the automotive and fuels and lubricants areas, so it was an obvious
choice for the Army to move its research, development and testing focus
to the facility. Today, the TFLRF offers unprecedented synergy that brings
unique strengths to TARDEC.

The Crossroad for Fuels and and lubricants lab in the world.” The
Lubricants Research and work done here considers all aspects
Development (R&D) that impact the performance of pow- State-of-the-art equipment is available from
SwRI for TARDEC’s use. The equipment
The TFLRF occupies more than ertrain products. pictured here — combined with SwRI SME
29,000 square feet on five acres of expertise — gives TARDEC unparalleled
land. The facilities are government- Various technologies all impact the access to fuels and lubricants knowledge and
test results. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by
owned and contractor-operated, automotive engine — combustion, Bill Dowell.)
and SwRI itself is an independent, lubricant composition, fuel composi-
nonprofit applied R&D organization. tion and hardware design all must be location and expertise in these techni-
SwRI’s grounds place the laboratory considered. Changes in any of these cal areas are available at one location,
in a “hub and crossroads of fuels can impact other areas, and having a not spread across the country. Better
and lubricants research,” stated Steve facilities hub collocated with all these still, the lab is dedicated to Army work.
Marty, TFLRF Director. “SwRI is the technical areas together is a signifi-
largest independent, nonprofit fuels cant benefit for the Army. SwRI’s “SwRI is the largest
independent, nonprofit fuels and
lubricants lab in the world.”

The commercial laboratories sur-

rounding the TFLRF allow TARDEC
to work in an R&D complex focused
solely on relevant projects. Facil-
ity personnel have instant access to
a variety of experts in automotive
and other technology areas to ad-
dress unique problems. TARDEC can
access these experts and correspond-
ing data as soon as they are needed
using a variety of means. “Being in the
middle of this complex lets us lever-
age world-renowned people to solve
problems,” Marty explained. “We have
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

access to resources that just wouldn’t

be available elsewhere. Sometimes, if
we’re having a problem, rather than
hunt down a Ph.D. across the country,
An SwRI associate conducts an experiment. SwRI has established subject-matter experts (SMEs) in
the automotive and fuels and lubricants areas, and their resources and facilities provide numerous I can go find, or bump into, the needed
opportunities for TARDEC to leverage their expertise. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Bill Dowell.) expert at the cafeteria.”
Conducting One-of-a-Kind
The TFLRF’s mission is to support
the Current Force’s vehicle fleet.
However, the lab keeps an eye to the


future. The future mission involves
being able to move away from
conventional fuels and lubricants,
while making sure that new and
current vehicles can use the newly
developed fuels, lubricants and
synthetics fuels. By keeping the new
technologies backwards-compati-
ble, the laboratory can prepare the
way for Future Force vehicles while
fulfilling its Current Force mission.
Additionally, SwRI assists TAR-
DEC’s National Automotive Center
with hybridization and alternative
fuel research.

To accomplish the mission, the

laboratory makes use of vari-
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 401st Army Field Support Brigade, test drive a Stryker
ous capabilities and equipment.
medical evacuation variant on a test track outside the Stryker battle damage repair facility
Alongside the facility’s engine test at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Sept. 21, 2009. Research at SwRI ensures that the Soldiers
cells is the combustor facility, which mounted in Strykers and other vehicles have more fuel-efficient and safer tactical vehicle
platforms. (U.S. Army photo by Dustin Senger.)
simulates the first stage of a jet tur-
bine. It generates high temperatures
and airflow, making the facility able viscous base stock that will, ultimate- lubricants, often initiating the gold
to conduct tests that are impossible ly, reduce fuel consumption. standard for lubricants’ performance
elsewhere, such as fuel nozzle fouling in the most challenging operational
tests. The laboratory's on-grounds “Being in the middle of this environments. “If you go into [a mar-
ballistics test site allows SwRI to test ket] and buy a quart of engine oil, the
whether fuels or other technologies
complex lets us leverage world- technology used in it was at one point
can withstand specific threats. Unique renowned people to solve a military standard,” Marty remarked.
air and liquid filtration systems and
fog-producing effects round out the problems. We have access to The TFLRF at SwRI continues to
facility’s equipment. resources that just wouldn’t be provide valuable R&D unobtain-
able from any other location in the
The TFLRF, alongside TARDEC’s available elsewhere.” world. As they have for more than 50
Fuels and Lubricants Technology years, these labs continue support-
Team, is currently researching the Marty sees the laboratories as “a ing TARDEC’s mission, providing
Single Common Powertrain Lu- TARDEC facility, but also a Depart- cutting-edge research for supporting
bricant (SCPL). SCPL will work in ment of Defense support facility for America’s current and future tactical
engines and replace other vehicle fuels and lubricants.” The Air Force, and combat ground vehicle fleets.
lubricants as well. “Think logistics,” Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard
Marty explained. “If this one lubri- also have run projects through the
cant works in engines and gears, then laboratories. Additionally, the facility
we can reduce supply chains. But, can assist in commercial work when
think further. Wouldn’t it be neat assets are not required for military
if it worked in the Arctic and the research. “This lets the facility see
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

desert?” A product that can tolerate activity on both sides of the fence,” Matthew Sablan is a Writer/Editor
these extremes without requiring an Marty stated. “This is only possible with BRTRC and provides contract
oil change will enhance posture and because of our location.” support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
readiness. The SCPL would also allow munications team. He has a B.A. in
English and history from Marymount
the Army to reduce costs, as the SCPL The Army has always been a driving
University in Arlington, VA.
would be using a synthetic and less force behind commercial fuels and
EARL Runs Batteries
Through Paces
Chris Williams

The Advanced Reconfigurable Spaceframe

(AReS) combat vehicle features a hybrid-
electric propulsion system integrated into an
advanced space frame hull structure. Work
conducted in TARDEC’s advanced battery lab-
oratories is dedicated to improving the power
and capabilities of advanced power storage
systems to power hybrid-electric vehicles like
the AReS. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)

s the U.S. Army and its partners pursue new developments
in alternative energy, advanced energy storage systems The team also is exploring vari-
have become a crucial focus area for improving fuel effi- ous Li chemistries and nickel-zinc
ciency and providing improved power to vehicle systems. (Ni-Zn) batteries. “In the advanced
With the addition of new electronic equipment leading to Li-ion area, we’re evaluating dif-
increased power requirements and the Army continuing ferent batteries that will provide
its pursuit of "silent watch" capabilities, advanced batteries have higher energy and higher power
become a critical tool in powering the Army’s current and future capability,” Olszanski stated. “We’re
ground vehicle systems (GVS). also looking at Ni-Zn as a poten-
tial backup, which is a low-cost,
Located at the Detroit Arsenal in understand the battery cell capa- water-based electrolyte system.
Warren, MI, the U.S. Army Tank bilities and modules provided by We are also continuing to research
Automotive Research, Develop- those partners and determine how advanced lead acid systems.”
ment and Engineering Center’s they can be integrated into vehicle
(TARDEC’s) Electrochemical systems. “Part of our job is to per- Testing Equipment
Analysis and Research Labora- form the screening process on these The TARDEC laboratory utilizes
tory (EARL) exists to increase the cells and batteries to say, ‘Yes, that’s various programmable cyclers
Army’s understanding of advanced good,’ or, ‘Let’s not pursue that to test batteries, which allow
batteries and how they can be in- any further.’ Typically we perform characterization of the units
tegrated into GVS. The laboratory a series of characterization tests,
selects research and development where we make sure the battery or
undertaken by Army engineers and cells operate to the manufacturer’s
industry partners and applies it to claims,” explained TARDEC Battery
Army technologies. Test Engineer Ted Olszanski.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

Understanding Capabilities The team works with a variety of

TARDEC’s Energy Storage Team chemistries and battery types, in-
works with partners in industry cluding lithium ion (Li-ion), which
and academia to develop advanced lasts longer, weighs less and has A TARDEC engineer tests a Li-ion battery
module. Lithium chemistry batteries provide
batteries for Army ground vehicles. greater energy and power densities, higher energy and longer life cycles than lead
The EARL’s major function is to than standard lead acid batteries. acid batteries. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo
48 courtesy of Ted Olszanski.)
under various operational agement system. It’s harder for the starting, lighting and
and environmental conditions. battery to actually give up or accept ignition applications.”
Associates also measure resistance energy at lower temperatures. In
and power through a Hybrid the high-temperature range, how- The EARL is currently located in


Pulse Power Characterization test. ever, the batteries wear out faster two buildings at the Detroit Arse-
“This allows us to characterize and yield less energy over time, nal, and both laboratories will be
the resistance and the power at giving them a lower cycle life.” incorporated into the new Ground
various states of charge,” Olszanski Systems Power and Energy Labora-
stated. “Ultimately, we’ll be doing tory (GSPEL), which celebrated
life-cycle testing to see how long its groundbreaking at the Detroit
these cells last and what their fade Arsenal in August 2009. The GSPEL
characteristics are.” location will provide greater testing
capabilities, including the ability to
The team utilizes an impedance test the actual battery packs that are
spectrometer to measure a cell’s im- used to power vehicles. “Right now,
pedance at various frequencies. The we’re testing cells and modules, but
A TARDEC engineer conducts tests on a
tool allows TARDEC researchers to battery module. TARDEC’s Power Storage modules are what ultimately get put
understand how one cell performs Team conducts several tests to understand onto a battery pack, and the battery
advanced battery characteristics, capabilities
when compared to another, the and life cycle duration. (U.S. Army TARDEC
pack is what ultimately goes on a
effect of current collection and the photo courtesy of Ted Olszanski.) vehicle. So we’re moving toward
way it is manufactured. “It’s a diag- increasing the capability of the lab
nostic tool,” Olszanski clarified. “It’s The Call for More Power to test battery packs,” Olszanski
used for identifying areas that need As the demand for increased bat- remarked. “Within the GSPEL,
to be improved or improvements tery capability grows, TARDEC’s we will be able to test cells, battery
that someone may have made as Energy Storage Team faces a num- modules and battery packs, which
they provide us with different types ber of challenges. New technol- can provide 300–600 volts.”
of cells. Impedance and resistance ogy drives up energy demands on
help us determine how much vehicles and takes up space, leaving The Army’s fleet of ground vehicle’s
power a cell will provide.” engineers with the task of develop- energy and power needs continue
ing batteries with greater energy to grow in order to allow Soldiers to
“Part of our job is to perform and power densities. “We’re trying safely and efficiently complete mis-
the screening process on these to hit a moving target in terms of sions in the field and keep the fleet
what the power and energy require- moving. With the addition of the
cells and batteries to say, ‘Yes, ments are because it keeps moving new GSPEL facility and its ability to
in an upward direction,” Olszanski allow testing of larger batteries safe-
that’s good,’ or, ‘Let’s not pursue revealed. “There’s never enough ly, along with the existing EARL, the
that any further.’” available power, energy or space TARDEC Energy Storage team will
on a vehicle.” be capable of performing research,
Environmental conditions can im- development and testing of batteries
pact the amount of power batteries The team is currently studying the up to pack size and thus help meet
can provide. To better understand application of advanced batteries the many energy challenges facing
how cells and modules are affected in electric and hybrid-electric- today’s Army vehicle fleet.
by environmental changes, char- powered vehicles. More impor-
acterization tests are conducted tantly, however, is the capability
at room temperature, as well as advanced batteries may provide
at high- and low-temperature in powering vehicle equipment Chris Williams is a Writer/Editor with
extremes. “At lower temperatures and providing Soldiers with silent BRTRC and provides contract support
the batteries do not provide as high watch capabilities, a must-have to TARDEC’s Strategic Communications
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

a capacity, and at some point they on the battlefield. “The push is team. He has a B.A. in communication
won’t operate,” Olszanski illustrat- to provide more power to the from Wayne State University in Detroit,
ed. “Below -25 degrees Fahrenheit Army’s ground vehicles,” MI, and has previously written for The
seems to be the critical number Olszanski emphasized. “Batter- Source newspaper in Shelby Township,
where we know we need to improve ies are needed to provide power, MI, and The Macomb Daily and C & G
upon and develop a thermal man- especially in silent watch or Newspapers in Macomb County, MI.
TARDEC Engineers Advance
Technology and Systems

Increased fuel efficiency requirements and power demands have made HE

power an integral component for developing the Army’s future ground vehicle
fleet. TARDEC, as the Army’s ground vehicle systems integrator, tests HE
components and systems for future implementation on a range of wheeled
and tracked vehicles using the HE Reconfigurable Movable Integration Test
(HERMIT) bed. (U.S. Army TARDEC photos provided by Ghassan Khalil.)
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

Hybrid-Electric (HE)
In tegration
Chris Williams

s automakers face new fuel-efficiency requirements and the
U.S. Army develops new ways to power vehicles, the role of HE
vehicles (HEVs) has become more prominent. To further the
Army’s development of HE technology, the U.S. Army Tank
Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
(TARDEC) operates two laboratories that specialize in devel-
oping, testing and optimizing HE systems.
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

The HERMIT is a critical tool in TARDEC’s Hybrid P&E labs. Recently moved to the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI, from
Santa Clara, CA, the HERMIT provides engineers with the capability to test integrated systems on a vehicle platform.

Electric Component Evalua- rent dynamometer is used to then characterize the machine by
tion Laboratory (ECEL) test motors and generators up measuring its efficiency at several
The Army’s demonstrator HEVs to 350 kilowatts to provide an points to create an efficiency map.”
require advancing some enabling understanding of the test items’
electrical component technolo- power, torque, efficiency and Power and Energy (P&E)
gies for the vehicles to meet their thermal management. Systems Integration
performance objectives. Located Laboratory (SIL)
at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, “Even though we test individual Once electrical components have
MI, TARDEC’s ECEL technicians components and understand been tested on their own, they
and engineers test and verify the must be evaluated as part of an
performance of new HE compo- their performance, we need to integrated system. TARDEC’s
nent concepts for acceptable and P&E SIL, initially located in Santa
safe operation.
gain an understanding of how Clara, CA, now has a large por-
they behave when they are tion of the facility’s equipment
“It’s a very important capability moved to TARDEC. This allows
to have because there are some integrated together.” on-site researchers to understand
technical challenges that need to how a component’s capabilities
be resolved before we can imple- The laboratory provides TARDEC are affected when it is connected
ment HE technologies,” explained associates with the ability to to a system. “Even though we
Ghassan Khalil, TARDEC HE understand electric component test individual components and
Team Leader. “We have to mature capabilities prior to integrating understand their performance, we
the technology, and we do that them into a system, a crucial fac- need to gain an understanding of
through testing and evaluation tor in developing vehicle systems. how they behave when they are
and further development at the “The importance is to verify integrated together,” remarked
system level.” the component’s predicted and Khalil. “How are they connected
advertised performance,” stated together, how does one system
The ECEL includes capabilities to Khalil. “When you buy a machine, affect another system, what’s their
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

test all electrical components it comes with certain ratings re- burden for integration purposes,
that make up an HE system, lated to torque, power, speed and how many cooling circuits will
including electric motors and an advertised efficiency. Efficiency they require and what are the
their controllers, power condi- varies with speed, load, power different temperatures that need
tioning converters and advanced and torque, and we need to verify to be maintained for each com-
batteries. An alternating cur- that these ratings are correct and ponent? All of these things are
extremely critical before com- The Hybrid P&E SIL in Santa Clara and TARDEC’s ECEL at the Detroit
ponents are integrated into the Arsenal provide engineers with the capability to test electrical compo-
vehicle, and the SIL gives us the nents and understand how they perform as part of an integrated system.

capability to understand those


issues,” Khalil explained.
“There are many constraints in
integrating a vehicle,
and you never know how
a system reacts to those
constraints until you package
the different subsystems into
the vehicle platform.”
A component’s performance can a combat vehicle architecture’s constraints of a system, where
be drastically affected when it’s effectiveness. “When you test electrical interference and space
connected to another compo- these components as part of an and weight restrictions may affect
nent. A motor may operate at integrated system, things start the system’s overall capabilities.
97-percent efficiency on its own, appearing,” Khalil revealed. “You
but that efficiency will decrease may learn that a component “The idea is to see how tight the
when controllers, fans or other works fine by itself, but there’s space is going to be when you
components are attached to it. an issue when it’s combined with put all these components to-
The work conducted in the P&E other components. The SIL allows gether and see if you have enough
SIL allows TARDEC engineers to us to discover and fix these issues space available for what you have
connect the components together before the vehicle is fielded, when designed,” Khalil noted. “There
in one room and understand the it would be too late.” are many constraints in integrat-
system’s performance capabilities, ing a vehicle, and you never know
allowing them to discover problems One key P&E SIL test tool is the how a system reacts to those
and challenges before the system HE Reconfigurable Movable Inte- constraints until you package
is integrated into a vehicle for fu- gration Test bed (HERMIT). The the different subsystems into the
ture fielding. The measurements HERMIT provides engineers with vehicle platform. The SIL can
gained through testing in the the capability to test the integrat- operate without a vehicle plat-
SIL rapidly and cost-effectively ed systems on a vehicle platform. form because we can put different
validate and transition advanced The HERMIT allows TARDEC components in different places
electrical technology to a ve- associates to understand how the and fill up an entire room. With
hicle and provide a cost-effective system performs when compo- the HERMIT, we bring them all
means to develop and evaluate nents are connected under the into this small space to gain an
understanding of how they all
The HERMIT can be reconfigured to allow for the placement of systems through- work together,” Khalil concluded.
out the platform, allowing engineers to test integrated systems for any vehicle.

Chris Williams is a Writer/Editor with

BRTRC and provides contract support
to TARDEC’s Strategic Communications
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

team. He has a B.A. in communication

from Wayne State University in Detroit,
MI, and has previously written for The
Source newspaper in Shelby Township,
MI, and The Macomb Daily and C & G
Newspapers in Macomb County, MI.
Fueling Station and
Maintenance Facility Keep
Hydrogen Vehicles Powered
Chris Williams

s the U.S. Army pursues advancements in
alternative energy, hydrogen has proven to
be a potentially viable fuel source for many
smaller ground vehicles. As the Nation’s energy
security hub, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive
Research, Development and Engineering Cen-
ter’s (TARDEC’s) National Automotive Center (NAC)
oversees two facilities that support the Army’s fleet of
hydrogen-powered vehicles.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

The sports utility vehicle, seen here at the 2009 Memorial Day Parade in
Dearborn, MI, was developed by TARDEC’s NAC in partnership with
outside organizations. The vehicle is one of 10 converted hybrid-electric
sports utility vehicles to operate on compressed hydrogen. (U.S. Army
TARDEC photos by Chris Williams.)

Hydrogen Fueling Station as it works to create a nationwide The station’s dispenser, which is
One challenge to the acceptance fueling infrastructure for hydro- designed after a basic gasoline
of hydrogen-powered ground gen vehicles. “We’ve had a couple pump, uses a specialized locking
vehicles is the lack of a robust of different officials from the auto mechanism to ensure that neither
infrastructure for fueling those industry come out here recently the vehicle nor station will suffer
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

systems. The Hydrogen Fuel- to take a look,” stated Steven Eick, leaks during fueling. Designed in
ing Station, located at the Self- a TARDEC hydrogen projects accordance with the California
ridge Air National Guard Base engineer. “They were looking Fuel Cells Partnership (CFCP)
(SANGB), MI, provides a location not just at the station, but at how designs, the nozzle also features
for that task and serves as an ex- alternative energy as a whole fits a data connection between the
ample to the automotive industry into a military base.” vehicle and dispenser that
TARDEC’s Hydrogen Fueling Station, located at SANGB, provides a location to
fuel the Army’s growing fleet of hydrogen-powered ground vehicles.

monitors tank size, temperature and mass you get,” Eick explained. strain. The reason you want that
and pressure, factors essential to “With liquid fuels like gasoline, communication between the ve-
an accurate filling. “When you’re it doesn’t vary that much — you hicle and station is to adequately
dealing with gaseous fuels, you heat it up, and it expands just a lit- control that relationship between
have to be a lot more careful about tle bit. If you heat up a little bit of temperature, pressure and volume
temperature and pressure because hydrogen, it drastically increases during refueling.”
it relates to how much volume the pressure and adds additional
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

In partnership with Chevron,

“They put together an organization for vehicle
the facility formerly generated
manufacturers, gasoline retailers and energy retailers and its own hydrogen using a steam
natural gas reformer. The part-
developed a protocol that would fit with both groups and nership is currently in the final
said, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’” stages, with the reformer in the
“The earliest implementation areas right now that I see are “It helps us in the sense that we
know what problems to look for or
basically forklifts and tow tractors, because the power required design to in the future if we want
to do a beta version or second
for them is a lot less than a standard vehicle.”


prototype. It benefits us, and it
benefits the auto industry because
process of being removed. “It was hydrogen ground vehicles. While they know, based on our research,
a steam-methane reformation much of the work conducted on what to do, what changes to make
process. It takes steam and natu- the vehicles is similar to work and how to make this move even
ral gas and breaks the natural gas done on conventionally powered closer to commercialization, which
down into carbon dioxide and hy- systems, the high pressures and is their end goal.”
drogen. From there, the hydrogen sensitive nature of working with
is separated out, compressed and hydrogen require specialized Hydrogen’s Future
then put into storage banks,” re- precautions to prevent potentially Hydrogen vehicles are still rela-
vealed Eick. “Now when we need dangerous leaks. The facility, tively new to the Army. Only a
hydrogen, we have a hydrogen which meets all federal, state and handful of bases currently have hy-
company deliver a full tube trailer local requirements for conduct- drogen fueling stations, and most
and use the same compressor to ing maintenance on hydrogen are still considered demonstrators.
back feed into the tanks. When it vehicles, is equipped with hydro- Only a few vehicles, such as the
starts to get low, we order another gen and flame detectors that will Ford Escape Internal Combus-
tube trailer.” sound an alarm and evacuate the tion Engine (ICE) and hydrogen-
gasses in the event of a leak. “The powered forklifts, are currently on
By adhering to CFCP standards, main danger comes from han- the bases, although Eick believes
the station serves as a model for dling high-pressure gasses,” Eick the technology will increase in the
how consumers may eventually expounded. “The hydrogen itself future. “I think it’s a viable source
fuel their own hydrogen-powered is actually no more dangerous because the vehicles are centrally
vehicles. Under the partnership’s than gasoline, but the fact that it’s fueled and have well-known usage
standards, similar dispensers at very high pressures makes it a profiles,” he acknowledged. “The
would be used throughout the little more difficult. It’s like deal- earliest implementation areas right
country, ensuring a common ing with a high-pressure propane now, that I see, are basically fork-
infrastructure for refueling hy- tank or a compressed natural gas lifts and tow tractors, because the
drogen vehicles. “California was tank, where the high pressure has power required for them is a lot
the forerunner with hydrogen to be handled in a specific way less than a standard vehicle. Their
in terms of infrastructure and because any weakness in the sys- speeds are lower, their weights are
refueling,” Eick remarked. “They tem can cause a leak. The systems lower and the fleet is isolated to
put together an organization for are designed to withstand and one location. Even though they’re
vehicle manufacturers, gasoline avoid problems like that.” lifting and towing, they don’t
retailers and energy retailers and require an 80-kilowatt (kW) fuel
developed a protocol that would Currently, contractual obligations cell to do it. They need, maybe, a
fit with the groups and said, require that the hydrogen vehicles 15-kW cell, and that decreases fuel
‘This is what we’re going to do.’ be maintained by vehicle manufac- costs, which makes it a lot easier to
As other states start to develop turers. In the future, Eick believes implement,” Eick concluded.
a hydrogen capability, they will that TARDEC associates will be
likely follow the same protocols. more involved in hydrogen vehicle
The benefit is that you have the maintenance as their knowledge
standardization in place to help of the systems increases and that Chris Williams is a Writer/Editor
companies work together instead the presence of manufacturers on with BRTRC and provides contract
support to TARDEC’s Strategic
of fighting.” the base provides the opportunity
Communications team. He has a B.A.
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

for a strong working relationship in communication from Wayne State

Hydrogen Maintenance Facility between the Army and its industry University in Detroit, MI, and has
The Hydrogen Maintenance Fa- partners. “It benefits them because previously written for The Source
cility, also located at SANGB, of- they get the hands-on experience newspaper in Shelby Township, MI,
fers a safe, state-of-the-art facility of fixing problems and dealing and The Macomb Daily and C & G
Newspapers in Macomb County, MI.
for repairing the Army’s fleet of with user problems,” he stated.
Optimized Combustion and Fuels
Focus of Single Cylin
der Test Cell
Chris Williams

A mechanic checks each part of a new engine on a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle at Camp Liberty, Baghdad, Iraq. TARDEC’s mobility labo-
ratories research engine performance and combustion phenomena to provide Soldiers with reliable and safe ground vehicle systems in tremendously
challenging operational environments. (U.S. Army photo by SPC Howard Alperin.)

ngine combustion is a complex phenomenon. Understand- flexible engine controller. Engi-
ing it is crucial to effectively and efficiently powering the U.S. neers control the entire testing
Army’s fleet of ground vehicles. The U.S. Army Tank Automotive process, including fuel rate, en-
Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s) gine operating condition, coolant
Single Cylinder Test Cell and Evaluation Laboratory, located at system and oil system. “Every-
the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI, is dedicated to studying com- thing is controlled precisely on
bustion phenomena and increasing the Army’s understanding of how that engine,” Schihl remarked.
various factors may affect vehicle engines and performance. “We take measurements that
allow us to indirectly measure
Isolating the Phenomenon TARDEC Senior Research what’s going on in the cylinder
The laboratory features a state-of- Engineer Dr. Peter Schihl. “For ex- with the combustion event and
the-art, high-output, single-cylinder ample, we measure the in-cylinder thus the fuel spray.”
research engine that provides pressure, which we normally don’t
researchers with the capability do when we test a multicylinder Studying Combustion Behavior
of isolating engine combustion, engine. We measure what’s go- Currently, the laboratory is being
allowing them to gain greater ing on with the injection system used to test a variety of poten-
insight through low-speed and precisely — measurements that tial military alternative fuels to
high-speed parameter measure- you wouldn’t find in production. understand how they impact
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

ments that evaluate overall engine This allows us to really study the engine systems. The process for
performance and in-cylinder combustion event in an engine.” such testing begins with gather-
combustion behavior. “We have ing a baseline, in which North
measurements that you wouldn’t The research engine has been American diesel fuel is run at
find when we set up a multi- modified with a flexible prototype several different operating points
cylinder engine,” explained injection system and an associated through the engine, which is
“We start with the baseline,
and we understand that very
well, meaning that we have


a certain torque we want,
and we’ve optimized it for
efficiency or fuel economy.
Then we very carefully study
the combustion behavior.”

fuels for future ground vehicle

systems,” Schihl stated. “It pro-
vides an understanding of what’s
going on in that cylinder as you
TARDEC’s Single Cylinder Engine Laboratory allows researchers to isolate cylinder combustion
to better understand engine performance and behavior. Researchers are currently studying data
vary combustion affecting fuel
gathered in the laboratory to understand how alternative fuels react during combustion events. properties,” he explained. “This
(U.S. Army TARDEC photo courtesy of Laura Hoogterp.) is important in the case of new
engine development because as
calibrated to give the best fuel Benefits you look to the future, especially
economy and highest thermal “The information gleaned from engines that the Army would like
efficiency at a given torque. “We the testing that occurs within the to have the capability to be more
start with the baseline, and we un- Single Cylinder Engine Test Cell flexible with the fuel, you’ll have
derstand that very well, meaning can provide beneficial informa- information upfront that allows
that we have a certain torque we tion to Army engine suppliers and you to come up with a combus-
want, and we’ve optimized it for Army engineers when develop- tion strategy that is more tolerant
efficiency or fuel economy,” Schihl ing engines and considering new of these various fuels.”
explained. “Then we very carefully
study the combustion behavior.” The research also prepares TARDEC
engineers for questions that may
With the baseline gathered, engi- arise in the field, allowing them to
neers start running various fuels quickly and effectively meet Sol-
through the system to understand diers’ needs. “As you run into prob-
how and why the measurements lems with engines in the field, you
change. “We’ve run a 50-50 blend of already have an idea of what might
jet propellant-8 (JP-8) and synthetic be causing it, or you have a quick
JP-8, a 100-percent pure synthetic way to study it,” Schihl stated. “I’m
JP-8, and we have other samples of a big advocate for the more you
fuels that we’ve been running that understand about that situation,
are possible synthetic JP-8s,” Schihl the better chance you have helping
described. “We start evaluating these the Army or a program manager
different fuels with the same control resolve a given engine issue.”
strategy, document what the torque
differences are and then study the
combustion event to figure out why SSG Ronald Gasper, a fuels lab technician Chris Williams is a Writer/Editor with
assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Logistics BRTRC and provides contract support
the change occurred. We’re in the Readiness Squadron, fills a bottle with JP-8
to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

process right now of finishing up fuel to perform a bottle method test, which is
used to test a fuel truck's filter separator and tions team. He has a B.A. in communi-
the fifth fuel. We’ll be making some cation from Wayne State University in
measures the amount of impurities in the fuel.
special blends to adjust the ignition Testing at TARDEC’s Single Cylinder Engine Detroit, MI, and has previously written
quality of the fuel and probably run Laboratory is currently studying the effects of for The Source newspaper in Shelby
JP-8 and alternative fuels on vehicle engines to Township, MI, and The Macomb Daily
another four or five fuels through- improve engine performance, fuel efficiency
out the remainder of 2009.” and economy. (U.S. Army photo by TSGT and C & G Newspapers in Macomb
Michael Boquette). County, MI. 59
tems Engineers

rack for the U.S. Army’s fleet of tracked vehicles is expensive to replace,
and, if it fails, the vehicle and crew can potentially be stranded in hostile
territory. To keep warfighters safe and prevent costly failures, the U.S.
Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Cen-
ter (TARDEC) operates two labs that study the performance of tracked
vehicle components.
0 0n9

An M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank provides covering fire during a clear, hold and build exercise. The Elas-
t em bEerd it2io

tomer Improvement Program (EIP) has established baseline hyperelastic data that successfully developed,
optimized and delivered an Abrams T-158LL bushing model so warfighters have the reliability they depend
a l 2010

on for maneuverability and battlefield survivability. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by LCPL Kelsey J. Green.)
l y -Sep
J uly
S - Sep

Keep Vehicles on Track
Chris Williams

Center Guide Wear Simulator integrated into a vehicle, TARDEC vehicle moving at 20 mph. The
Center guides are small compo- officials test the components on center guides ride against the
nents that play a major role in the Center Guide Wear Simulation wear surface of a road wheel with
keeping tracked vehicles on track. Machine located at an off-site aca- a specified contact load between
The component is part of the demic research center. “You tend the components. It’s a quick and
vehicle’s track shoe and runs be- to get a lot of side load, friction cost-effective way to see if a mate-
tween the road wheels to keep the and wear between the center guide rial is suitable for the application
track aligned and on the vehicle. and the back of the road wheel,” before we spend a lot of money
During the vehicle’s operation, explained Eric Blash, a mechani- on vehicle testing.”

the center guide’s contact with cal engineer on TARDEC’s Track

- Sepl t2010

other tracked components causes and Suspension Team. “The As the Army develops lighter
wear and degradation. Center Guide Wear Simulation vehicles, the simulator plays an
emb er

Machine is basically a large drum. essential role in testing new mate-

E d200
2it0io0 9n

To understand how the compo- We fasten center guides to it rials and components. Track shoes
nents interact before they are and spin it around, simulating a are traditionally made from steel.
The testing provides TARDEC components, such as bushings,
engineers with an understanding of which hold essential pins in place
how the components interact with to keep tracks aligned. TARDEC’s
each other when in use, a capability Elastomer Improvement Program
that stand-alone component testing (EIP), a state-of-the-art research
cannot provide. The simulation and development (R&D) facil-
machine also allows researchers to ity designed for testing, catego-
understand the wear properties of rizing and improving rubber
various materials, properties that compounds for tracked vehicle
would be difficult to gauge with- systems at the Detroit Arsenal,
out physical tests. “Wear is a funny features a bushing tester, which
beast,” Blash remarked. “We can allows engineers to understand
do a standardized wear test that bushing properties without incur-
compares materials, but until you ring the cost of a vehicle test.
simulate the actual working condi-
tions you won’t know exactly how “The EIP exists to come up with
those two materials are going to more relevant tests, protocols and
interact with each other.” techniques to better duplicate our
Soldiers change the tracks on their Bradley failure modes and make better
Fighting Vehicle. Testing done at TARDEC
provides an understanding of how a vehicle’s
The simulation machine does intuitive decisions on direction for
components interact when in use, a capability not replace Army qualification research,” explained Bill Bradford,
that stand-alone component testing cannot standards but, rather, is used to an R&D scientist with TARDEC’s
provide. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Dan Purcell.)
understand tracked vehicle com- Mobility R&D Center. “In the past,
ponents as they interact before we conducted screening and quali-
In an attempt to decrease vehicle they are integrated into a vehicle fication testing based on materials
weight, the Army has experi- system. “We really utilize it for R&D methodology developed
mented with various lightweight the cost-savings benefit,” Blash in the 1960s. Advances in mate-
materials, including aluminum revealed. “It’s not a qualifica- rial, testing equipment, sensors,
metal track with silicon carbide tions test — it’s an engineering computers and electronics have
inserts that were placed on the evaluation. It basically provides improved test equipment sensitiv-
center guides and a diverse array another data point for us to make ity and reliability. Laboratory tests
of materials and coatings for wear the decision of whether or not with components will always be
rings and road wheels. we should spend the money on a at risk with respect to duplicating
field test.” actual field performance. How-
When new materials and compo- ever, understanding the predomi-
nents are added to the test shoe, Bushing Testing and Evaluation nant failure modes, optimizing
the simulation machine is used to The most common track failures state-of-the-art test equipment
gauge how quickly the components stem from the system’s elastomeric and methodology to closely
will wear. “When you use a lighter-
weight aluminum road wheel, you A construction mechanic greases the tracks of a land excavator. Before integrating tracks and other
components into a vehicle, TARDEC officials test the components on the Center Guide Wear Simu-
typically have a steel wear ring lation Machine to reduce maintenance costs, improve life-cycle performance and keep warfighters
attached to it,” explained Blash. out of harm’s way. (U.S. Army photo by PFC Eric Liesse.)
“That wear ring is going to be what
actually contacts the center guide.
It’s expensive to build that wear ring
and then fasten it to the road wheel.
There’s been experimentation with
different coatings that improve the
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

wear properties of the aluminum

wheel. So, we can use the simulation
machine to test the center guide
material itself, or we can test new
materials for the wear ring or the
road wheel.”
“If a contractor comes in and says
they have a new material that they
want to use for military track, they
go through a series of material


property tests, and then we have
them produce production-grade
T-130 bushings,” Blash stated. “We
insert them into simulated bores
and run radial and torsional load
profiles until the bushing meets
a certain failure criteria. At that
R&D Scientist William Bradford uses a DMTA testing tool to examine bushing properties. DMTA
testing provides a true assessment of bushing properties during the component’s life cycle and point, we tell them whether or
insight into required material improvements. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Chris Williams.) not that is an acceptable mate-
rial to use to build military track.
mimic field failures, brings us one optimize and deliver a Finite The failure criterion is based on a
step closer to screening improved Element Analysis (FEA) model certain deflection — once the pin
components in the laboratory,” for the Abrams T-158LL bushing. moves a certain amount, we say
Bradford continued. This capability is a major break- that bushing has failed. We take
through, providing a functional the cycle count at that point and
The result was the procurement FEA model for design optimiza- look at whether it meets the mini-
of an R&D bushing test stand and tion with respect to maximum mum acceptance criteria.”
development of test methodology stress, energy input per loading
that would leverage production step and the impact of insertion, Bradford believes the R&D ac-
bushings and identify radial and radial and torsional loads. This tivities conducted by TARDEC
torsional loads that would result capability, in concert with the will continue to expand the Army’s
in duplicating the failure mode to elastomer test screening process, understanding and knowledge base
the T-158LL track bushings. Over has provided the roadmap for- to continuously improve track du-
the last 18 months, this capability ward for improving the compo- rability, performance and translate
has provided two new improved nent’s durability by 50 percent, into more reliable track systems and
bushing designs that are expected resulting in significant savings. reduce life cycle costs. “Our goal is
to improve the durability of the to develop better laboratory R&D
T-158LL bushing by more than The EIP uses a new testing tests that mimic actual field failures,
50 percent. methodology to extract rubber increasing the probability of success
bushings from track components and reducing the burden and costs
through specialized shiving tech- associated with full vehicle tests.
niques that produce consistent These laboratories provide us with
sample geometry for dynamic the capability to evaluate new mate-
mechanical thermal analysis rials and designs for improved track
(DMTA). This testing provides components, bushings, road wheels,
a true assessment of the compo- ground pads and road wheel backer
nent’s properties during its life pads to support our warfighters,”
cycle and insight into required Bradford concluded.
material improvements.
EIP testing determined that bushings undergo
55-percent deterioration after assembly, which
can lead to track and component failure. TAR- Bushing testing is also conducted
DEC researchers are trying to create bushings off-site on another type of bush-
made of a more durable, consistent material Chris Williams is a Writer/Editor with
that will improve track durability and perfor- ing tester. Although officials at
mance in harsh terrain. (U.S. Army TARDEC the off-site research center and BRTRC and provides contract support
to TARDEC’s Strategic Communications
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

photo by Chris Williams.) TARDEC are enhancing bushing team. He has a B.A. in communication
testing capabilities through the from Wayne State University in Detroit,
In conjunction with the test stand EIP, the off-site bushing tester is MI, and has previously written for The
development, the EIP lab has estab- still a useful tool in understanding Source newspaper in Shelby Township,
lished baseline hyperelastic data that whether new bushing materials MI, and The Macomb Daily and C & G
was used to successfully develop, meet rigorous Army standards. Newspapers in Macomb County, MI.
TARDE C Turns Up Heat
on Vehicle Testing
Chris Williams

obility is a necessary capability of every U.S. Army
ground vehicle. Soldiers may have access to the best
equipment and weaponry, but it is all rendered useless
without reliable transportation to get them to the fight.
Whether or not warfighters have the ability to move from
one location to another can mean the difference between
success and failure on an increasingly challenging battlefield.

A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle undergoes testing in Cell 9.

Computer-activated heat lamps in the test cell can bring temperatures
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

up to 160 degrees. Likewise, winds of up to 20 mph can be generated

from eight different directions, allowing engineers to understand how
environment affects a system and its components. (U.S. Army TARDEC
photo by Ted Beaupre.)

Providing Soldiers with reliable Full Load Cooling Fahrenheit, while simulating the
and efficient ground vehicles is Test Chamber sun’s solar radiation with the use
a key mission for the U.S. Army Located in Test Cell 9 at the of computer-controlled solar
Tank Automotive Research, Detroit Arsenal, TARDEC’s lights. Winds of up to 20 mph
Development and Engineering Full Load Cooling Test Cham- can be generated and directed
Center (TARDEC). A collection ber provides engineers with an across the vehicle in up to eight
of laboratories run by TARDEC’s understanding of how vehicles different directions with the
Ground Vehicle Power and operate in harsh environments. use of movable panels. “It was
Mobility (GVPM) team exists to The facility is the Army’s largest designed and set up for full load
ensure that engines and vehicle indoor test lab. Two 1,000-horse- cooling tests, which is where you
components operate properly, power (hp) fans bring in outdoor bring in a vehicle, connect it to
both before integration into a air at up to 1,200,000 cubic feet a dynamometer and simulate
larger system and under harsh per minute, and the chamber torque,” explained Michael Reid,
desert or mountain conditions. can be heated to 160 degrees Team Leader for GVPM’s Testing,

S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Evaluation and Assessment Team. allow for tactical vehicle test- Currently, the GVPM Test Team
“We simulate that maximum load ing. Researchers then power the is doing engineering and thermal
while the vehicle is at desert oper- system and study how the various insulation testing in the cham-
ating conditions because we want components and systems oper- ber for TARDEC’s Engineering
to ensure that the vehicle isn’t ate in desert conditions, which Business Group, bringing in
going to fail while the Soldiers are is important because the harsh different technologies such as
fighting in desert-like conditions. climates of Iraq and Afghanistan thermal blankets and insulating
We’re able to evaluate the vehicle’s can affect vehicles in ways that components that can be adhered
performance and provide solu- cooler weather does not. “The to the vehicle to help reduce in-
tions to any cooling system issues temperatures are severe in those terior temperatures. The cell also
that may exist.” areas, and it’s easy to overheat has been used to test the impact
of added vehicle armor on the
“We simulate that maximum load while the vehicle is at temperature of the Army’s Family
of Medium Tactical Vehicles and
desert operating conditions because we want to ensure
for understanding the impact
that the vehicle isn’t going to fail while the Soldiers are of air-conditioning on vehicle
systems. “We’ve been doing a lot
fighting in desert-like conditions.” of air-conditioning tests in there
because, generally, the military
The chamber features two large engine coolant, transmission oil never had air-conditioning in a
gear boxes, which can be connect- and engine oil, which can cause lot of the vehicles,” Reid noted.
ed to tracked vehicles’ sprockets. those components to fail,” Reid “What they’re seeing in desert
Two 2,500-hp dynamometers are remarked. “The advantage of do- operating conditions is that the
located below and can absorb a ing it in a test chamber is that we interior of the vehicle is getting
tracked vehicle’s load and provide can replicate those conditions 365 over 160 degrees Fahrenheit, so
engineers with an understand- days a year. We don’t have to go to they’re seeing a lot of failures
ing of the power generated by Yuma Proving Ground for a week of interior components, such as
the engine in hot climates. Ad- when the temperature might be touch screens, on certain vehicles
ditional portable dynamometers that hot.” and power electronics.”

A vehicle is prepared for testing in TARDEC’s Full Load Cooling

Test Chamber. Located in Cell 9, the test chamber replicates climate
conditions in high-temperature environments and allows engineers
to test the entire vehicle at high-temperature extremes. (U.S. Army
TARDEC photo by Elizabeth Carnegie.)
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank.
The lab, which was constructed
in the early 1950s, is currently be-
ing refurbished and an advanced


laboratory will be part of the
Ground Systems Power and En-
ergy Laboratory, which is expect-
ed to be completed by September
2011. “Our systems have gotten
so much larger over time, so we’re
really pushing the envelope, espe-
cially as the power requirements
increase on the vehicles,” Richard
remarked. “In the new lab, we’re
adding the capabilities of being
able to test charge air coolers and
oil coolers, whether they’re air-to-
air or air-to-coolant. Right now
Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFVs) are capable of transporting Soldiers into battle on a
variety of terrains. TARDEC’s testing facilities allows researchers to further analyze ground
we can’t test that here — we have
platforms, and the facilities will better prepare vehicles for the air quality present in desert to go to an outside partner. And
and mountain conditions. (U.S. Army photo by PFC Rebekah Lampman.) for the filtration lab, we’ll have
the capability to test M1 air clean-
Air Filtration and air-filtration systems that assess ers or larger.”
Calorimeter Labs component-level performance,
Desert conditions historically measuring heat rejection, restric- The new lab will provide re-
present problems for vehicle air tion, filtration efficiency and ca- searchers with the capability
cleaning systems. Dirt and sand pacity parameters. “We’re making to test larger, more powerful
can clog engine air filter systems, significant advancements in the vehicle systems as they are
and high temperatures can wreak testing and development of air developed. “Right now we can’t
havoc on engine and transmis- cleaners,” Richard stated. “When test Palletized Load Systems and
sions if the radiators, oil coolers I first started here, tactical ve- larger vehicle air cleaners. We
and charge air coolers are not hicles had a 4-hour dust capacity don’t have the capability to test
correct. TARDEC’s Air Flow and requirement on a test bench and them, so we end up having to go
Coolant System Component Eval- armored ones were tested for 20 to outside partners. The new lab
uation Laboratory was developed hours. Now we’re going for 200 is going to be able to test any air
specifically to help researchers hours across the board.” cleaner within the Army system,”
understand what must be done to Richard revealed. “It’s going to
avoid failures with those compo- “Our systems have increase our capabilities so that
nents. “All of our vehicles have air we can do this work in-house.
cleaners for the engines and some gotten so much larger On the calorimeter, we’ll be able
for the crew compartments,” over time, so we’re really to stack our heat exchangers
explained TARDEC Mechanical and test them simultaneously as
Engineer Michael Richard. “What pushing the envelope, they’re configured in the ve-
basically happens is that you end hicle. That’s something we can’t
especially as the power
up shutting down the vehicle if do now — I don’t know if it’s
the air filter gets plugged. If that requirements increase something anybody can do at
happens when you’re on a mis- this time.”
sion, obviously, you’re in trouble.” on the vehicles.”
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Dynamometer Labs
The lab includes a radiator The lab has the capability to Although Test Cell 9 is the Army’s
calorimeter and two filtration test radiators on a calorimeter, largest indoor test laboratory,
test benches that can simulate although the range is limited. several other TARDEC labs are
a variety of real-world condi- Testing can be done on compo- able to replicate conditions in the
tions for evaluating radiators and nents for vehicles as large as an field and their effects on engines
and vehicle systems. The Vehicle a vehicle’s mission profile,”
Transmission and Drive Axle Reid stated. “In most of our test
Evaluation Test Cell and Labo- cells, the type of dynamometers
ratory, for instance, is capable we have are used to do steady-
of conducting critical engine, state or slow transience. The
transmission, driveline or total DC motor allows us to do that
propulsion system performance transient testing. It’s a benefit to
and evaluation testing at the our program managers because
vehicle or component level. we’re able to evaluate different A Soldier in a BFV identifies potential
The facility’s dynamometers mission profiles to evaluate dif- threats during a training session. The
have the capability to absorb ferent hardware.” GVPM team’s six dynamometer labs al-
low researchers to conduct performance,
output torque up to 44,000 foot endurance, qualification and acceptance
pounds (ft-lb) per side and The GVPM team’s six dyna- testing on a variety of engine and trans-
68,000 ft-lb at stall and accom- mometer labs allow researchers mission configurations. (U.S. Army photo
by PFC Rebekah Lampman.)
modate a broad range of ve- to conduct performance, endur-
hicle platforms from light-duty ance, qualification and accep-
High Mobility Multi Purposed tance testing on a variety of Preparing for the Field
Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) engine and transmission config- Rigorous testing is essential to
to Main Battle Tank applica- urations. Each cell features por- ensuring that vehicles will oper-
tions and the Bradley Fighting table dynamometers capable of ate optimally in the field. Many
Vehicle System. testing engines from 100–3,000 Army ground vehicles use com-
mercially available engines, which
“This dynamometer allows us to do transient testing, are developed to operate at North
American conditions on diesel
so we can simulate a vehicle’s mission profile.” fuel. However, military vehicles
must be able to operate at condi-
The cell also provides the capability bhp, and researchers can con- tions that are often considered
to replicate desert temperatures trol the labs’ temperatures and far from optimal. “The military’s
and winds. Tandem dynamometers the flow rates of fuels, coolants environment is more severe, and
allow for testing tank transmissions and engine oils. The cells are our primary fuel is jet propellant
and rear axles, and the cell’s size used to evaluate engine technol- 8 (JP-8), which is harsher and has
makes it possible to test engines ogy and conduct research and some detrimental effects to en-
for various systems and can ac- design programs. The GVPM gines,” Reid revealed. “One of our
commodate other vehicle systems Test Team also conducts 400- benefits is that we’re testing these
for full-system testing should the hour NATO durability tests, engines on the 400-hour NATO
need arise, although the cell ac- considered to be the minimum cycle, which we make more severe
commodates smaller vehicles than qualifier of any engine that goes by running at desert operating
the Full Load Cooling Test Cell. into a NATO country’s vehicles. conditions on JP-8 fuel. We’ve

The nearby Power and Inertia

Simulator Test Cell and Labora- A Soldier training as a gunner enters an up-armored M1114-
tory houses a $20 million direct HMMWV during lane training for duty in Iraq. TARDEC’s
mobility laboratories ensure vehicles operate properly in
current (DC) dynamometer harsh environments. (U.S. Army photo by 1LT Ryan Pace.)
arrangement. The DC dyna-
mometer is capable of simulat-
ing steering maneuvers, steady-
state operation and transient
operation at the vehicle level for
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

up to a 40-ton platform or 800

brake horsepower (bhp) under
standard and elevated tempera-
ture conditions. “This dyna-
mometer allows us to do tran-
sient testing, so we can simulate
Other than the dirt, grit and dust generated in operational field environments, TARDEC labs
can simulate desert operating conditions for testing at maximum loads and accommodate
vehicles up to and including the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. Here, an M1A2 Abrams fires its


main gun during a live-fire exercise. (U.S. Army photo by SPC John Crosby.)

uncovered several fuel-related “We work together running these integrating the component into
issues, such as fuel pumps and in- tests, and then we provide them it and then running that whole
jectors that aren’t really compat- with real-time data that they can system, where other subsystems
ible with JP-8 fuel. We’re uncover- feed into their programs to help could fail while you’re doing
ing those issues and working with develop and mature technology that,” Reid concluded.
the manufacturers and suppliers before it gets to the Soldier.”
to help resolve them.” TARDEC engineers, technicians
The various cells allow for and scientists continue to develop
The GVPM Test Team coordinates components and systems to breakthrough technologies that,
with other teams throughout be thoroughly evaluated and ultimately, give Soldiers unmatched
TARDEC to assist with compo- improved before they are inte- capabilities on the battlefield.
nent- and system-level testing. grated into vehicle platforms. Thanks to the operation and
The cells’ large dimensions make This capability allows TARDEC test environments replicated in
them easy to modify and adjust to researchers the opportunity to TARDEC’s test chambers and
various testing, including evaluat- understand how the environ- labs, TARDEC associates continue
ing alternative fuels, batteries and ment impacts the vehicle’s oper- to evaluate and analyze vehicle
fuel cells. The GVPM test team ating capability and also provides systems and subsystem compo-
also works with several indus- cost savings. “The laboratory is a nents to ensure vehicles reach
try partners to optimize engine controlled and easily replicated their breakpoints in a laboratory
systems and components. “We environment,” Reid explained. “If setting and not on the battlefield.
work as a team,” Reid emphasized. you’re testing it as a full vehicle
on a proving ground, there are
“We work together running a lot of other factors that play
into what the test results might Chris Williams is a Writer/Editor
these tests, and then we be, but we’re able to isolate on a with BRTRC and provides contract
particular component or tech- support to TARDEC’s Strategic
provide them with real-time
nology and evaluate it. By having Communications team. He has a
data that they can feed into
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

the full vehicle test cell, we can B.A. in communication from Wayne
also replicate it in a full vehicle State University in Detroit and has
their programs to help develop system. If you’re testing a tank previously written for The Source
and mature technology before system engine improvement, it’s newspaper in Shelby Township, MI,
a lot easier to run that in a test and The Macomb Daily and C & G
it gets to the Soldier.” cell as opposed to buying a tank, Newspapers in Macomb County, MI.
TARDEC Engineer Jonathan Aboona walks guests through
TARDEC’s PIF during a visit on Sept. 14, 2009. TARDEC PIF
facilities, such as the Design and Rapid Prototyping Center, are
revolutionizing ground vehicles in a time of constant adaptation
and change. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Elizabeth Carnegie.)

Advancing Ground
Vehicle Research and
Michael D. Kaplun

upporting current and future ground vehicle research and development (R&D)
initiatives is the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and
Engineering Center (TARDEC) Prototype Integration Facility’s (PIF’s) mission.
The PIF, comprising more than 100 engineers, technicians and support staff,
develops system and subsystem designs and fabricates and integrates advanced
technologies on current and future ground vehicle prototype systems, while
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

also providing vehicle life cycle support. Since 2003, the PIF’s major focus has been
to react and support rapid and urgent in-theater requirements. However, the PIF’s
design and manufacturing engineers also undertake complex technology demon-
stration and integration projects that support advanced technology objectives and
program manager vehicle system enhancements.
The PIF provides an experienced
staff of engineers and technicians
who leverage years of expertise
spread throughout diverse tactical


and combat vehicle systems. Me-
chanical, electrical/electronics and
system design teams have more
than 46 design engineers who pro-
vide timely, cost-effective design,
engineering and digital mock-up
support, while also creating 3-
dimensional interactive, realistic,
real-time computer-generated
environments and models. Hard-
ware is manufactured daily by the
PIF’s trained and certified welders,
machinists, material handlers, tes-
ters, vehicle mechanics and other Shown here is an MRAP with the TARDEC-developed Overhead Wire Mitigation (OWM) kit, which
protects Soldiers and helps to preserve the local infrastructure. TARDEC developments like the OWM
dedicated technicians. The PIF kit better equip and protect present and future Soldiers. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)
also contains extensive, specialized
equipment that supports diverse Executive Office (PEO) Ground award for the Mine Resistant
components and assemblies devel- Combat Systems, PEO Combat Ambush Protected (MRAP) ve-
oped by design engineers, includ- Support and Combat Service hicle Expedient Armor Program
ing laser and water jet cutters, Support, and Special Operations Add-on-Armor Kit. In 2009, the
computer numerical controlled Command partners,” remarked PIF was instrumental in TAR-
machines, vertical mills and eight TARDEC Acting Associate Di- DEC receiving the Department
welding stations. rector Luis Hinojosa. of the Army Research and Devel-
opment Laboratory of the Year
“The PIF provides an Award for Collaboration Team
of the Year for the Lightweight
experienced staff of engineers
Vehicle Underbody Protection
and technicians who leverage System in partnering with the
Army Research Laboratory. “Both
years of expertise spread awards highlight the facility’s
throughout diverse tactical and capabilities — rapid response and
innovative technology develop-
combat vehicle systems. ments that save Soldiers’ lives,”
Pictured is an MRAP being serviced in
TARDEC’s PIF. The PIF’s Design and Rapid Hinojosa affirmed.
The PIF’s Electrical/Electronic Prototyping Center develops system and sub-
Integration Team (EIT) includes system designs and fabricates and integrates The PIF revolutionizes ground
advanced technology in current and future
14 experienced design engineers ground vehicle systems, such as the MRAP. vehicle systems in a modernizing
and technicians with expertise The center houses a 50-foot high bay with world. The facility’s associates
16-inch reinforced concrete flooring to handle
in circuit board manufacturing even the largest Army vehicles and weapon
develop, fabricate and integrate
and electronic fabrication. “The systems. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.) operational requirements and
EIT’s expertise in design and specifications to keep the cur-
integration has led to extensive In 2008, the PIF had a central rent and future vehicle fleets well
and impressive repeated col- role in TARDEC, receiving a U.S. equipped for critical missions.
laboration with several Program Army Top Ten Greatest Inventions
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

“The EIT’s expertise in design and integration has led to extensive Michael D. Kaplun is a Writer/Editor
with BRTRC and provides contract
and impressive repeated collaboration with several PEO Ground support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
munications team. He holds a B.A. in
Combat Systems, PEO Combat Support and Combat Service Support, English and media and society from
Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
and Special Operations Command partners.” 71
Testing Facility Provides Clean
Patrick Pinter
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

Water Solutions for Soldiers

aving a clean water source is a necessity, and providing that
necessity in a war zone is often difficult. Supplying Soldiers
with usable water is a problem that is being tackled at the
U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and
Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s) Water Treatment Test
Facility at Selfridge Air National Guard Base (SANGB), MI.

TARDEC’s Water Treatment Test Facility at SANGB has the capability to operate small to
full-sized water treatment systems and components. Treatment facility researchers develop the
equipment and capabilities to provide deployed Soldiers with clean water solutions, regardless
of where their missions take them. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Elizabeth Carnegie.)

S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

“The goal is to take Army requirements for the area of water treatment and storage handling systems
and develop materiel solutions for those. We provide engineering support for that purpose.”

A Water Treatment Test Facility engineer records data collected from one of several testing units that are currently housed at the SANGB facility. Current
units include LWPs, TWPS and ROWPUs. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Elizabeth Carnegie.)

The Water Treatment Test Facility, even in the winter months while just send something on paper you
located on Lake Saint Clair, has the the rest of the lake is frozen over. think will work.”
capability to operate small to full- “During the winter months, we
sized water treatment systems and can close the roll-up door that goes The facility houses several water
components. “The facility, which is over the water and encloses the well. purification systems, which
right on the water, is large enough The room is heated, so this unique include Lightweight Water
for us to do all kinds of testing capability allows us to operate all Purifiers (LWPs), Tactical Water
relating to research, development year long,” explained TARDEC Purification Systems (TWPS)
and engineering support. We Project Engineer Andrea Oehus. and Reverse Osmosis Water
provide engineering support to “A major benefit at this facility is Purification Units (ROWPUs).
Project Manager Petroleum and our ability to address problems “At this facility, we perform
Water Systems,” remarked Bob from the field, test a solution and research and development on
Shalewitz, Water Treatment and send a tested fix to the field, not water purification equipment,”
Handling Equipment Team. “The commented Oehus. “We currently
goal is to take Army requirements “A major benefit at this have all of our production models
for the area of water treatment that we support here in the
and storage handling systems and facility is our ability to facility. There is at least one of
develop materiel solutions for those. each model, but for most there
address problems from the
We provide engineering support for are two or more here.”
field, test a solution and send
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

that purpose.”
The LWP utilizes ultrafiltration
The building includes a boat well a tested fix to the field, not and reverse osmosis technologies
in a heated room, which allows for just send something on paper to provide 125 gallons per hour
year-round testing. The boat well (GPH) of potable water from
provides a freshwater testing source you think will work.” a freshwater source and 75
GPH from a saltwater source.
Its purpose is to provide a safe
water supply to Soldiers on the
battlefield. “The LWP is intended

for special operation units that
are away from the main major
water source. Because of its light
weight, the system’s intent is to
go with the first group of
Soldiers in and most far forward
on the battlefield,” commented
Oehus. “It travels on the back of
a High Mobility Multipurpose
Wheeled Vehicle and is portable
by four Soldiers.”

In addition to the LWP,

associates at the Water
Treatment Test Facility have
A facility engineer conducts water testing. Most work being done at the Water Treatment Test
worked significantly on the Facility relates to developing several water purification systems, including LWPs, TWPS and
TWPS, which is a 1,500 GPH ROWPUs. Ongoing testing looks at everything from chemical processes and desalination to
drinking water system for ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Elizabeth Carnegie.)

division and brigade units in

“A couple of things that we focus on here are preplanned product
remote areas. The system also
has been used for disaster relief improvements. We look at new components, more effective ways of
operations, humanitarian efforts
and peacekeeping missions. running the systems and new technologies.”

The units housed at the facility usefulness on military water treatment systems. “A couple of
can be used as test beds for treatment equipment, and things that we focus on here are
evaluating the performance of also can be used to train water preplanned product improve-
commercially available and ex- treatment system operators on ments. We look at new compo-
perimental components for their military and commercial water nents, more effective ways of
running the systems and new
technologies. We can do anything
from the component scale all the
way to full-system testing here
at the facility,” remarked Oehus.
“We also share equipment with
the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle
Management Command New
Equipment Training team. It is a
win-win for everybody having
everything located here at SANGB.”
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Patrick Pinter is a Writer/Editor with

BRTRC and provides contract support
to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
tions team. He has a B.A. in journalism
TARDEC’s Water Treatment Test Facility runs off in-house power but also has several and political science from Western
generators on-site, which are used for different types of testing. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo Michigan University.
by Patrick Pinter.) 77
Keeping Warfighters Well-Hydrated —
SDTF Delivers Optimal
Water Purification Systems
Matthew Sablan

he Port Hueneme, CA, Seawater Desalination Test Facility
(SDTF) is located at the entrance to Naval Base Ventura
County’s harbor. It houses state-of-the-art equipment for
executing tests and research otherwise unavailable to the
U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and
Engineering Center (TARDEC).

From left: U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) SGT Storage tanks are connected to a water- Four freshwater pumps are used to draw water
Julian Munoz instructs PFC Alejandro dispensing unit at the Joint Security Station from the Euphrates River to supply ROWPUs
Camargo and LCPL Jeremy A. Doty on using Shawra Wa Um Jidir water distribution site in operated by Marines at a Tactical Water Dis-
an Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit Iraq. The line that pumps the raw water runs tribution System (TWDS) during Operation
(ROWPU). The ROWPU can filter every- from a well-water bag to a ROWPU that puri- Iraqi Freedom (OIF). TARDEC and NAVFAC
thing from saltwater to nuclear, biological fies water for distribution. The ROWPU is one also test water packaging and water distribu-
and chemical-infected water to produce con- of the many pieces of equipment TARDEC tion systems for the Army and Marines.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

sumable water for ground forces. (USMC and NAVFAC have partnered to test. (U.S. (USMC photo by MSG Edward D. Kniery.)
photo by Leigh Campbell.) Army photo by SSG Matthew Meadows.)

Establishment and Partnership pilot and demonstration studies Purification Unit (ROWPU).
The SDTF was first established in on water purification technolo- • 45–90 day shipboard Reverse
1983 at the Naval Civil Engineer- gies for potential future military Osmosis certifications for SSN-
ing Laboratory. In 2000, TARDEC systems. The SDTF has supported 688- and LPD-17-class vessels.
entered into an agreement with various private sector companies,
the Naval Facilities Engineer- the Bureau of Reclamation and Water is processed prior to testing,
ing Command (NAVFAC) and the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. and the facility can process one
Engineering Services Center (ESC) Marine Corps (USMC). million gallons of seawater a day.
to station two engineers at Port The equipment the SDTF offers
Hueneme. These engineers sup- Water Purification Systems includes water purification sys-
port the SDTF’s unique operations The SDTF tested and developed tems with incandescent and laser
and bring the facility’s capabilities Army and USMC field water pu- turbidimeters, particle size analyz-
to TARDEC. “The SDTF conducts rification equipment, and NAV- ers, silt density index meters and
research, development, testing and FAC partnered with TARDEC to fluorescence meters to measure the
evaluation of water purification develop, test and evaluate seawater’s fouling potential.
systems,” TARDEC Engineer Jere- water purification technology.
my Walker explained. “The SDTF’s Some equipment this partner- The SDTF is also available for
primary purpose is to conduct ship has been involved in pro- certain commercial test and
research, development, test and ducing includes: evaluation entities. If you have
evaluation of water purification any questions or would like more
systems and ancillary equipment • Tactical Water Purification information about the SDTF or
with particular interest in opera- System, used by the Army NAVFAC ESC, please contact the
tions on seawater.” and USMC. NAVFAC ESC Public Affairs Of-
• Lightweight Water Purifier, used fice at (805) 982-1069.
Tests allow the Navy and TARDEC by the Army and USMC.
to address any problems with • Water packaging, used by the
equipment before delivery to Army and USMC. Matthew Sablan is a Writer/Editor
warfighters. This allows engineers with BRTRC and provides contract
• Maintenance, training and tech-
support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
to develop solutions before these nical support for the 600 gal- munications team. He has a B.A. in
problems are encountered in the lons per hour (GPH) and 3,000 English and history from Marymount
field. The facility also conducts GPH Reverse Osmosis Water University in Arlington, VA.

A Marine operates a ROWPU for

the TWDS, which contains three
50,000-gallon collapsible water
tanks, during OIF. TARDEC and
NAVFAC collaborate on main-
tenance, training and technical
support for all fielded Army and
by MSG Edward D. Kniery.)
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

TARDEC Leads Fuel and
Lubricant Technology
Development and Design
Patrick Pinter
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

hen we think about protecting Soldiers and their vehicles
on the battlefield, often the first thing we think about is
integrating armor or adding weapons. Sometimes it is
not about adding power or protection to the vehicle, but
making sure the engine runs properly or at an optimal level
to handle the current operational environment and terrain.

S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

The Grease and Fluid Lab’s mission is to make sure that the
proper fluids make ground vehicles run smoothly in diverse
operating environments and weather conditions. (U.S. Army
TARDEC photos by Elizabeth Carnegie.)

“It’s important to remember that A TARDEC scientist performs testing
analysis in the Grease and Fluid Lab.
fuels and lubricants are an integral
part of the equipment.”

Without research and develop-

ment (R&D) in the areas of fuels
and lubricants, air and ground
equipment would not be able
to operate reliably at the level
Soldiers demand and require on
the battlefield. One of the U.S.
Army Tank Automotive Research,
Development and Engineering
Center’s (TARDEC’s) goals is to
be the Department of Defense’s
(DOD’s) leader for fuel and Fuels and Lubricants Vehicle lubricants (e.g., engine oils, gear
lubricant technologies for ground Filter Test Equipment lubricants and transmission fluids)
equipment systems. That goal is This test equipment is capable of to enable introduction of new
ambitious, but the work being evaluating vehicles’ fuel and lubri- technologies and development of
done at TARDEC-managed labs cant filters using the latest Interna- new performance standards. In ad-
is helping to achieve new levels of tional Organization for Standard- dition, FLTT team members also
product excellence and efficiency. ization (ISO) test procedures. The conduct assessment of environ-
“In a true systems-of-systems equipment allows evaluation of mental compliance and develop
engineering approach, we have expected life, efficiency and other environmentally friendly products.
to consider everything, including parameters needed to establish fil-
fuels and lubricants,” remarked ter performance for vehicles. “The Grease and Fluid Laboratory
Luis Villahermosa, Fuels and Lu- filter test rig is intended to assess Here, tasks are performed in
bricants Technology Team (FLTT) the filter’s performance. A fuel or developing, evaluating and re-
Leader. “We have unique require- lubricant filter is hooked up to the searching hydraulic fluids, semi-
ments we are working with. It’s test rig to find its capacity to re- solid lubricants, solid lubricants,
important to remember that fuels move particles, the size of particles greases, antifreeze and solvents to
and lubricants are an integral part removed, how long it will last and enable introduction of new tech-
of the equipment.” how many particles it can retain,” nologies and development of new
commented Villahermosa. “The performance standards. FLTT
When it comes to fuel and lubri- test tool was used in the evaluation team members also use this lab to
cant technologies, TARDEC is of the cleanable filter system that assess environmental compliance
responsible for R&D; specification the Stryker vehicle started with and develop environmentally
development; product qualifica- and was found to be inadequate.” friendly products. “In the labora-
tion; general petroleum, oil and
lubricants (POL) standardiza- “We have a long history working with alternative fuels,
tion; testing support for other
specifically with analysis, testing and evaluation, which
TARDEC organizations; and fluid
filtration assessment. This is in continues today with the laboratory and technical expertise
support of the mission responsi-
bility assigned to TARDEC under provided to TARDEC’s NAC Alternative Fuels Team.”
Army Regulation 70-12, Fuels and
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

Lubricants Standardization Policy Fuels and Powertrain tory, we have a wide variety of
for Equipment Design, Operation Lubricants Laboratory chemical and physical property
and Logistic Support. TARDEC In this laboratory, tests are per- testers,” stated Villahermosa.
accomplishes this with its state- formed for developing, evaluating, “One example is the environ-
of-the-art POL testing equipment qualifying and researching fuels, mental chamber. We can put
and facilities. alternative fuels and powertrain samples of products and materials
in it and test them at different operate in military transmissions areas, such as biodegradable
temperatures or humidity.” and also are capable of being greases and hydraulic fluids, fluid
used in hydraulic systems. Using filtration, brake fluids, coolants
Developing Solutions that one product in three components and antifreeze. “Here in the labs,

Improve Efficiency reduces the number of products we have the capabilities to test
With these labs and test tools, needed for maintenance, reduces products’ biodegradation,” com-
TARDEC is able to develop fuel misapplications and waste, and mented Villahermosa. “We try to
and lubricant solutions for DOD. simplifies training. do environmental programs as
These developments help maxi- much as we can, while keeping in
mize equipment efficiency and mind that the mission comes first.
reliability, promote fuel source Durability and performance is the
diversity and reduce costs and prime focus, and we do our best
maintenance over a vehicle’s life from there.”
cycle. In the end, these solutions
help minimize maintenance and Without the work being done in
logistics burdens. “With the the areas of fuels and lubricants,
experience here in the lab, techni- engines and vehicles would not
cians and scientists are able to be able to run properly. Research,
make sure the equipment does Scientists collect information in TARDEC’s development and design in
what it is supposed to do,” Vil- Grease and Fluid Lab. Various types of testing these areas are critical parts of
lahermosa explained. “Through takes place in these labs, including research, the vehicle design process. “The
analysis and testing of biodegradable fuels and
testing here, we are able to pro- lubricants, fluid filtration, brake fluids, coolants one thing people don’t realize
vide equipment validation.” and antifreeze. is that fuels and lubricants are a
fairly neglected technology area,”
“The NAC and FLTT have a truly At the TARDEC laboratories, remarked Villahermosa. “They are
symbiotic relationship on the extensive work also is being done not always acknowledged during
with alternative
alternative fuels effort.” fuels. “There is TARDEC scientists discuss test results in the Grease and Fluid Lab. The
equipment housed within the lab is capable of evaluating vehicles’ fuel
always something and lubricant filters using the latest ISO test procedures and standards.
The work TARDEC does in its going on in the
labs is on the following types of lab. We have test-
fuels and lubricants: ing going on regu-
larly,” remarked
• Traditional fuels (e.g., diesel, jet Villahermosa. “We
propellant 8, etc.) provide a lot of
• Multipurpose engine oils support in engine
• Gear lubricants and greases testing and fuel
• Hydraulic fluids testing. In addi-
• Preservative engine oils tion, we are deeply
• General purpose preservatives involved with alternative fuels. We the primary design of equipment,
and lubricants have a long history working with even though it is an integral
alternative fuels, specifically with part of the process.” And that is
Part of TARDEC’s mission in analysis, testing and evaluation, where the FLTT makes its greatest
fuels and lubricants is to mini- which continues today with the contributions to ground vehicle
mize the number of products laboratory and technical expertise systems fleet management.
needed to support a vehicle or provided to TARDEC's National
equipment system and standard- Automotive Center (NAC) Alter-
ize those that remain. For this native Fuels Team and the overall
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

reason, lubricant products are Army Alternative Fuels Certifica-

designed and developed so they tion effort. The NAC and FLTT Patrick Pinter is a Writer/Editor with
BRTRC and provides contract support
can be utilized in as many com- have a truly symbiotic relationship
to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
ponents as possible. Take military on the alternative fuels effort.” tions team. He has a B.A. in journalism
engine oils as an example. They TARDEC also does significant and political science from Western
have additional requirements to testing and research in other Michigan University.
Lab Puts Armor Under the
Gun to Save Soldiers’ Lives
Chris Williams

PVT Alfred Dorsey cleans the window of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle door
at Camp Taji, Iraq, prior to a route clearance mission, while SGT Ryan Bednarski loads a .50-caliber
machine gun. Ballistics testing done in the SABL is conducted at temperatures similar to those
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

experienced in Iraq to ensure armor safety in hot climates. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Doug Roles.)

ometimes a sheet of glass a projectile strike on armor that laboratories, providing a consis-
is all that separates a Soldier consistently simulates a specific tent means of data comparison.
from harm. Transparent threat in a lab environment. To
armor (TA) is a crucial accomplish this, each round is The Big Bang


component in many of tailor-made by selecting the pro- Once the projectiles are ready
the U.S. Army’s ground jectile and hand measuring the for firing, they are taken to the
vehicles, allowing Soldiers to propellant to achieve the required launcher. Projectiles are shot from
keep a watchful eye on their sur- test goals for threat, caliber and a customized launcher that allows
roundings while protecting them velocity. “We can simulate a engineers to fire rounds electroni-
from attack. Should Soldiers find 100-yard standoff or a 200-yard cally from a secure control room,
themselves caught in an ambush, standoff just by changing the ve- reducing risk to the test team and
bullet-resistant windows can locity at which the projectile hits providing them with a location to
withstand several hits, provid- the target,” stated Hoffman. “To study impact effects. Firing posi-
ing Soldiers with critical time to do that, each round is disassem- tions are precisely aligned by laser,
escape or respond. bled, and the propellant charge allowing accurate aim for each
is adjusted and reassembled to test. “We’ll take a few shots to
The U.S. Army Tank Automo- obtain the velocities we’re look- make sure we have our velocities
tive Research, Development and ing for at impact.” and everything where we need
Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s) it. We’ll adjust the laser, move
Ground Systems Survivability “The SABL's primary the target and use the laser as an
(GSS) Survivability Armor Bal- aim point designator,” explained
listics Laboratory (SABL) plays a mission is to conduct David Sass, a Senior Electrical
key systems engineering, integra- ballistic testing on Engineer. “It’s the best thing we’ve
tion and collaborative role in found. Otherwise, you basically
the process of equipping ground transparent and opaque just look down the barrel and try
vehicles with effective TA protec- to line it up. It’s a lot faster with
armor materials...“
tion. The SABL’s primary mission the laser.”
is to conduct ballistic testing on
transparent and opaque armor “Some of the projectiles are The SABL initiated the develop-
materials, which is required non-standard — they’re not ment and controls the distribu-
before they are integrated onto what you would see elsewhere,” tion of the Armor Tech Product
vehicle platforms. “The Army commented Hoffman. “We can Description (ATPD 2352), which
Research Laboratory’s [ARL’s] simulate pretty much any stan- has gained widespread Army use
primary mission is materiel dard, military-type, small-arms on TA testing since its first release
development; the Army Test and threat. There are different ways on Jan. 3, 2008. ATPD 2352 defines
Evaluation Command [ATEC] of shooting it. It’s all just a means a standardized 4-shot pattern,
conducts testing on the entire to get the projectile down range, which was characterized by work
vehicle during system testing,” which is our primary function — done in conjunction with the
explained SABL Range Man- to get the projectile into a target NATO STANAG 4569 “Protec-
ager Steve Hoffman. “We fit in at a controlled velocity.” Another tion Levels for Armored Vehicles”
between such that when a spe- projectile used by the SABL is the group. This pattern is now used
cific material or particular armor Fragment Simulator Projectile
recipe is proposed for system (FSP), which replicates materials The impact that an actual IED
integration, the SABL conducts present in improvised explosive fragment may have on a vehicle
the testing that qualifies whether devices (IEDs). The impact that
the proposed TA solution satisfies an actual IED fragment may varies based on speed and
the threat levels defined for the have on a vehicle varies based on
orientation of impact, so FSPs
specific vehicle platform.” speed and orientation of impact,
were designed to correspond
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

so FSPs were designed to corre-

Custom Testing spond with a chart showing what
SABL engineers and technicians percentage of IED fragments with a chart showing what
constantly strive to better under- each FSP corresponds to. The percentage of IED fragments
stand what parameters must be FSP is a U.S. and NATO standard
tweaked to repeatedly replicate test projectile used by other Army each FSP corresponds to.
throughout the Army to provide The qualification testing with the TA developers when
consistent criteria in the evalua- we see results that are different
tion of multiple impacts on TA
for transparent armor looks than what we are used to seeing.
armor. “Glass isn’t bulletproof, it’s for one important piece of We do this mostly when we’re
resistant,” commented Hoffman. doing research. When we’re doing
“What it does is buy the people information: will the impact qualification testing, it’s a simple
inside the vehicle time to react or cause harm to Soldiers? pass or fail.”
leave the area. That’s the reason
for a multi-hit pattern — how they’re looking for might be The qualification testing for
many seconds of time under at- separation in the plies. They may transparent armor looks for one
tack can we buy those people?” be looking for patterns that are important piece of information:
different, a bulge in the back,” re- will the impact cause harm to
Projectiles are fired at the armor marked Sass. “They’re looking for Soldiers? Each coupon has a wit-
samples, called coupons, which anomalies. When we worked with ness plate placed behind it. If the
are placed in the impact cham- ceramic opaque armor, some of projectile or any debris perforates
ber. Each coupon is tested at the visuals were different than tghe witness material, the armor
high, low and ambient tempera- we’re used to seeing. We make coupon has failed the qualifica-
tures to gain an understanding it a point to always coordinate tion testing.
of the material’s performance in
various environments. Test teams
have 25 minutes to fire four
rounds into the target before the
temperature begins to change.

“Glass isn’t bulletproof,

it’s resistant.”
“The armor responds very differ-
ently to different temperatures,”
Sass explained. “Right now we
are deployed in regions that are
subject to both hot and cold
weather extremes. That is why we
have a hot and cold test require-
ment — because we don’t have
a single vehicle that operates in
only one climate.”

A number of different tools are
available to the SABL team to
understand what occurs during
impact. High-speed video equip-
ment provides a detailed look at
the event, and computers record
the velocity, temperature, humidity
and other environmental factors
that may skew the test results. A
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

test engineer is always on hand to

provide a visual assessment of the
test results, i.e., studying the armor
for fracture patterns, character- U.S. Air Force Special Agent Nate Notargiacomo, Office of Special Investigations, Kandahar
izing bumps, holes and collecting Airfield, Afghanistan, conducts rear security from an MRAP. Testing done in TARDEC’s SABL
debris for further analysis. “What ensures that the ballistic glass windows provide adequate protection from ambush and attacks.
(U.S. Army photo by SSG James L. Harper Jr.)
It’s this mission —
TARDEC SABL Engineer Scott Wiseman
examines an armor coupon after testing saving warfighters’
in the SABL. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo
by Ted Beaupre.) lives — that is the most


fulfilling part of the
SABL’s work.

The SABL team has worked

and is working with program
managers for nearly every Army
ground vehicle system fielded
today in the qualification and
acceptance of TA armor. The
SABL is also working closely
with research teams throughout
TARDEC in developing and
integrating new and improved
opaque and TA into vehicle
platforms. As a part of the
Army test community, the SABL
lab has an open communication
and collaboration policy with
ARL, ATEC and other Army
laboratories to share data in an
effort to improve the material
that shields Soldiers from harm
in the field. It’s this mission —
saving warfighters’ lives — that
is the most fulfilling part of the
SABL’s work. “One of the things
I’m most proud of is that one
customer we did testing for
came back a few months later
and said the work that we did
saved some lives,” remarked Sass.
“I like direct feedback like that.”

Chris Williams is a Writer/Editor

with BRTRC and provides contract
support to TARDEC’s Strategic
Communications team. He has a
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

B.A. in communication from Wayne

State University in Detroit, MI, and
has previously written for The Source
newspaper in Shelby Township, MI,
TARDEC Engineer Terry Avery customizes a launch package for firing prior to testing. The and The Macomb Daily and C & G
SABL customizes each package fired to adjust for desired velocity, allowing for customized and Newspapers in Macomb County, MI.
consistent results. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Ted Beaupre.) 89
Innovative Materials Bridge
Partnership Between TARDEC
and Lawrence Tech
Matthew Sablan

he Army’s vehicles endure harsh environments in the field
every day. In Afghanistan, for instance, extreme heat and
cold are both possible, and the country has some of the driest
regions in the world, not to mention some of the most rugged
mountainous terrain in the region. Continued operations in this
environment stress material and systems components, and the
U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering
Center (TARDEC) continues to find ways to ensure that the Army’s
vehicles withstand these diverse elements. As part of TARDEC’s
ongoing research and development (R&D) initiatives, it entered into a
partnership with Lawrence Technological University in October 2008
to develop, install and operate an environmental/loading chamber.
This chamber is part of Lawrence Tech’s Center for Innovative
Materials Research (CIMR), and its scientists and engineers assist
TARDEC with environmental testing of advanced materials for vehicle
armor and structural components.

A gunner checks his weapon while working through a sandstorm near Camp Victory, Iraq. The
harsh conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan can be recreated at CIMR to allow TARDEC to test
vehicles and components to ensure they will withstand the elements in the theater of operations.
(Multi-National Corps Iraq Public Affairs photo.)
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

Establishing the CIMR track record with simulation and
With dedication of the CIMR new materials.”
building in early 2008, the Army
has been able to capitalize on For TARDEC, the CIMR is helping
Lawrence Tech’s groundbreaking to create vehicle armor that weighs
research and testing in the areas of less than 100 pounds per square
infrastructure, military fabrics and foot. “We plan to use the CIMR to
other sustainable materials. look at new materials that can be
incorporated into Army vehicles’
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

“Lawrence Tech has built expertise armor and structures,” TARDEC

for a number of years,” declared Engineer Scott Hodges commented.
Dr. Nabil Grace, Lawrence Tech
Professor of Civil Engineering and Research Capabilities
CIMR Director. “We have a good The CIMR has a broad range
Testing and Materials freeze/thaw
testing and rain preconditioning.
After explaining these capabilities,
Grace noted, “The CIMR is a
comprehensive test facility.”

TARDEC Engineer Donald

Ostberg explained that the CIMR
also would assist TARDEC in
researching armor components.
TARDEC has Lawrence Tech
test for specific properties and
materials. “The work done at
Lawrence Tech will let us model
the materials more appropriately,”
Ostberg remarked. “TARDEC lets
them know, for example, what
temperature range to test at. We
help them make sure they’re not
going in the wrong direction.”

“Lawrence Tech has built

Lawrence Tech’s Dr. Nabil Grace stands in front of the environmental chamber at Lawrence Tech's
CIMR. The environmental chamber became operational in December 2009 and will be able to test
expertise for a number of years.
vehicle components in various conditions, furthering TARDEC’s, ARL's and Lawrence Tech’s R&D
initiatives. (Photo courtesy of Lawrence Tech.)
We have a good track record
with simulation and
of capabilities, so its research and 100-percent humidity. The
covers a wide range of topics. environmental loading chamber new materials.”
Built to military standards, the is built to Military 310 Global
CIMR’s fire/loading chamber can Climatic Data for Developing The facility’s tests will allow
test objects up to 22 feet long, Military Product standards. engineers to design vehicles that
including military vehicles such as No other facility in the United are safer and capable of saving
the High Mobility Multipurpose States can provide full-scale more lives. These capabilities
Wheeled Vehicle. The facility also environmental testing such also will allow TARDEC to
is able to test impacts up to as the CIMR. reduce life cycle costs, since more
one million pounds of tests can be performed in the
force in static, repeating or The CIMR’s environmental same area, reducing travel and
impact measurements. chamber measures 3,600 cubic scheduling challenges.
feet — approximately 12’ wide x
The facility is equipped with 21’ 6” deep x 14’ high — and is Ongoing Technology
hydraulic pressure pumps capable built from insulated blocks. The Development
of 160 gallons a minute and can floor can withstand 150 pounds “Lawrence Tech has conducted
produce flames and other effects. per square inch in a cyclic load significant work,” Grace
The fire/loading chamber can condition while undergoing stated. “Several graduate and
become hot enough to simulate temperature transitions from undergraduate students are
the effects of Sept. 11, 2001, -85 degrees to 185 degrees working around the clock.” On
with temperatures up to 2,300 Fahrenheit. The chamber has a top of student work, professors
degrees Fahrenheit. The weather liquid temperature conditioning and other engineers have access to
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

simulations can mimic up to system that allows the chamber to the facility. The Federal Highway
40 mile per hour winds, rains prepare for American Society for Commission, National Science
Foundation and Michigan
“We plan to use the CIMR to look at new materials. These materials Department of Transportation
have successfully engaged in
can be incorporated into Army vehicles’ armor and structures.” research with Lawrence Tech.
Lawrence Tech’s CIMR is capable of various military scale tests. Here, a line of burners are active. These burners can reach temperatures up to 2,300
degrees Fahrenheit and will be used to test a vehicle’s heat thresholds and tolerances. (Photo courtesy of Lawrence Tech.)

Additionally, some of the research A new environmental chamber to real-world engineering

conducted at the CIMR is being became fully operational in problems and solutions.”
looked at internationally. Ostberg December 2009, and provided
also cited the work Lawrence the CIMR even more capabilities. The new environmental chamber
Tech finished with ductile hybrid “This is a unique facility — we can will allow vehicle armor to
fabrics, a hybrid between glass provide any test and evaluation undergo full- and partial-scale
and graphite fibers. Furthermore, required,” Grace continued. “Our vehicle and composite armor
Lawrence Tech created a grid students benefit from this as well, testing. The facility’s capabilities
system for use with the Army’s as Lawrence Tech produces well- will allow the armor to be tested
ceramic armor tiles. rounded engineers with exposure under salt spray, humidity,
solar and ultraviolet light along
with freezing and thawing
environments. Vehicles can be
put through their paces, ensuring
their ability to deal with the
harsh climates the Army typically
operates in worldwide. Lawrence
Tech’s CIMR also is investigating
advanced carbon fiber materials
to improve military vehicle and
body armor performance while
also reducing total vehicle and
equipment weight.
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Matthew Sablan is a Writer/Editor

with BRTRC and provides contract
support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
The interior of the CIMR after a demonstration. The central surface combustion chamber munications team. He has a B.A. in
can determine if component parts or vehicle systems can withstand the heat up to more than English and history from Marymount
2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and various amounts of force. The beams in the foreground are about
to undergo testing in the CIMR, with the environmental chamber in the background. (Photo University in Arlington, VA.
courtesy of Lawrence Tech.) 93
Testing Capabilities Help

n the battlefield, Soldiers are faced with many explosive threats.
Weapons such as mines or improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
can cause great damage and harm to Soldiers and their vehicles.
Finding a way to mitigate this is a high priority for the U.S. Army
Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
(TARDEC) in Warren, MI. Through extensive research and devel-
opment, engineers and scientists are working on methodologies that will
help prevent extensive damage from these heinous explosive weapons.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

A High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) mounted with countermine equipment
plows through a testing course at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in Yuma, AZ. Results from these tests
are used by TARDEC researchers to design optimal countermine equipment to help provide Soldiers
with better vehicle protection when driving on potentially mine-strewn battlefields. (U.S. Army photo
courtesy of YPG Public Affairs Office (PAO).)
Mitigate Explosive Damage
Patrick Pinter

Surrogate Instrumented Mine as it relates to mine neutralization “We have a couple of different
(SIM) Capability capability. This specialized tool versions of the same sensor, and by
To develop tools that defeat can be used to conduct anti-tank sensor I mean look-alike for a land
explosive devices, TARDEC has mine vehicular overpass analysis mine. The imitation mine has mul-
the SIM, an engineering tool used in a dynamic environment. tiple sensors inside that allow us to
to optimize, verify and character- tell what is going on with the pres-
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

ize countermine and IED neu- The SIM, which provides real-world sure plate at any particular moment
tralization equipment. The SIM data not previously available, has in time,” explained Chris Newell,
system is comprised of specialized proven to be cost-effective and has Countermine Science and Technol-
instrumentation devices and soft- the ability to provide valuable in- ogy Lead on TARDEC’s Mechanical
ware. It was developed to evaluate sight into countermine and coun- Countermine Team. “We can take
countermine roller performance ter-IED equipment performance. that capability and make it work
An up-armored HMMWV mounted with SPARK rollers fore and aft runs through a testing course littered with
TARDEC-developed SIMs. Information and data gathered from these tests allows engineers and researchers to
develop better blast mitigation tools. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of YPG PAO.)

with a laptop, a wireless repeater hazard would react to the me-

and the mine. We literally have chanical countermine equipment
just three pieces of equipment that it encountered. This data
we need to send.” then provides engineers with
the information they need to
“We don’t have a facility, per make any necessary changes to
the countermine or IED defeat
se. We have the sensors, and
equipment so that the desired
wherever we need to take result is achieved.
them, we go with them.” Additionally, the Mechanical
A SIM is an engineering tool to optimize, Countermine Team has support
verify and characterize countermine
TARDEC developed the SIM equipment performance. The SIM system is equipment that is often used with
as an effectiveness evaluation comprised of specialized instrumentation the SIM. The Mobile Data Acqui-
tool to assist in developing devices and software to evaluate countermine sition trailer is used to support an
roller performance as it relates to mine
countermine and counter-IED neutralization capability. (U.S. Army photo isolated test site. “The capability
neutralization equipment. The courtesy of YPG PAO.) we have in the trailer is not just a
SIM’s mission is to provide SIM support trailer. It supports
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

consistent and accurate informa- The SIM contains no explosive the entire team function, which
tion regarding a targeted threat’s charge so testing can be per- can be strain gauging, instrumen-
neutralization. Another objective formed anywhere without explo- tation and acquiring global posi-
for the SIM is to reduce equip- sive ordnance disposal support. tioning data,” commented Newell.
ment development time and Its purpose is to provide data “We have the ability to monitor
testing costs. regarding how an explosive testing and some tools in there,
like a drill press, that allow us to The SIM, buried during testing, serves as an effective evaluation tool to assist in developing
do on-the-fly repairs or modifica- countermine equipment. The tool also provides consistent and accurate information
regarding a targeted threat’s neutralization. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of YPG PAO.)
tions during testing.”


Countermine Testing Facility
The Countermine Testing Com-
plex is a dedicated area at Aber-
deen Proving Ground (APG) in
Aberdeen, MD. This testing facil-
ity allows engineers to establish a
countermine system’s capability
to reliably clear a minefield seeded
with pressure-fused, tilt-rod actu-
ated, seismic, magnetic influence
and acoustic mines. The facility
includes mine lanes, a magnetic
countermine test area, static blast
test area, shop and equipment
storage facilities, and fully func-
tional office space to support organizations we have worked have been made in researching
testing. “We frequently have the with in regards to the SIM. and developing countermine
SIM at APG and YPG. Our sensor They have used our devices and counter-IED neutraliza-
is getting pretty advanced at this extensively to characterize per- tion equipment, such as the Self
point. We don’t have a facility, per formance of equipment that is Protection Adaptive Roller Kit
se. We have the sensors, and wher- going into theater.” (SPARK). Despite the devel-
ever we need to take them, we go opments in countermine and
with them. This is a wonderful Continuing to Find Solutions counter-IED defeat tools,
capability to have,” Newell voiced. As a result of TARDEC’s SIM ca- TARDEC and Product Manager
“We have many different pability, significant advancements IED Defeat/Protect Force must
continually evolve because of the
“It is challenging to design equipment to negate a threat like this, enemy’s ever-changing tactics. “It
is challenging to design equip-
but we are learning more and more about mines, collectively as the
ment to negate a threat like this,
Mechanical Countermine Team and TARDEC.” but we are learning more and
more about mines, collectively
as the Mechanical Countermine
Team and TARDEC,” remarked
Newell. “There are a lot of com-
plicated devices out there. We
continue to try to find solutions.
Overall, having these SIMs and
having the ability to take them
to the facility and countermine
equipment manufacturers for
testing has been a major benefit.”
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Patrick Pinter is a Writer/Editor with

BRTRC and provides contract support
to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle equipped with SPARK
rollers is run through countermine testing at YPG. Mines continue tions team. He has a B.A. in journalism
to be the most prevalent battlefield threat in Iraq and Afghanistan. and political science from Western
TARDEC engineers are developing solutions to counter this threat Michigan University.
and save Soldiers’ lives. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Scott Merritts.)
Laser Protection Research
and Integration Laboratory
— Protecting Soldiers’ Eyes
and Optical Sensors
Michael D. Kaplun

ew cutting-edge tools and instruments are improving Soldier
vision. Through the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research,
Development and Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s) Laser
Protection Research and Integration Laboratory, these tech-
nological enhancements protect Soldiers’ eyes and day-vision
cameras used for fire control or antisensor laser weapons. The
laboratory provides Soldiers with equipment to combat laser threats
and other battlefield or environmental hazards.

TARDEC Associate John Vala performs a sensor vulnerability

test with a laser at the Laser Protection Research and Integra-
tion Laboratory. Through enhancements in laser technology,
Soldiers will have better protection against laser threats and
hazards. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

At right, the Omni-Directional Inspection System (ODIS) was originally

developed by TARDEC to help Soldiers screen vehicle undercarriages for
explosive devices, contraband and other suspicious materials at security
checkpoints in Iraq and Afghanistan. ODIS is teleoperated by Soldiers
who remain at safe standoff distances. Laser Protection Research and
Integration Laboratory scientists and engineers continue to overcome
daunting operational challenges to harden and enhance optical vison
and surveillance devices being used by Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
98 (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by John Vala.)
Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) train with
advanced combat training gear, including the Digital Infrared
Timing Simulator (DITS). DITS adds realism and authenticity in
this newest form of nonlethal, force-on-force training equipment
that employs lasers and blank cartridges to simulate actual battle.
(U.S. Army photo by SPC Joe Padula.)

Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist

Brigade) train using infrared lasers and night vision optics at Camp
Ramadi, Iraq, Oct. 26. The paratroopers train constantly to maintain
their fighting edge while standing ready to provide assistance to Iraqi
security forces. (U.S. Army photo by SPC Mike MacLeod.)

Located in a Class 100,000 clean devices are fabricated, integrat- nonlinear optical materials and
room, the TARDEC facility seeks ing the materials and designs. novel optical designs are increas-
to preserve Soldiers’ sight, which “The laboratory will be used to ing the laboratory’s capabilities
increases survivability and mis- investigate sensor vulnerability and creating indispensible new
sion completion probability, to lasers and possible protection tools for the Future Force. “The
while creating and developing solutions,” explained TARDEC TARDEC lab has evolved into a
materials that limit the amount Associate Robert Goedert. “Lasers great asset for assessing poten-
of light that can filter through are becoming ubiquitous in the tial problems relating to future
to a sensor or human eye. Ad- Army and will only increase their laser devices and investigating
ditionally, the facility develops presence on the future battlefield.” potential protection techniques,”
techniques that harden and Goedert concluded.
enhance combat vehicle surveil- Various tests are conducted at the
lance vision devices. Laboratory TARDEC laboratory on optical
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

equipment includes laser sources, performance. By using vision Michael D. Kaplun is a Writer/Editor
detection devices, spectromet- devices with the laser protec- with BRTRC and provides contract
support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
ric instrumentation, optical test tion filters, engineers are able to
munications team. He holds a B.A. in
benches, laser beam profiling determine the amount of damage English and media and society from
systems, optical microscopes and a given laser attack may have on Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
computer support facilities. New the human eye. These tests on
Total Immersion in
Leads to Engineering
Patrick Pinter

hen Soldiers need an immediate vehicle solution on the
battlefield, there is no time to waste in the design process.
Design and development phases cannot take months or
even weeks — engineers must find viable solutions that
can materialize in a matter of days. When this type of
request comes in from the field, engineers at the U.S. Army
Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
(TARDEC) use every tool possible to deliver vehicle solutions
quickly to Soldiers on the front lines.

A Stryker mechanized unit from the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment performs tactical maneuvers
in a training exercise during Joint Task Force – East in the Novo Selo Training Area in Bulgaria.
The CAVE has been used for Stryker vehicles and components to simplify and expedite vehicle
design, development and platform enhancement. (U.S. Army photo by MSG Cecilio Ricardo.)
20 10 EEd
S peci a l 2010 ioonn
d iti ti

Virtual Environments

One such tool is the Cave around them for a fully immersive design reviews and development of
Automatic Virtual Environment view showing the object’s various new vehicles,” explained TARDEC
(CAVE). The CAVE is an immersive, sides and components. The CAVE Engineer Jon Petrosky.
virtual reality environment where gives designers and engineers the
projectors are directed toward a ability to see how components fit The ability to walk around a
number of walls in a room-sized and operate on a vehicle before 3-D model is made possible by
cube. Users stand inside the CAVE any manufacturing is completed, electromagnetic sensors. When a
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

wearing special glasses to view the providing enhanced design person moves around in the CAVE
3-dimensional (3-D) graphics that reviews that lead to more rapid with a pair of special glasses on, his
are generated. With these glasses, development of vehicles and vehicle or her movements are tracked with
objects appear to be suspended components. “We use the CAVE for these sensors, and the video
in space, and viewers can walk many things, such as simulation, adjusts accordingly.
there in front of them, people feel
like they can reach out and almost
touch it,” noted Petrosky. “Most
Soldiers who come in here think
this tool is very helpful. It gives
them the ability to tell us what
will work and what won’t work.”

“Most Soldiers who come

in here think this tool is very
helpful. It gives them the
ability to tell us what will
work and what won’t work.”

The CAVE’s primary benefit is

that it is easy to use for everyone
involved. Users do not have
to be CAD or engineering
experts to use the CAVE. Any
customer, engineer or Soldier
Eleven Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division visited the Detroit Arsenal in July 2009 to view who walks in and picks up a pair
the work done by TARDEC researchers and engineers. TARDEC Mechanical Engineer Allen Rubel of glasses can see the design.
explains a Stryker vehicle virtual environment to Soldiers during a visit to the CAVE. The special
glasses make images inside the CAVE appear to float in space with users able to virtually walk “When we get Soldiers or other
around them. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Ted Beaupre.) people in here without CAD or
engineering knowledge, they have
Depending on the vehicle model’s the desktop version, “when you the ability to easily understand
complexity, or fidelity, designs leave here, the process is not over,” and comment on designs or
can be ready for viewing in the TARDEC Engineer Brian Brumm modifications without any formal
CAVE in a matter of days. If the stated. “The data you see here in training,” Petrosky remarked.
model and the engineers’ plans this immersive 3-D environment, Brumm also added, “What the
are fairly simple, the design can you can bring back to your desk CAVE is really good for is a
be loaded into the CAVE quickly. in a miniature version that will nontechnical person. It helps
“The process typically starts when help you remember what them in understanding what is
we get contacted by someone you saw.” going on rather than looking at
who asks to see their vehicle in a normal CAD design. This tool
the CAVE,” commented Petrosky. Soldier Feedback can be used to explain ideas to
“They give me their computer- Helps Design Engineers other people rather than just
aided design (CAD) data. We have Deliver Solutions engineers or designers. During
a converter that converts almost Feedback from Soldiers who your standard design reviews,
any CAD format to the CAVE’s have used the CAVE has PowerPoint slides with design
format. The length of time to been extremely helpful for a specifications are usually only
import a vehicle into the CAVE product’s development phase presented. In most cases, that is
really depends on the model. If by providing designers with hard for a person to visualize. The
the model is very detailed with a perfect opportunity to get CAVE takes the design review to
every last nut and bolt, it takes comments from the people who the next level.”
longer. But if it is simple, it can be have been and will be out in the
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

ready to go in only a few days.” field using these vehicles. “Most “The TARDEC CAVE was one of
of the people who have been in the design review locations for the
The CAVE also has a connecting the CAVE say they really like it. Stryker model,” Brumm remarked.
desktop version so that the Most have never been in anything “That was a project that was given
projected images can be viewed like this. With something like the an aggressive timeline for comple-
as needed on any computer. With CAVE, where the design is right tion, and the CAVE played a big
CW3 Jason Greegor looks at a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles in the CAVE virtual reality environment. His first time in the setting, Greegor tries
to reach out and “touch” the image. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Bill Dowell.)

role in meeting that timeline. The

vehicle was quickly and complete-
ly understood by all participants
because they were able to see the
vehicle without having to visualize
it in their heads. Here you are able
to visualize a vehicle in complete
detail. There are not many places
within the Army where you can
do this type of thing.”

TARDEC also has the capability to

bring the CAVE to customers out-
side the TARDEC facility through
the Reconfigurable Automatic
Virtual Environment (RAVE).
Similar to the CAVE, the RAVE
is a transportable, multiperson,
high-resolution, 3-D video/audio Visitors to the CAVE are amazed by the virtual reality’s authenticity and capabilities. (U.S.
environment. The system has Army TARDEC photo by Bill Dowell.)
three rear-projected screens and a
front-projected floor, and it can be Overall, the CAVE has simplified system is better prepared to meet
set up in various configurations. vehicle design and development battlefield demands.
so that it is not just engineers
“Here you are able to visualize making all the tough decisions
a vehicle in complete detail. — Soldiers and other customers
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

can be involved in the process Patrick Pinter is a Writer/Editor with

There are not many places and provide suggestions. This BRTRC and provides contract support
type of feedback is particularly to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
within the Army where you
valuable from Soldiers so that tions team. He has a B.A. in journalism
can do this type of thing.” when vehicles like the Stryker and political science from Western
hit the road, the vehicle/Soldier Michigan University.
A Virtual Environment
Gets Soldiers Ready
for Action
Patrick Pinter

The crew station screen gives the operator a simulated

view of what he or she would see on the battlefield.
The platform provides a number of stimuli to give test
subjects the feeling that they are really on the battlefield.

omputing systems and their abilities to recreate battlefield scenarios
play an important role in training Soldiers and testing vehicle equip-
ment operation. The virtual experience allows for significant train-
ing and testing time, as well as a safe training environment. At the
U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering
Center (TARDEC), this capability is used extensively to ensure Soldiers
and equipment are ready for real-world battlefield experiences.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

TARDEC Engineer Jonathan Joyce works with the Embedded Simulation crew station. Through tools
like this, TARDEC has the ability to create a virtual battlefield environment that replicates real-world
battlefield conditions for Soldiers getting ready to deploy to the theater of operations. (U.S. Army
TARDEC photos by Bill Dowell.)

protocols. “With the ES system,
we can also work in a distributive
environment,” commented Lohrer.
“If there are other labs that are


focusing on sensor modeling, we
can run their high-fidelity models,
for example, and create a coopera-
tive modeling environment.”

The high-tech simulation work

being done with the ES system is
helping provide valuable infor-
mation and feedback, which is
promoting the development of
crew station technology. This
development is a key component
in delivering to Soldiers the user
Joyce operates the ES crew station. Tools like this give Soldiers an opportunity to test equipment interface and vehicle solutions
that could possibly be used on the battlefield. they need to meet current battle-
field threats.
With its Embedded Simulation other test subject, is one of the
(ES) Laboratory, TARDEC can ES system’s primary benefits. “We
develop component or system provide a lot of the stimuli to give
models. The lab’s ES system sup- the test subjects a feel that they are
ports local and long-haul distrib- in some kind of battlefield envi-
uted simulation in both classified ronment,” remarked Lohrer. “One
and unclassified environments. example that we have worked with
“The lab is more like a set of is to measure workload for a com-
tools,” explained Scott Lohrer, mander. We would simulate the
Embedded/Distributed Simula- tasks a commander would experi-
tion Team. “With the ES system, ence in a real-world mission.”
we can provide a simulation
environment to promote the Another system benefit is the
development of crew station ability to replicate a weapon’s fir-
technology. We provide the ing without actually firing a live
stimulus to the Soldier and, by round. “The crew stations that
creating the virtual battlefield, we Intelligent Ground Systems build
tie in other tools, like a com- can be set up in a lab environment
puter-generated force, and that or moved inside a vehicle so our
tool basically will augment and software can go with the crew in-
fill out the battlefield.” side,” explained Lohrer. “Without The foot pedals on the crew station represent
the gas and brake pedals that are located in
the ability of live firing indoors, combat vehicles, contributing to the simula-
“We provide a lot of we can provide a live virtual envi- tor’s realism. The ES team tries to replicate
the same environment and conditions that
the stimuli to give the ronment where you can replicate Soldiers will face on the battlefield.
a live firing.”
test subjects a feel that
The lab houses primarily off-
they are in some kind of
the-shelf computing systems
battlefield environment.”
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

capable of running either Linux or Patrick Pinter is a Writer/Editor with

Windows operating systems that BRTRC and provides contract support
The ability to create a virtual are used to evaluate component or to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
battlefield environment that system models. The lab supports tions team. He has a B.A. in journalism
replicates real-world battlefield both high-level architecture and and political science from Western
conditions for Soldiers, or any distributed interactive simulation Michigan University.
Ground Vehicle Simulation
Laboratories Simulate Real-
World Testing and Analytics
Patrick Pinter and Matthew Sablan

An MRAP and Interim High Mobility Engineering Excavator are

shown on the RNPS where the posts, or fixtures, are easy to set up
and can accommodate vehicles with gross vehicle weight (GVW)
up to 80,000 pounds. Computer- and servo-controlled hydraulic
actuators provide the forcing function into the test specimen. The
actuator duty cycle can originate from proving ground, computer-
based or swept sine sources. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

xperimentation has been The U.S. Army develops some The lab’s simulators include the
the heart of scientific of the most highly technical Load Handling System Simulator
methodology for centuries ground vehicles in the world. (LHSS), Reconfigurable N-Post
and is often time-consum- Before these vehicles reach the Simulator (RNPS), Pintle Motion
ing and expensive, but it battlefield, hundreds, sometimes Base Simulator (PMBS), Vehicle
is necessary to advance thousands, of hours of testing Inertial Properties Evaluation
relevant technology and scientific and research go into develop- Rig (VIPER), component test fix-
research. The U.S. Army Tank ing them and making sure they tures and tire test machines.
Automotive Research, Develop- meet Soldier requirements.
ment and Engineering Center’s TARDEC has tools that facilitate The LHSS is a motion platform
(TARDEC’s) Ground Vehicle this research and development designed to test the payload
Simulation Laboratories (GVSL) to ensure these vehicles are ready of Heavy Expanded Mobility
have been leveraged by various when they hit the battlefield. Tactical Truck (HEMTT) and
program managers (PMs) and Palletized Load System vehicles.
internal TARDEC engineers and The GVSL uses modern technol- The RNPS features vertical
scientists since 1985 to assist ogy to simulate the effects of tire and track-coupled fixtures
with reducing costs and time by real-world testing in a controlled generally used for chassis and
simulating natural phenomena environment. These facilities allow body/payload fatigue studies
and environments. These actions TARDEC to complete more tests capable of characterizing or
have led to expanding experimen- on its premises, which, in turn, testing wheeled vehicles with
tation capabilities and a wealth of reduces travel and centralizes two to five axles. The PMBS
usable data. assets and test data accessibility. uses servo-hydraulic actuators

S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

to reproduce real-world and
An MRAP is being tested on the VIPER, which is used
proving ground terrain. to accurately measure a vehicle’s center of gravity and
inertial characteristics. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)
Vehicles can undergo preliminary
testing at TARDEC, allowing
engineers to find and solve
design problems before embark-
ing on expensive real-world
tests at the Army’s various test
centers. The simulators can
provide durability evaluations
and characterizations of systems,
subsystems and components.
“The GVSL’s various simulators
provide engineering support
services to the Army ground
vehicle platform managers,” re- Soldiers Inside Simulators more,” commented Zywiol.
marked TARDEC Acting Associ- The RMS is a 6-degrees-of-free- “Environments in Afghanistan
ate Director for the Hardware dom motion simulator designed or Iraq can be simulated using
and Man-in-the-Loop Simula- for crew station and Soldier-in- this motion base. The drive in
tion Group Dr. Mark Brudnak. the-loop experimentation. It is Iraq is more of a flat ride and
“We can support laboratory capable of reproducing the ride of less rough. In Afghanistan, the
testing, vehicle characterization, automotive, combat, tactical and terrain is really rough and hilly.
system and component durabil- nearly any other type of ground We can also simulate the visual
ity, and hardware/man-in-the- vehicle with high precision. It sense, what you would see as you
loop simulation. Along with the has integrated motion, audio and are driving. We can simulate hills,
other tools available, the GVSL visual systems for high-fidelity valleys, buildings, lakes, streams
provides test and analysis sup- simulations. “The RMS consists and the movement and actions
port to a variety of customers.” of hydraulic actuators, which of friendly, enemy and civilian
move the simulator. It houses forces using computer-generated
TARDEC also has two simula- one occupant and has a recon- imagery and models.”
tors that help researchers solve figurable cab, which you can bolt
vehicle problems and familiarize different components to, such “We can support laboratory
Soldiers with new and upcoming as seats, displays and controls to testing, vehicle characterization,
vehicles. Those tools are the Ride simulate a vehicle cab,” explained
Motion Simulator (RMS) and Motion Base Technologies Team system and component
the Crew Station/Turret Motion Leader Harry Zywiol. “It can be
durability, and hardware/man-
Base Simulator (CS/TMBS). configured as a wheeled vehicle,
a combat vehicle or any land ve- in-the-loop simulation.”
hicle. This permits us to simulate
TARDEC’s Dr. Mark Brudnak keeps a close
eye on data recorded during RMS testing.
the mobility or ground motion With the RMS, TARDEC engi-
Brudnak and his team use the RMS test of the vehicle on cross-country, neers address two challenges —
data to help engineers and designers better secondary road or, really, any ter- quick solutions to vehicle prob-
understand the decision-making process
Soldiers use on the battlefield. (U.S. Army rain surface.” lems and understanding Soldiers’
TARDEC photo by Elizabeth Carnegie.) cognitive processes. “What we do
The ability to create various sce- with this simulator are two kinds
narios in many environments is a of work. The first is helping to
unique RMS benefit. The simula- solve the problems currently in
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

tor can replicate environments vehicles in Afghanistan and Iraq.

that Soldiers will face on the Those problems could be seat-
battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan ing and restraint issues or con-
or at any proving ground. “Many trol positions that affect Soldier
of the real Army proving grounds performance, fatigue and com-
— we can simulate those and fort — basically, rapid solution
“We can simulate hills, valleys, Ambush Protected (MRAP) idea of how Soldiers would drive
vehicle for whatever we have to and fight in these vehicles with
buildings, lakes, streams and do,” explained Zywiol. “This is a the simulator. We can now have
the movement and actions of Soldier-based simulator that can measurements on how the driver


fit multiple people in it.” is using all the power and energy
friendly, enemy and civilian
forces using computer-generated
imagery and models.”

testing,” explained Zywiol. “The

second thing we do with this is
heavily research focused. We are
beginning to look at the Soldiers’
cognitive abilities, in particular
the way Soldiers think and their
thought processes to, ultimately,
design significantly better vehicle
crew stations. The whole idea is
that we have a good handle on
how people respond to motion
when they are in vehicles, but we
don’t have a good handle on their
cognitive processes, what causes
them to make the decisions they
are making and what are the in- A close-up shot of what the simulator looks like while being tested. Personnel, seated in
the RMS, train in similar conditions that Soldiers face on the battlefield. The feedback that
fluences on those decisions. That
TARDEC researchers and scientists receive helps in developing solutions for vehicle-related
is what we are trying to research.” challenges Soldiers are facing in the theater of operations. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by
Elizabeth Carnegie.)
“Using simulation is
advantageous because you The CS/TMBS is a popular testing on board. This information helps
tool with Soldiers. The experience TARDEC engineers learn how
can identify potential problems Soldiers have in the simulator the Soldiers are going to use the
enables them to provide good vehicle,” Zywiol continued.
and then quickly apply
feedback, which leads to mak-
engineering solutions.” ing vehicles better. The simulator VIPER
also allows Soldiers to test new The VIPER is used to accurately
The CS/TMBS also is capable vehicles that have not yet reached measure a system's center of grav-
of reproducing dynamic condi- the field. “There is a lot of feed- ity and the inertial characteristics
tions encountered by combat or back from users. Soldiers really of trucks, trailers and turrets.
tactical vehicle. However, this like it because they are deeply Most vehicles can be evaluated
simulator can be configured as engaged in the scenarios, and they without modification or disas-
either a full crew station simula- think it is realistic. However, they sembly. “On this equipment, we
tor or as a gun turret system. also point out that it is not per- test for the center of gravity and
There are six hydraulic actuators fect. They let us know what key the moments of inertia. When the
below that support a table capable pieces we are missing so we can vehicle comes to an abrupt stop,
of having vehicle subsystems make it better,” Zywiol noted. “We there is a tendency for an object
mounted on top of it. “The idea often use this simulator to come to resist changes. The VIPER is
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

here is that everything is recon- up with what we call a duty cycle, able to calculate it,” said Physi-
figurable to fit any customer. For which is synonymous with vehicle cal Simulation Lab Operations
example, we can make this crew use history of new or upcoming Team Leader Terry Hoist. “There
station cab into a High Mobility vehicle designs. Vehicles on the is interest to use it for Army or
Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle drawing board don’t have a lot of Joint Vehicle Programs, as well
(HMMWV) or a Mine Resistant use history, but we can get a good as private businesses.” The data
generated by the VIPER are used “The value here is that we have simulation is advantageous
by the Concepts, Analysis, Sys- because you can identify potential
tem Simulation and Integration
Soldiers right in the simulation problems and then quickly apply
(CASSI) group to model vehicle with the same ride they get in engineering solutions.”
dynamics to help mitigate vehicle
rollover hazards as well as im- the theater, and we are using the Computer- and servo-controlled
prove handling performance and same equipment they would be hydraulic actuators provide the
ride quality. forcing function into the test
using in the field.” specimen. The actuator duty
The VIPER consists of four cycle can originate from proving
in-ground scales, a configurable and track-coupled fixtures that ground, computer-based or swept
platform and the software are generally used for chassis and sine (analysis used for measure-
necessary to post-process the body/payload fatigue studies. ments involving high dynamic
results. “We have also done These posts, or fixtures, are easy range or wide frequency inter-
work with the Department to set up and can accommodate vals) sources. “We have ways to
of Transportation,” remarked GVWs up to 80,000 pounds. record information and moni-
Hoist. “Overall, we characterize “With the RNPS, we test the tor the vehicle while it is on the
vehicles approximately 40-50 vehicle’s suspension, chassis and N-Post. We have strain gauges on
times per year. The VIPER has integrated subsystems to verify the axles to make sure we are not
become especially useful for the whether or not it can endure bending them. We also mount ac-
characterization of MRAPs.” proving ground and real-world celerometers at various locations,”
terrains. The ability to do the remarked Hoist. “We not only
RNPS suspension testing here in test the vehicles to see if they are
The reconfigurable motion base the lab is a big advantage,” durable, we also provide the data
simulators feature vertical tire commented Hoist. “Using to our modelers and analytical

The CS/TMBS simulator allows Soldiers to test

new vehicles that have not yet reached the field.
The experience that Soldiers have in the CS/
TMBS enables them to provide good feedback,
which leads to better engineered vehicles. (U.S.
Army TARDEC photo by Elizabeth Carnegie.)
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

people so they can modify and
improve their designs.”

Having testing equipment like


the N-Post Simulator onsite at
TARDEC gives engineers the abil-
ity to test a vehicle’s durability
before it is sent to a proving
ground. “When you take the
vehicle to the field, you are going
to have much higher confidence
since it has been through signifi-
cant testing,” said Hoist. “That is
the big selling point: to start here
in our laboratory rather than at
a proving ground. We perform
simulations here to improve the
vehicle’s chance of success before
it is sent to a proving ground.” The HEMTT is a transport truck with a payload capacity of more than 10 tons. To ensure this
vehicle fleet remains at maximum operational capability, TARDEC’s LHSS tests HEMTT payload
capabilities to find any engineering problems that need addressing. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)
The RNPS has proven itself to be
a very useful tool in developing,
studying and designing ground This simulator can impart mo- same equipment they would be
vehicles. It is constantly being used tion to a trailer’s lunette in three using in the field,” remarked
to develop vehicle solutions for to- directions — vertical, lateral and Zywiol. “Having this capability
day’s Soldiers. “This piece of equip- longitudinal — to emulate the here highlights TARDEC’s labs.”
ment is very busy,” commented forces imparted by the prime TARDEC’s simulation tools
Hoist. “We have performed many mover. In addition, the PMBS are helping to deliver rapid
HMMWV tests here. Now, with can move each trailer wheel ver- solutions on new and future
the focus shift to MRAPs, we test a tically, like the RNPS. vehicle platform designs.
lot more of those.” These simulators are providing
Continuing to Provide invaluable information and
TARDEC’s simulations allow Soldiers with Rides feedback that are being used
a repeatable, controllable TARDEC’s simulations allow a to help today’s Soldiers remain
repeatable, controllable environ- lethal, mobile, survivable and
environment and process ment and process to compare sustainable on a very complex
different technologies and solu- and evolving battlefield.
to compare different tions on the same vehicle while
technologies and solutions reducing or eliminating ques-
tionable variables. Simulations
on the same vehicle while ensure that when enhancements Patrick Pinter is a Writer/Editor with
reducing or eliminating are made to a vehicle, its struc- BRTRC and provides contract support
tural integrity is not compro- to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
questionable variables. mised, reducing the total number tions team. He has a B.A. in journalism
of tests. “In short, the physical and political science from Western
PMBS simulation labs assist PM deci- Michigan University.
The PMBS is a hydraulically sion making and provide pro-
powered physical motion-base gram risk reduction, saving time
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

simulator designed to test light- and money,” Brudnak noted. Matthew Sablan is a Writer/Editor
to medium-weight lunette, or with BRTRC and provides contract
hitch, trailers with GVWs of up “The value here is that we have support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
to 20,000 pounds. “Right now it is Soldiers right in the simulation munications team. He has a B.A. in
mostly used for testing with light with the same ride they get in English and history from Marymount
tactical trailers,” said Hoist. the theater, and we are using the University in Arlington, VA.
Assessing Material and
Microstructural Failures —
Metallurgical and Failure
Analysis Laboratory Provides
Critical Analysis
Michael D. Kaplun
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

TARDEC’s Demetrios Tzelepis displays samples of tested

objects in TARDEC’s Metallurgical and Failure Analysis
Laboratory. An EBG Materials and Environmental
Team member, he orchestrates the laboratory’s analysis
capabilities and metallurgical manufacturing processes.
(U.S. Army TARDEC photos by Bill Dowell.)
eeking to ensure Soldiers
have safe, high-quality
equipment to execute their
operations, the U.S. Army


Tank Automotive Research,
Development and
Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s)
Metallurgical and Failure
Analysis Laboratory specializes
in providing objective, cost-
effective analyses of component
failures. The lab, located in the
Prototype Integration Facility,
utilizes the experience of highly
skilled and trained technicians
and engineers to provide material
evaluation and identification,
microstructural evaluation,
hardness testing and fracture
analysis to assess component
failures on all vehicle and Veteran Associate Midge Krueger studies test samples under a microscope in TARDEC’s Metallur-
gical and Failure Analysis Laboratory. Analyses performed in the facility range from nuts and bolts
weapons systems.
to HMMWV doors and MRAP vehicle hulls.

Analyses performed in the

laboratory range from nuts of minute inclusions in the the accident or if the accident
and bolts, track components, material. The laboratory also has caused the failure,” Krueger
wheel rims, weldments and a spectrographic analyzer, which remarked. She also emphasized
steering arms, to High Mobility enables chemical analyses that TARDEC’s efforts are
Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle of most metals, including alloy progressing to increase the
(HMMWV) doors and Mine steels, stainless (nickel-based) laboratory’s use, which can be
Resistant Ambush Protected steels, titanium, copper and seen by the Engineering Business
(MRAP) vehicle hulls. aluminum alloys. Group (EBG) Materials and
Nondestructive testing, including Environmental Team’s recent
dye penetrant, magnetic particle The lab utilizes the experience addition of Demetrios Tzelepis,
inspection and radiography, are a materials engineer specializing
available to inspect suspect parts. of highly skilled and trained in metallurgy. “His knowledge
technicians and engineers to and understanding of the
TARDEC’s Metallurgical and laboratory’s capability, as well as
Failure Analysis Laboratory provide material evaluation and the metallurgical manufacturing
supports the Physical processes, will enable us to
identification, microstructural
Prototyping Team, while also better assess and fix component
performing work for program evaluation, hardness testing problems,” affirmed Krueger.
managers, program executive
offices, the Army Criminal and fracture analysis to assess
Investigation Division, U.S. component failures on all vehicle
Navy, Naval Criminal Division
and fielded units. The lab is and weapons systems.
equipped with a scanning
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

electron microscope (SEM) and Serving as the laboratory’s Michael D. Kaplun is a Writer/Editor
electron dispersive spectrometer senior technician is TARDEC with BRTRC and provides contract
(EDS). The SEM can magnify a Associate Midge Krueger. “I have support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
fracture face up to 10,000 times been asked to analyze parts that munications team. He holds a B.A. in
its size, and the EDS can do a have caused fatal accidents to English and media and society from
qualitative chemical analysis determine if the failure caused Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Conducting M1A2
Software Maintenance and
Enhancement — M1A2 System
Integration Laboratory
Michael D. Kaplun

Armor crew members from Company C, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor

Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, fire the
main gun of their M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank during a tank
screening at Range 8b, Camp Buehring, Kuwait. The Soldiers’ training is
in support of Multi-National Division – Baghdad and Operation Iraqi

Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by SGT David Hodge.)

d iti ti
20 10 EEd
S peci a l 2010

he M1A2 System Integration Laboratory (SIL) provides the
These new capabilities enable
hardware, operating system, network and software infrastruc-
ture that enables the Software Engineering Center (SEC) to SEC engineers to fully develop
conduct software maintenance and enhancement projects for
the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank System Enhancement Pack- and test their software before it
age (SEP). The M1A2 SIL is an integral part of the U.S. Army is installed on a vehicle, while
Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s
(TARDEC’s) SEC under Associate Director Mark Slominski. The allowing software and test
facility includes line-replaceable unit and system benches, develop-
engineers to resolve a variety
ment servers, emulators, tank software, Force XXI Battle Command
Brigade and Below support, automated test software and various of field problems and system
simulators. “The M1A2 SIL has proven to be an indispensible tool in
sustaining the software for the Abrams tank to a high-quality level,” trouble reports.
remarked Slominski.

Software Engineer John Konopik reads through auxiliary power unit emergency shutdown proce-
dures for the driver’s integrated display station prior to simulation tests in the M1A2 SIL. (U.S. Army
TARDEC photo by Bill Dowell.)
Software Engineer Scott Pletz tests the auxiliary
power unit tank software interface in the M1A2 SIL,
Managed by TARDEC Engineer example of the SIL’s adaptable part of TARDEC’s SEC. The laboratory provides the
hardware, operating system, network and software
Keith Shockley with support nature is the recently added infrastructure that enables the SEC to conduct
from fellow TARDEC associ- simulation software that enabled software maintenance and enhancement projects for
ates Aaron Micyus, Matt Brief, SEC engineers to quickly develop the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank SEP. (U.S. Army
TARDEC photo by Bill Dowell.)
Patrick Delehanty, Jim Gengler and test software that integrated
and Rhonda Paprocki, the SIL an experimental auxiliary power TARDEC’s M1A2 SIL provides
was developed in the mid-1990s unit into the SEP system. a multitude of systems integra-
and has continually added new tion capabilities. The laboratory’s
capabilities. These new capabili- The laboratory shares its assets operations are integral in help-
ties enable SEC engineers to fully and supports other organiza- ing TARDEC achieve its chief
develop and test their software tions within TARDEC, includ- mission — enhance warfighter
before it is installed on a vehicle, ing Mobility, Survivability and readiness and protection.
while allowing software and test Project Manager Heavy Brigade
engineers to resolve a variety Combat Team training devices.
of field problems and system The SIL’s staff also validates
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

trouble reports by implementing trouble reports and software

changes to the SEP display; diag- update testing on the M1A2 Michael D. Kaplun is a Writer/Editor
nostic; and Command, Control, SEP v2, while supporting Mine with BRTRC and provides contract
support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
Communications, Computers, Resistant Ambush Protected
munications team. He holds a B.A. in
Intelligence, Surveillance and vehicle development and Stryker English and media and society from
Reconnaissance software. An SIL acquisition. Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
DREN Provides TARDEC’s
Computing Power
Michael D. Kaplun

he Defense Research Engineering Network (DREN) is a
nationwide, robust, high-capacity, low-latency computer
network created in the late 1980s to further crucial military
research and development (R&D) projects. Operated by the
Department of Defense (DOD) High Performance Computing
Modernization Office (HPCMO), DREN supports DOD- and
Army-wide R&D initiatives while providing digital, imaging, video and
audio data transfer services between defined service delivery points.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

TARDEC Associate Jonathan Bence manages the network from a console workstation, TARDEC’s
heart to DREN connectivity. (U.S. Army TARDEC photos by Bill Dowell.)
“DREN is a technology enabler. It provides a viable conduit to the such as supercomputers and HPC
systems. These supercomputing
Army for collaboration among the research, hardware and software systems and other DREN systems
development, engineering and testing communities.” are accessible to anyone working


within Army RDT and evaluation
programs, in accordance with
standard DOD computer
use policies.

Through DREN’s active

technological engagement,
TARDEC is on the forefront
of leading-edge connectivity
and technology transfers across
DOD. The center’s position
ensures enhanced technological
capabilities exist in and out of
the network.

TARDEC Associate Jonathon Smereka checks network server connections. DREN connectivity is
TARDEC’s conduit for high-speed DOD technology transfer.

DREN was originally used to labs, advanced collaborative

connect Defense Supercomputing environments and systems
Research Centers (DSRCs) and integration labs to establish and
17 other smaller distributed connect simulation and test
computer centers. Today, there are environments. This connection
four Defense Research Centers — allows for real-time modeling
two for the Army (Army Research and simulation experiments, as
Laboratory and Engineer Research well as high-end computational
and Development Center), one for analyses supporting DOD- and
the Air Force (Air Force Research Army-wide strategic initiatives.
Laboratory) and one for the Navy Through DREN, TARDEC is
(Naval Oceanographic Office). able to partner and collaborate
Several distributed centers have with other U.S. Army Research,
been removed from the DOD Development and Engineering TARDEC Associates Jonathan Bence (stand-
HPCMO, but many, such as Command laboratories linked ing) and Dan Kedziorek verify proper con-
nections in a station network rack. Proper
TARDEC, have maintained their together by the network. “Much connections are vital to DREN operability.
DREN connectivity to interact of TARDEC’s broadband efforts
with DSRCs and other partners. would not be possible without the
interconnection fabric of DREN,”
“DREN is a technology enabler,” Currier affirmed. “This is why
remarked TARDEC Team the network was created and
Leader Ted Currier. “It provides has flourished.”
a viable conduit to the Army Here, Kedziorek traces Ethernet wire connec-
for collaboration among the Today, there are many other tions in a network rack. Ethernet wires are
plugged in for each line to connect computers
research, hardware and software laboratories, agencies and to the network server.
development, engineering and testing facilities with DREN
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

testing communities.” As the connectivity to perform research,

backbone of TARDEC’s laboratory development and testing (RDT). Michael D. Kaplun is a Writer/Editor
environment, DREN enables TARDEC’s DREN operation with BRTRC and provides contract
support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
high-performance computing hosts approximately 150–200
munications team. He holds a B.A. in
(HPC), embedded simulation workstations throughout the English and media and society from
labs, ground vehicle simulation center and several larger systems, Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Two TARDEC engineers monitor
the work being done in the HPC.
The HPC runs simulations in a
variety of areas but mostly focuses
on vehicle dynamic analysis, CFD
and CSM. (U.S. Army TARDEC
photos by Todd Solgat.)

High-Performance Computing
Center Delivers Proven
Vehicle Solutions
Patrick Pinter

hen Soldiers enter the crew compartment of a tactical vehicle, they’re putting a lot of trust in
the vehicle’s ability to meet the highest standards of mechanical performance, survivability and
rigorous battlefield demands. One reason Army vehicles are able to meet and surpass these high
demands results from the work being done by the highly skilled scientists and engineers using
the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (TARDEC’s)
High-Performance Computing (HPC) Center.

What’s Going on at the HPC? Researchers and developers of modifications to current ve-
TARDEC’s HPC houses more from TARDEC and enterprise hicles,” commented Currier. “An-
than 1,000 processors spread partners from the U.S. Army other focus area is CFD, which
across two systems. These TACOM Life Cycle Management mainly focuses on analyzing
systems are used for analyzing Command use the HPC to run fluid flow. Here at TARDEC, our
various physics problems re- numerous simulations in the primary CFD focus is on inter-
lated to ground vehicle systems. areas of vehicle dynamic analy- nal engine combustion and ther-
“TARDEC, being the ground sis, computational fluid dynam- mal and signature modeling. We
vehicle integrator, has the ca- ics (CFD) and computational also do a lot of analytical simu-
pability to evaluate the vehicle structural mechanics (CSM). lations in CSM to evaluate kit
performance manufacturers These complex physics-based designs and material strength.
are claiming against all of the analyses help solve potential ve- This is one of TARDEC’s core
design parameters,” remarked hicle problems before they ever analysis capabilities. Basically,
HPC Team Leader Ted Currier. reach Soldiers. CSM is determining the stresses
“TARDEC transforms vehicle and strains on the vehicle and
characteristics from the vendors “Vehicle dynamic analysis is how the vehicle is going to react
into electronic models, and the where the mathematical model in certain environments. In this
scientists and engineers run an of a specific vehicle is run over case, environments are defined
array of analytical simulations. a real-terrain database that is as force-loading scenarios based
Without this capability, it would represented mathematically in on vehicle operational events.”
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

be impossible to evaluate the a supercomputer. This type of The HPC systems include sub-
complex vehicle systems that are simulation helps us assess vehi- stantial online and offline storage
being developed and fielded.” cle performance and the effects and high-speed, high-bandwidth
fiberoptic networking for HPC-
“CSM is determining the stresses and strains on the vehicle and based computation and visualiza-
tion throughout TARDEC. The
how the vehicle is going to react in certain environments.”
researchers and developers to
provide a more rapid response
for full-vehicle platform analyses
and decision making. “TARDEC


scientists and engineers have the
ability to look at fatigue, corro-
sion, stress fracture and thermal
breakdown, crew survivability
and a variety of other failure
modes. The HPC Center super-
computers here are being used
to expand simultaneous, multi-
discipline analysis capabilities,”
Currier concluded.

With the work being done using

the HPC, proven ground vehicle
solutions are being delivered to
Pictured are some of the computing equipment in the HPC. The HPC can resolve potential physics
problems that appear in ground vehicle designs provided by the manufacturer. American Soldiers. HPC research
and analysis validates ground
TARDEC HPC Center was estab- user base of vehicle engineers, vehicle designs and models. This
lished in 1988 and designated as consisting of a team of 16 people.” validation is imperative in deliv-
a Department of Defense (DOD) ering strong, proven designs to
HPC Distributed Center from In addition to specific modeling Soldiers who require vehicles that
1996–2002 and is still prominent and simulation in the focus areas meet rugged battlefield conditions.
today in the Army and DOD of vehicle dynamics, CSM and
HPC communities. CFD for developmental vehicle
platforms and systems, the HPC
“TARDEC scientists and is used to develop solutions for
fielded vehicle systems. “We do
engineers have the ability other less complex tasks, too,
to look at fatigue, corrosion, which are not so glamorous —
something is in the field and
stress fracture and isn’t working, a component or
thermal breakdown, crew structure is failing but is within
design specifications, things
survivability and a variety of like that where we have to find
a solution. It is smaller stuff but
other failure modes.” very valuable,” explained Currier.
“TARDEC and TACOM receive An engineer tests HPC equipment to ensure
it is running optimally. The HPC computers
“Back in the 1980s, the govern- requests from fielded units, and perform complex analyses on vehicle models.
ment and the Army were looking TARDEC scientists and engineers These analyses attempt to determine whether
models measure up to the manufactures’
into scientific computation as using HPC can model and per- promised specifications.
a means to deal with the ever- form physics-based analyses to
increasing complexities in vehicle solve the issue fairly quickly.”
design and performance. Super-
computing was becoming a new Pushing to Develop Quicker
field, and the Army decided it Solutions in the Future
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

needed some sort of supercom- Despite the great work being Patrick Pinter is a Writer/Editor with
puting capability,” remarked Cur- done in the HPC, Currier knows BRTRC and provides contract support
rier. “Around that time is when that vehicle solutions need to be to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
TARDEC received this capability. provided more quickly to better tions team. He has a B.A. in journalism
Today we have a world-class com- serve today’s Soldiers. The HPC and political science from Western
puting center, supporting a large Center is working with TARDEC Michigan University.
Hydraulic cylinders hanging from the transoms above push through load cells onto the
load feet, or whiffles, to test this segment of bridging. Various loads can be applied to
the Armored Vehicle Launch Bridge (AVLB). By testing bridging technology under
various conditions, TARDEC engineers can certify the military’s bridges for operational
deployment. (U.S. Army TARDEC photos by James Stankewitz.)

Dynamic Structural Load

Simulator Laboratory (DSLSL)
Bridges Capability Gaps
Matthew Sablan

stablished with the Bridge ultimate loads in accordance with
Engineering Team in the the Trilateral Design and Test
1960s, the DSLSL began at Code for Military Bridging and
Fort Belvoir, VA, former Gap-Crossing Equipment agree-
home of the U.S. Army En- ment among the U.S., United
gineer School. It continued Kingdom and Germany. The facil-
operating there until 1993, when ity is equipped to accomplish this
the mission and equipment were mission with an overhead gantry,
transferred to the U.S. Army Tank 10 computer-controlled hydraulic
Automotive Research, Develop- load actuators on five moveable
ment and Engineering Center transoms, tool crib, parts crib
(TARDEC) in Warren, MI. By the and fabrication area. “We test and
late 1990s, the DSLSL was operat- certify a wide range of mobile
ing at Michigan’s Selfridge Air bridges. Some are mounted on
National Guard Base. tank or truck chassis,” noted
Suzanne Culkin, TARDEC Bridge
Securing the Army’s Bridges Engineering Team Leader.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

Housed inside an airplane hangar

leased from the Air Force, the The DSLSL addresses the bridges’
DSLSL tests and certifies the safe structural capacity. These bridges
load capacity of mobile military are often modular, with vary-
bridges, including verifying their ing requirements, depending on
working loads, overloads and the environments where they
and materials, researchers use Administration (NASA) used the
“We certify the military’s a 120-channel data acquisition facility to test a system that is
system and custom load-feedback part of a prelaunch check for
bridges will safely support
control system to help gather infor- ice formation.”


their crossing vehicles before mation for review. “We certify the
military’s bridges will safely sup- Stankewitz added that the DSLSL
the bridges are released to port their crossing vehicles before “is also reclassifying bridges for
Soldiers in the field.” the bridges are released to Soldiers the growing up-armored ve-
in the field,” Culkin summarized. hicles.” As the vehicles grow in
weight to meet emerging threats,
will be deployed. To fulfill this External Applications the Bridging Team must evaluate
mission, the facility is equipped In addition to the Bridging Team, improvements to bridging tech-
with a reconfigurable load gantry other organizations use the facil- nology to accommodate the extra
with a one-million-pound load ity to conduct analysis, evaluate weight the up-armored vehicles
capacity. The gantry can apply equipment and otherwise support place on the bridge.
a load that adheres to the North the Current and Future Forces.
Atlantic Treaty Organization’s The DSLSL’s drop tower simulates
Standardization Agreements for the impact of a mine blast, and
Military Load Class vehicles. The TARDEC has used the tower in
gantry applies the load to a bridge testing. “TARDEC recently used
with a width of up to 30 feet and the DSLSL to conduct engine tests
a length of up to 165 feet. The in a joint effort with a contractor,”
DSLSL also has 100,000-pound Culkin explained.
load cells with National Institute
of Standards and Technology- TARDEC Bridging Systems Proj-
traceable and calibrated recording ect Engineer James Stankewitz
systems, which allow for high- explained another organization’s An AVLB is tested at the DSLSL. In addition
to testing bridges, TARDEC’s DSLSL has
precision load measurement and use of the facility, stating, “The been used by other organizations, such as
recording. While testing bridges National Aeronautics and Space NASA, for testing. The laboratory uses test
equipment to ensure the launch bridge meets
various usage requirements.

The Bridging Facility provides

The DSLSL uses spare bridge modules to support the bridge ramps during a
test. This represents the abutments’ or bank slope’s condition the laboratory invaluable support to Soldiers in
wants to examine. the field by ensuring their bridges
are capable of transporting sup-
plies and vehicles across numer-
ous obstacles and waterways.
Logistics issues are increasingly
important in the current conflicts
in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the
Bridging Team’s tests are pivotal in
ensuring that the Army’s vehicles
are able to meet the mobility
demands and challenges they are
currently facing in Southwest Asia
and around the world.
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

Matthew Sablan is a Writer/Editor

with BRTRC and provides contract
support to TARDEC’s Strategic Com-
munications team. He has a B.A. in
English and history from Marymount
University in Arlington, VA.
TARDEC Chief Scientist Helps
Develop Army Ground Systems
Technology Focus
Michael I. Roddin and Chris Williams

s U.S. Soldiers face evolving challenges on the battlefield, Dr.
David Gorsich, Chief Scientist for the U.S. Army Research,
Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Tank
Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center
(TARDEC), must evaluate and make recommendations re-
garding TARDEC’s science and technology (S&T) portfolio to
properly equip warfighters for today’s challenges, while strengthening
technology for tomorrow’s battles.
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

Dr. David Gorsich began his position as TARDEC’s Chief Scientist in January 2009. A project
under development in the laboratory he previously oversaw is the crew station/turret motion-
based simulator, which is shown here testing a prototype turret. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by
Bill Dowell.)

With the number of challenges is making sure that TARDEC has Predicting Future Needs
facing TARDEC’s S&T community, a well-defined, rigorous portfo- Predicting Soldiers’ future needs has
collaboration is crucial. Gorsich, lio management process that we always been a challenge. In addition
who has nearly two decades’ experi- then use to balance our technol- to the complexities and
ence as an Army researcher and ogy portfolio,” he stated. “The unpredictability involved in
earned a Ph.D. from the Massa- overall way in which we manage a anticipating what may arise,
chusetts Institute of Technology, portfolio is very important to me. the majority of TARDEC’s S&T
depends on TARDEC’s senior It’s probably the most important budget is focused on meeting
technical experts (STEs) to dive thing I’ve been watching since current requirements. Only a
deep into their areas. “I have a huge becoming chief scientist. My role small amount has been dedicated
challenge on my shoulders in that I is to ensure that we get it estab- to predicting and preparing for
have a lot of ground to cover,” stated lished correctly and that the tech- future needs. “Most of what
Gorsich, who began his new posi- nology reviews we do at TARDEC TARDEC does is driven by custom-
tion in January 2009. “I can’t do this feed that portfolio management er needs today,” Gorsich clarified.
on my own.” process. It’s a big task that several “A small amount of funding is
people are involved with, and it’s actually addressing tomorrow’s
As TARDEC’s top scientist, Gor- very important to us in terms customer needs. We cannot have
sich must ensure that TARDEC of transitioning technology and half our budget dedicated to
associates conduct the neces- coordinating all of our different tasks that customers aren’t asking
sary research and development efforts and business processes.” for — you just can’t do that in
(R&D) to meet emerging and this current environment. It’s a
future ground system battlefield Proper portfolio management is challenge for us because we have
requirements. To keep the orga- particularly important given the a really small budget to work with
nization focused on the Army’s current economy and changes to predict what’s coming down
S&T strategy and in sync with coming to weapon systems the path and invest in some key
the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle procurement. In May 2009, U.S. technology areas and initiatives to
Management Command (LCMC) Secretary of Defense Robert drive that discovery process.”
Annual Operating Cycle, Gorsich Gates announced that cuts in the
collaborates closely with TARDEC Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) One future need that TARDEC is
and RDECOM executives. “I focus budget would affect the Army’s focusing on is developing, imple-
on the STEs and the technology Future Combat Systems (FCS) menting and executing alternative
directorates,” Gorsich explained. — now Program Executive Office fuel and energy programs. To im-
“Because I reach out across the Integration — and ground vehicle prove the Nation’s energy security
ground systems enterprise, I look programs. Gorsich said proper and decrease its dependence on
to them for help because they are portfolio management will be foreign oil supplies, the Army must
an entry point into their organi- required for TARDEC scientists find new ways of powering ve-
zations and help me understand and engineers to develop solu- hicles and bases through biofuels,
the S&T challenges in those tions that are able to protect hybrid-electric (HE) technology
groups. They also help me reach Soldiers from current threats, or alternative energy sources. As
out to and develop the junior while also ensuring that research- the Army’s and DOD’s lead for
technical staff and our universi- ers are anticipating and develop- fuels and lubricants, TARDEC
ties and other research partners.” ing solutions for potential future bears the responsibility for devel-
needs. “The former FCS program oping these resources and ensur-
Portfolio Management Process had been looking to spin out its ing that life cycle management is
Gorsich believes proper portfolio technologies as much as possible properly integrated into all new
management is essential to ensur- earlier-on in current platforms,” and existing ground vehicle pro-
ing that TARDEC’s work benefits Gorsich remarked. “We see this as grams. Gorsich works regularly
the entire TACOM LCMC and all a greater opportunity to develop with officials in various power
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

its enterprise partners. Properly technologies for the current fleet and energy groups to stay up-to-
managing the ground system’s S&T of vehicles, because wherever date on alternative power devel-
portfolio affects nearly every aspect you see us doing future systems- opments. “We’ve been having a
of the organization, including long- related work, you see applications series of small strategy sessions
term investments in human capital of that work being integrated into to define what we need to do in
and facility planning. “My interest current tactical vehicle systems.” the area of fuels,” he explained.
emphasis on neuroscience and
cognitive systems. “We’re hoping
that we can take into account a
Soldier’s cognitive processes and
link those into a platform to make
the Soldier-machine interface
more effective,” Gorsich remarked.

Additionally, Gorsich hopes that

TARDEC’s Technology Integration
and Assessment Process, which
was used to develop the Mine Re-
sistant Ambush Protected (MRAP)
Vehicle Expedient Armor Program
This Utility Variant Vehicle is equipped with a remote weapons system, night-vision capability, and deal with weight issues in the
ballistic glass, video cameras, touch-screen controls and a diesel-electric hybrid engine. Future early days of operations in Iraq,
tactical vehicles will have extremely large auxiliary power demands. Hybrid vehicles are an
important P&E thrust area for TARDEC’s energy research program. (U.S. Army photo.) will continue to mature. “This
is a process by which we look
“We’ve looked at fuels, and we Gorsich also plans to help at technologies, their readiness
know that there’s a requirement TARDEC associates make strides levels and their size, weight and
to eventually have a single fuel in researching and developing power to assess whether there may
and lubricant on the battlefield. other technologies throughout be a good solution for a specific
The question we are dealing with the coming years. “We’re looking requirement,” he related. “Then we
now is, ‘How do we address that at advancements in transmissions look at all the ‘-ilities’ of the system
given our current vehicle fleet?’ to get higher efficiencies out of — survivability, transportability,
We’re also looking at jet propel- powertrains and higher densities mobility, etc. — and match those
lant 8 and biofuels and how they out of batteries,” he stated. “We’re signatures. We’ve found we can as-
behave in internal combustion working hard to mature technol- sess the impacts of many technolo-
engines — how do they affect the ogy in intelligent ground systems gies on a system.”
performance and reliability of (IGS) such that we can make
those platforms?” autonomous ground systems that Partnering with Academia
are practical, safe and effective on Gorsich leverages TARDEC’s
Gorsich said there are a number of the battlefield. There’s still a lot of partnerships with academia, serv-
key areas that TARDEC researchers progress that needs to be made to ing on a number of university
are focusing on — one such focus create a fully autonomous system.” review boards and assisting in
area is the use of new innovative Additionally, there is a new developing curriculum that may
materials. As the Army Research
Laboratory (ARL) develops new
materials and composites that are
lightweight, strong, durable and
survivable, TARDEC associates will
be responsible for developing and
integrating them into the Army’s
ground vehicle fleet to meet mobil-
ity, payload and survivability needs.
“There is the problem of technolo-
gy integration area of new types of
materials, ceramics and composites
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

with multiple properties that we

haven’t necessarily seen before,”
he explained. “The challenge is
integrating those materials into the
vehicle’s structure without de- TARDEC Chief Scientist Dr. David Gorsich (left) and a TARDEC associate speak with Michigan
Technological University student Timothy Rossetto about his experience working in TARDEC’s
grading current capabilities.” Summer Hire Program. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Ted Beaupre.)
produce next-generation Army
scientists. “What’s important to
us is having students that have an
interdisciplinary perspective on
life,” he stated. “They’re not just
trained in mechanical engineer-
ing, mathematics or electrical
engineering. We want them to
have a broader perspective when
they walk in the door. When they
come to TARDEC, we want them
A platform Hybrid-Electric Reconfigurable Moveable Integration Test Bed (HERMIT), developed
to take a more systems engineer- by TARDEC, is designed to evaluate ground combat vehicle components. Platforms such as the
ing approach and understand our HERMIT will allow TARDEC to address HE needs and assist in future ground vehicle systems
overall acquisition process.” development. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.)

As TARDEC continues its rela- important, and it has to happen profits, as well as additional funds
tionships with those in academia face-to-face for it to work.” for the laboratory. All innovation
through joint research projects, funds are good for one year.
Gorsich believes it’s important Rewarding Innovation The first TARDEC Innovation
to involve more students with In a time when the enemy is highly Grants were awarded to: Dr. Matt
TARDEC engineers and scientists. agile and adaptable, capable of Castanier and Dr. David Lamb to
“We must be involved personally exploiting available technologies, develop an analytical tool to im-
with the graduate students who the Army remains steadfast in prove predictions of durability and
are on the university projects we’re staying ahead of emerging threats reliability of vehicle fleets; Dustin
funding,” he expressed. “As we do to our Soldiers and their vehicle Gascho, Michael Baker and Daniel
that, we have a better opportunity systems. TARDEC continually Rowell to develop a restraint
of bringing them onboard to works toward this goal by fostering system for military vehicles; Jason
TARDEC and also getting more innovation and “out-of-the-box” Hefter, Bernard Sia and Randy
from them in terms of transitioning thinking. Gorsich and other Cassner to design a high-strength,
the research and technology they TARDEC senior scientists and low-weight footbridge; Jeremy
do at the university for TARDEC.” technical staff have established the Gray to develop a prototype for a
TARDEC Innovation Grant to cre- door opening mechanism for the
Each summer, several students ate a flood of new technology ideas. Small Robotic Toolkit; William
and faculty members from various By enabling associates to translate Norton and Steve Caito to design
universities work at the TARDEC novel ideas into new in-house a new type of rocket propelled
campus in Warren, MI. Gorsich capabilities, along with technolo- grenade defeat mechanism; and
said it is imperative that TARDEC gies and processes, the TARDEC Dr. Thomas Meitzler and Dr. Elena
engineers work closely with the Innovation Grant gives the orga- Bankowski to develop an experi-
faculty to facilitate mutually ben- nization an essential leading edge mental prototype of nanometer-
eficial relationships. “We need to in technology R&D. The goal for sized spintronic devices that can
work with faculty to understand the grant is to acquire and manage be attached to armor to detect
what the fundamental gaps in knowledge so all technology proj- microwave radiation for anti-radar
knowledge are and provide them ects, whether successful or unsuc- and communications applications.
with an understanding of various cessful, always benefit TARDEC.
programmatic needs and tech- The grant’s output will be reviewed Energizing the Technical
nology issues that our engineers by a board for patentability and Workforce
and scientists face in emerging business development potential. As chief scientist, Gorsich
technology programs,” he stated. serves as TARDEC Director Dr.
S p ecia l 2010 E d it io n

“The faculty should understand Typical grant amounts will range Grace M. Bochenek’s principal
what types of research to propose from $25,000 to $200,000. In ad- scientific advisor and is respon-
to us and what types of students to dition, according to Army Regula- sible for developing TARDEC’s
recruit who would be interested in tion 27-60 – Intellectual Property, technical staff and its reputation
TARDEC’s research requirements. intellectual property owners can as a nationally recognized center
That type of collaboration is very receive up to 10 percent of its of technical excellence. During a
associates forward in their careers
and having the correct skill sets
needed by customers.

Looking Forward
Despite the economic challenges
ahead, Gorsich maintains that
TARDEC will continue to play
an essential role in developing
new technologies that will benefit
Soldiers. “We know that transporta-
tion and the need to have protected
mobility will always be crucial,”
During the recently completed Convoy Active Safety Technologies testing, Soldiers wore a he offered. “We know that there
neuroergonomic cap to record brain waves related to their reactions to driving autonomously.
Gorsich hopes to use neuroscience research to take Soldiers’ cognitive functions into account
will be a focus on having robust,
when developing this and other IGS technology. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo by Paul Tremblay.) mobile, safe systems that are reli-
able — that is a given. Ultimately,
meeting with TARDEC associates STEs are concerned about the tech- we have to continue to focus part
on Oct. 7, 2009, Gorsich highlight- nical staff in their specific organiza- of the Army’s S&T portfolio on
ed the organization’s renewed com- tions. We have very similar objec- improving ground systems viability
mitment to research and the role tives, and they mirror each other,” and performance, even with the
of newly created positions within Gorsich explained. “If we only have unpredictable economy. Because of
the Army’s S&T community. “It is one transmission expert in all of this and because the Nation cannot
very important that even though TARDEC out of 1,500 people and afford to lose its automotive indus-
we get caught up in all the current yet we manage approximately 2,000 try and manufacturing base, we
activities we do in war, and all of systems across the command, that’s are strengthening our partnerships
the things we do for our custom- a problem. I rely on those STEs and with industry. We cannot lose this
ers, we must spend the time to keep meet with them on a regular basis, organic capability — it’s too tied in
updated and active in technologies and we come up with strategies on to national defense and embedded
related to automotive research,” how to address and build up the with so many different businesses
explained Gorsich. right skills in the organization.” and jobs in the United States, so we
will address this issue over time.”
To further support Gorsich and Dr. Peter Schihl has been named
TARDEC’s scientific community, STE for TARDEC’s Power and
STE positions have been created Energy Team, and Dr. Jim Over- Michael I. Roddin is the TARDEC
across TARDEC’s six technical fo- holt has been named STE for Strategic Communications Director and
accelerate Editor-in-Chief. He holds B.S.
cus areas. The STEs work alongside TARDEC’s IGS. As of press time,
degrees in English and journalism from
TARDEC’s associate directors and STE positions were still being the University of Maine and an M.S.
are responsible for technical devel- filled in the areas of Surviv- in marketing from the University of
opment in their selected areas. STEs ability, Force Projection, Vehicle Southern California. Roddin is a former
will play a crucial role in develop- Electronics and Architecture, Army Advertising Program Manager
ing and evaluating TARDEC’s S&T and Concepts, Analysis, System and 3-time Army Keith L. Ware Journal-
ism Award recipient. In 2005, he was
portfolios. “As I’m concerned about Simulation and Integration.
selected by the Secretary of the Army
the development of the technical for Editor-of-the-Year honors.
staff in the entire organization, the Another program, TARDEC’s
Factor IV Program, helps define
“Ultimately, we have to continue to TARDEC’s technical career track. Chris Williams is a Writer/Editor with
BRTRC and provides contract support
focus part of the Army’s Factor IV provides opportunities
to TARDEC’s Strategic Communica-
S peci a l 2010 E d it io n

for researchers to eventually move tions team. He has a B.A. in communi-

S&T portfolio on improving into higher positions, such as cation from Wayne State University in
ground systems viability and those of STEs. Gorsich emphasiz- Detroit, MI, and has previously written
es the importance of publications, for The Source newspaper in Shelby
performance, even with the patents, society memberships and Township, MI, and The Macomb Daily
and C & G Newspapers in Macomb
other factors in moving TARDEC
unpredictable economy.” County, MI.
TARDEC Ground Vehicle Integration Center Director Dr. Bruce Brendle
highlights Prototype Integration Facility (PIF) projects currently in
production at TARDEC facilities. Pictured from left: Brendle; Acting
PIF Associate Director Luis Hinojosa; Chiarelli; Mathes; Bochenek; and
Executive Director of Engineering Magid Athnasios.

Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA) GEN Peter W. Chiarelli

toured the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and
Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Warren, MI, on Nov. 24, 2009.
During the visit, TARDEC Engineer Dr. Mark Brudnak (right)
showcased several test lab capabilities in TARDEC’s Ground Vehicle
Simulation Laboratory. From left: Chiarelli; TARDEC Director Dr.
Grace M. Bochenek; TARDEC Executive Director of Development
Thom Mathes; and TARDEC Military Deputy COL Eric Fletcher.
(U.S. Army TARDEC photos by Elizabeth Carnegie.)

Energy Storage Team Leader Sonya Zanardelli (right)

explains to Chiarelli TARDEC’s Power and Energy (P&E)
initiatives in developing advanced Lithium-ion (Li-ion)
batteries that improve energy storage capabilities.
TARDEC is shouldering numerous alternative energy/
energy storage challenges through its advanced P&E
initiatives, including developing advanced Li-ion batteries
that improve energy storage capabilities and researching
electric, hybrid and fuel cell technologies. The strategies TARDEC Engineer Harry Zywiol discusses the Ride Motion Simulator’s capabilities for
TARDEC is developing have the potential to change how total Soldier training immersion in this laboratory’s unique simulated environment.
the military uses fuel and energy over time. From left: Fletcher; Special Assistant to the VCSA in Science and Technology Dr. Kathleen
Quinkert; Bochenek; Chiarelli; and Zywiol.