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Archive for the ‘Disruptive Tech’ Category

SOFWERX – Tag, Track, and Locate Transformational Technology

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

This isn’t an ordinary game of tag

The newest topic for Tech Tuesday has been released! SOFWERX and USSOCOM are searching for transformational technologies to tag, track, and locate air, surface, and underwater moving objects. Desired capabilities will emphasize reduced physical contact to tag and the ability to track through water.

Selected organizations will have the opportunity to virtually pitch their cutting-edge technology to interested Government partners during a 30-minute discussion. Tech Tuesday hosts Government attendees from all Services, USSOCOM, DHS, OSD, ODNI, FBI, DOE, NASA, and FVEY groups.

To submit, visit sofwerx.org/techtuesday

Is It Time for an Additive Manufacturing Specialist in the Army Ordnance Corps?

Saturday, February 13th, 2021

FORT RILEY, Kan. – The Army supply chain of the future will incorporate additive manufacturing (AM), most commonly found in the form of 3D printing, to increase readiness. Using this technology at the point of need will reduce costs and increase unit mission capability.

The U.S. Army Ordnance Corps is in an excellent position to embrace this emerging technology, and ultimately, enhance Army lethality by developing Soldier expertise to support additive manufacturing programs.

Under the Combat Capabilities Development Command, the Expeditionary Lab of the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, or Ex Lab for short, operated 3D printers in deployed environments for nearly ten years, expediting the repair of equipment in combat areas.

In 2019, the Army established the Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence as a hub for developing processes and standards to field additive manufacturing capabilities across the Army supply chain. The Army also invested in developing the materials needed to support future requirements and overcome current limitations.

Scientists at the ARL are working to develop filaments that are mechanically strong but useable in low-cost 3D printers. Using a combination of plastic polymers in a unique geometry, the ARL hopes to allow printing for a wider range of parts with samples scheduled for distribution and testing in the near future.

Field results are promising, and demonstrate maintenance units in the future will be able to make repairs in hours, develop custom solutions to complex problems, or reduce the on-hand stock and logistical requirements to support an expeditionary fighting force.

AM exhibited limited success in creating hard to find parts, manufacturing parts for legacy systems, and at the small unit level, printing 3D aids for explosive ordnance disposal training.

In the future, the technology could be migrated to the tactical level with teams of engineers and Soldiers collaborating to produce designs allowing the manufacture of physical solutions near the point of need.

But what if the expertise to design and print parts was staged closer to the point of manufacture? Current Army programs rely on engineers’ and scientists’ expertise to be effective. Few studies have been done on how the processes being developed will translate at a larger scale in an austere environment.

Existing programs rely on connectivity between engineers and Soldiers who could be thousands of miles apart. This connectivity is far from guaranteed on future battlefields. Therefore, complex post-processing requirements or more in-depth material knowledge may be necessary to operate independently from industries’ existing infrastructure.

The Ordnance Corps has an opportunity to build Soldier expertise to support these future programs. However, the expertise required to perfect these processes and provide a rapid, flexible and reliable supply of parts to tomorrow’s front lines could quickly overwhelm a Soldier’s current ability to take on additional training and tasks.

According to Col. Ken Letcher, former commander of the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center at Rock Island Arsenal, “The Army is heavily invested in 3D printing, ensuring Soldiers have the capability to print and fabricate repair parts as a component of the Battlefield Damage Assessment and Repair (BDAR) process.”

As the current director of CASCOM’s Fielded Force Integration Directorate, Letcher noted that “Printing at the point of need increases operational readiness. Not only must the Ordnance Corps advance its materiel solutions, but it must advance the Soldiers that apply these solutions as they are fielded.”

By focusing on additive manufacturing as a specialty, Soldiers could receive training in computer-aided design software and materials science, allowing them to develop new parts and solutions independently from the industry support the Army currently relies on and move the point of design nearer to the end-user.

The Additive Manufacturing Specialists could be trained in various technologies, allowing future Army initiatives to leverage more specialized manufacturing techniques such as powder bed fusion, vat polymerization and bio-printing.

Teams of these newly created experts could also see expansion into a variety of Army missions beyond logistics. In 2018, the Marine Corps began experimenting with printing in concrete to rapidly build barracks in a combat environment with possible future applications in force protection, base infrastructure, and the support of humanitarian and disaster relief missions.

A joint study between the Geneva Foundation and the U.S. Military Academy saw success in bio-printing in austere environments, allowing treatments customized to the Soldier near the point of injury. As the technology expands across the Army, the need for professionals to advise and assist in its application will only increase.

Throughout history, the Ordnance Corps has developed cutting-edge professionals to build and preserve Army readiness. Currently the Allied Trades Warrant Officer (914A) serves as the Army’s AM expert. However, creating an Ordnance enlisted specialty to complement the rapidly expanding use of additive manufacturing would keep the Army at the forefront of innovation.

Integrating this technology into the Army structure and doctrine will allow the maximum flexibility in using new and emerging technologies as they transcend from laboratories to battlefields of the future.

By 1LT Joshua S. Closson

“Strategic Latency Unleashed”

Friday, February 5th, 2021

Your reading assignment for tonight:

Get your copy here.

Rheinmetall and MBDA Win Contract for High-Energy Laser System

Monday, February 1st, 2021

Schrobenhausen / Düsseldorf – Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has awarded a consortium, or ARGE, consisting of MBDA Deutschland GmbH and Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH a contract to fabricate, integrate and support testing of a laser weapon demonstrator in the maritime environment. The order value is in the low double-digit million euro range.
Work will be shared out on a roughly equal basis. MBDA Deutschland is responsible for tracking, the operator’s console and linking the laser weapon demonstrator to the command-and-control system. Rheinmetall is in charge of the laser weapon station, the beam guiding system, cooling, and integration of the laser weapon system into the project container of the laser source demonstrator.
The laser weapon demonstrator is to be fabricated, tested and integrated by the end of the 2021. Trials onboard the German Navy frigate F-124 Sachsen are to take place in 2022.
As Doris Laarmann, head of laser business development at MBDA Deutschland, notes, “The contract is an important step on the path to an operational high-energy laser system. Our two companies will apply their respective strengths to make this project a success on behalf of the German Navy. Once it’s installed, the demonstrator will also be used to test important aspects such as the interaction and function of the sensor suite, combat management system and effector as well as rules of engagement.”  
Alexander Graf, head of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition’s laser weapons programme, and Dr Markus Jung, who leads the company’s laser weapon development effort, both agree, adding that “The contract marks a systematic extension of the functional prototype laser weapon successfully tested in recent years, with the experience gained now dovetailing into one of the most ambitious projects in the field of laser weapon development in Europe.”
A breakthrough development in the history of defence technology, lasers engage targets at the speed of light, operating with great precision and producing very little collateral damage. A demonstrator system featuring these capabilities will soon be put to the test under highly realistic operating conditions onboard a German frigate.
Rheinmetall – high-tech leader in security and mobility
A publicly traded company headquartered in Düsseldorf, Rheinmetall AG is a globally active technology group dedicated to the twin future imperatives of security and mobility.  In 2019 Rheinmetall’s 30,000 employees generated sales of around €6.25 billion. The company is present around the globe, with offices and production facilities at over 120 locations.
As one of Europe’s top suppliers of defence and security technology, Rheinmetall is synonymous with longstanding experience and pioneering excellence in armoured vehicles, weapons and ammunition as well as air defence and electronics. Its comprehensive range of products and services encompasses a vast range of military capabilities, including reconnaissance, command and control, tactical mobility, kinetics and force protection.
Throughout its 130-year history, Rheinmetall has enjoyed a global reputation as a centre of excellence for weapons and ammunition. Moreover, the company has been active in the field of laser weapon systems for many years. In the world of laser weapon stations and laser sources, during the past five years Rheinmetall has laid the foundation for a future 100kW laser weapon system, demonstrating its fundamental feasibility. 

USSOCOM Wants To See Through Walls – Can You Help?

Friday, January 29th, 2021

SOFWERX, in concert with USSOCOM, will host upcoming Tech Tuesday sessions focused on current transformational see through walls technologies, specifically for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).

Selected organizations will have the opportunity to virtually pitch their cutting-edge technology to interested Government partners during a 30-minute discussion. Tech Tuesday hosts Government attendees from all Services, USSOCOM, DHS, OSD, ODNI, FBI, DOE, NASA, and FVEY groups.

If you can help, Submit NLT 05 February 11:59 PM ET

For more information, visit www.sofwerx.org/techtuesday

SOFWERX – Department of Energy Laboratory Technology Transfer Awareness Day

Saturday, January 16th, 2021

SOFWERX, in concert with USSOCOM’s Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) and the United States Department of Energy (DOE), will conduct an event to connect DOE Laboratories, U.S. Government (USG), and potential collaborators to facilitate licensing and further development of Laboratory technologies to Industry, to accelerate development of End User capabilities.

The goal is to improve awareness and information sharing to identify future opportunities for collaboration as well as identify existing capability gaps, specifically related to Cybersecurity.

Request to attend NLT 15 February 11:59 PM ET for this event 09-10 March 2021.

Visit www.sofwerx.com for full details.

Army Researchers Acquire Two New Supercomputers

Friday, January 1st, 2021

ADELPHI, Md. — Army researchers are upgrading their computing capabilities with the acquisition of two new supercomputers.

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, now known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory is home to the Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center, where computer scientists are welcoming the bi-annual technology refresh as part of the DOD High Performance Computing Modernization Program.

The two supercomputers, named Jean and Kay, recognize the remarkable achievements and enduring legacies of Jean Jennings Bartik and Kathleen “Kay” McNulty Mauchly, key contributors and computing pioneers as part of the original team of programmers of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC, the world’s first general purpose computer.

These systems will join the Betty system in the center’s production high-performance computing infrastructure. The Betty system is named in honor of Frances Elizabeth “Betty” (Snyder) Holberton, another key member of the original ENIAC programmer’s team.

The two systems are both Liqid Computing platforms containing 48 core Intel XEON (Cascade Lake Advanced Performance) processors integrated with the largest solid state file systems the DOD has deployed to date.

The systems are expected to enter production service in the mid-fiscal 2021 timeframe, and will join the center’s Centennial and Hellfire systems towards establishing a cumulative computational capability of 23.3petaflops.

“Jean and Kay will allow ARL to support many of DOD’s most significant modernization challenges to include digital engineering and other emerging workloads,” said ARL DSRC Director Matt Goss. “By adding specialized technology to augment traditional high performance computing with data analytics, these machines will serve as a spring board on which DOD scientists can make game changing discoveries.”

According to ARL computer scientist Bob Sheroke, these systems significantly enhance the program’s ability to support the DOD’s most demanding data-intensive computational challenges, and include emerging technologies and tools for artificial intelligence, data analytics and machine learning.

The systems include embedded capabilities to support persistent services in additional to traditional batch-oriented processing.

“The DOD High Performance Computing Modernization Program, established in 1992, has invested over $1.2 billion at the ARL DSRC, which has maintained the center’s posture as one of the program’s primary HPC centers and one of the top supercomputer sites in the national supercomputing infrastructure,” Sheroke said.

Visit www.arl.hpc.mil to learn more about center’s computational capabilities and support services.

By U.S. Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

USSOCOM Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) 21.1 Pre-Release

Monday, December 21st, 2020

SOFWERX has announced that the USSOCOM Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program will begin accepting submissions to SBIR 21.1 on 14 January 2021. They will close 18 February 12:00 PM EST.

Special Areas of Interest


SOCOM211-001 Antenna Distribution System

SOCOM211-002 Enterprise Data Fusion Visualization

SOCOM211-003 Wideband and Analog Radio Frequency Fingerprinting At a Distance


SOCOM211-D004 Integrated Cyber and Electronic Warfare Infrastructure

SOCOM211-D005 Next Generation Field Computing Device – Wearable

For more details, visit events.sofwerx.org/sbir21.1