Modern Warfare Week

Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Project Convergence 2022 to Demonstrate Futuristic Joint, Multinational Warfighting Technologies

Saturday, September 24th, 2022

AUSTIN, Texas — Several thousand U.S., U.K. and Australian service members, researchers and industry partners will experiment with and assess new technologies at U.S. military installations across the Western U.S. between September and November as part of Project Convergence 2022.

The expansive effort is the newest endeavor of the U.S. Army’s Project Convergence, a flagship modernization learning, experimentation and demonstration campaign. The Army led its first large-scale Project Convergence experiment in 2020, and has continued to grow the scope, scale and complexity of the event annually.

“Project Convergence 2022 is an all-service experiment that includes Special Operations Forces, and our U.K. and Australian partners. Using existing and emerging technologies from space to land and sea, PC22 will experiment with capabilities that protect against air and missile threats as well as those that will allow us to defeat anti-access defenses,” said Lt. Gen. Scott McKean, director of Project Convergence 2022. McKean explained Project Convergence 2022 incorporates service experimentation and learning, like the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System and the Navy’s Project Overmatch, to inform Joint All-Domain Command and Control development. Logistics capabilities will also play a central role in PC22.

Project Convergence 2022 will evaluate approximately 300 technologies, including long-range fires, unmanned aerial systems, autonomous fighting vehicles and next-generation sensors, and focus on advancing Joint and Multinational interoperability in future operational environments.

The event will also encompass the inaugural PC22 Technology Gateway, an industry engagement opportunity hosted by U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command that will kick off experimentation by assessing novel solutions available from the commercial sector.

“Having Tech Gateway as part of the Project Convergence series gives us the opportunity to assess new technologies against operational concepts and see what’s in the realm of the possible; what could be. Such experimentation informs possible future Army requirements, provides valuable feedback and increases the speed of learning as we strive for breakthrough technologies of the future,” said Lt. Gen. Thomas H. Todd III, deputy commanding general for Acquisition & Systems and the chief innovation officer at U.S. Army Futures Command.

The Joint Force and Multinational partners will utilize key learning and experimentation outcomes from Project Convergence 2022 to hone new military technologies, many of which offer state-of-the-art problem solving and network integration capabilities for the future fight.

By Army Futures Command

SOFWERX – Science and Technology Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 22.4 Round 2 & 3

Friday, September 9th, 2022

The USSOCOM Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are accepting submissions for the technology special areas of interest below:

(Round 2) PHASE I:
SOCOM224-007 Topological Anomaly Detection

(Round 3) DIRECT TO PHASE II:
SOCOM224-D005: Artificial Intelligence-Driven Voice Control at the Edge
SOCOM224-D006: Canine In-Ear Hearing Protection

For more information, visit events.sofwerx.org/sbir224r2r3.

APNT/Space CFT Concludes High Altitude Experimentation

Thursday, August 25th, 2022

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing/Space (APNT/Space) Cross-Functional Team (CFT) has concluded a 64-day stratospheric flight demonstration utilizing Airbus’s Zephyr 8 ultra-long endurance solar-powered unmanned air system (UAS).

Launched from Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) on June 15, the Zephyr 8 UAS ascended to over 60,000 feet into the stratosphere before executing its flight plan over the southern portion of the United States, into the Gulf of Mexico, and over South America. Once returning to airspace over YPG, the team conducted multiple assessments.

On August 18 around 2100 hours PDT, the prototype aircraft’s flight campaign ended when the Zephyr 8 UAS encountered events that led to its unexpected termination over YPG. These events are under investigation. No injuries or risk to personnel or other aircraft resulted from this incident. Further information will be released following the investigation.

“Our team is working hard to gather and analyze important data following the unexpected termination of this flight,” said Michael Monteleone, Director of the APNT/Space CFT. “Despite this event, the Army and its partners have gleaned invaluable data and increased knowledge on the endurance, efficiency, and station keeping abilities of high-altitude UAS platforms. That knowledge will allow us to continue to advance requirements for reliable, modernized stratospheric capabilities to our Soldiers.”

This flight marked a number of firsts for Zephyr 8, including its departure from U.S. airspace, flight over water, flight in international airspace, data collection and direct downlink while outside of U.S. airspace, the longest continuous duration (7 days) utilizing satellite communications, and the demonstration of resilient satellite command and control from three different locations – Huntsville, AL; Yuma, AZ; and Farnborough, UK.

During this flight, Zephyr 8 more than doubled the previous UAS endurance record, just under 26 days, and flew in excess of 30,000 nautical miles – more than one lap around the Earth. The 1,500 flight hours beat all known unmanned aircraft endurance records, marking significant capability and informing future mission requirements.

This experimentation successfully demonstrated Zephyr’s energy storage capacity, flight endurance, station-keeping and agile positioning abilities.  Given the amount of data that was generated during the 64-day flight and the time required to analyze it, as well as the need to investigate the events that led to the termination, further flight demonstrations have been postponed until 2023.

This 64-day test flight was performed in conjunction with government and industry partners who support experimentation that continues to inform Army requirements.

-Army Futures Command

USSOCOM Science and Technology Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 22.4 Round 2 & 3 Pre-Release

Saturday, August 13th, 2022

The USSOCOM Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small
Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs will soon be accepting submissions for the technology areas of interest below.

Special Areas of Interest

(Round 2) PHASE I:
SOCOM224-007 Topological Anomaly Detection

(Round 3) DIRECT TO PHASE II:
SOCOM224-D005: Artificial Intelligence-Driven Voice Control at the Edge
SOCOM224-D006: Canine In-Ear Hearing Protection

On 23 August, SOFWERX will host virtual Q&A sessions for each of the areas of interest. RSVP to the Q&A session(s) that interest you here.

ERDC, Transatlantic Division Team Recognized with USACE Innovation Award

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

VICKSBURG, Miss. – A team from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (GSL), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Transatlantic Division and the USACE Protective Design Center was recently recognized with the 2022 USACE Innovation of the Year Award.

The team developed simple and effective bunker enclosure door designs for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to help reduce risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI) to bunker occupants. The new designs sought to reduce the peak pressures experienced by an individual seeking shelter in a bunker by more than 90 percent.

CENTCOM’s area of responsibility encompasses more than 4 million square miles and stretches from Kazakhstan to Yemen.

“The ERDC team, in coordination with the Transatlantic Division, developed modifications to existing bunker designs to reduce TBI vulnerability and provide design recommendations to the Army to address force protection challenges concerning current personnel bunkers,” said Bart Durst, ERDC-GSL director.

Throughout the research and design process, team members leveraged the Department of Defense’s High Performance Computing systems at ERDC to conduct more than 120 high-fidelity simulations of door designs and configurations.

The innovative solution was developed within a very short timeline using the survivability knowledge maintained through ERDC’s Expedient Passive Protection program and their computational capabilities. The team was able to deliver the project in six months.

“I am extremely proud of ERDC-GSL’s contribution to this team and this project,” Durst said. “These innovations will tremendously benefit warfighters across the globe in the execution of their mission. These retrofits provided rapid solutions to address an urgent need for expeditionary force protection to reduce TBI vulnerabilities.”

ERDC Public Affairs

EOTECH Awarded SBIR Phase II Contract

Friday, June 17th, 2022

Plymouth, MI (June 2022) – EOTECH, inventor and original manufacturer of Holographic technology for use on military, LE, hunting, and consumer firearms, has been awarded a follow up SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contract for the development of a dual-color holographic head-up display for increased situational awareness and targeting in military aircraft.

This Phase II contract funds further development to produce a system that allows more information to be acquired faster without obscuring the pilot field of view, which leads to efficient decisions and reduced cognitive load on the end-user. Commercially, the developed technology may adapt to existing firearm weapon sights, and could provide customers with new functionality, such as overlaying waypoints or caliber data onto their field of view.

“We are extremely proud to have received this Phase II contract and are excited to continue developing this technology into a solution that enhances the performance of our pilots,” said Dennis Finnegan, President of EOTECH GOV.  “EOTECH has been at the forefront of holography, dating back to the 1950’s, and has dedicated its existence to providing tools and technology that improve the performance and increase the safety of our warfighters.”

The SBIR program is intended to support scientific excellence and technological innovation that is moving from the lab to the market. Investing federal research and development funds into startups and small businesses yield positive results.  It fosters a strong national economy and stimulates the creation of novel products, services, and solutions in the private sector; strengthens the role of small business in meeting federal research and development needs; increases the commercial application of federally supported research results; and develops and increases the US workforce, especially by fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

For more information, please visit www.eotechinc.com

SOFWERX – Science and Technology Small Business Technology Transfer

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

The USSOCOM Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is now accepting submissions for the Capability Focus Areas (CFAs) below. The objective of this Open Call for Science and Technology (S&T) Innovation topic is to develop applied research toward an innovative capability within the CFAs.

Capability Focus Areas (CFAs)

1. Next Generation Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Situational Awareness
2. Next Generation Effects
3. Futures

Submit NLT 16 June 12:00 PM ET.

For full details, visit events.sofwerx.org/sttr22-d.

Army Injury Assessment Tool Receives Stamp of Accreditation

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Underbody blasts from improvised explosive devices were the largest cause of injury for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan This signaled a vital need for an anthropomorphic test device, or ATD, to replicate the response of an underbody blast environment on Soldiers.

The Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin, coined WIAMan, filled that need. WIAMan is an ATD for military use in underbody blast testing of ground vehicles. Developed by the Instrumentation Management Office at the Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, WIAMan represents the most human-like surrogate yet to provide insight on improving military ground vehicle systems and identify protection mechanisms that reduce the likelihood and severity of warfighter injuries.

Analytical experts from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, or DEVCOM, ensure that WIAMan output is processed to provide reliable injury assessment and analysis. The DEVCOM Analysis Center, known as DAC, processes this immense amount of data via a software analysis tool known as the Analysis of Manikin Data, or AMANDA. On Feb. 2, AMANDA was accredited by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command for use in live fire test and evaluation — a final stamp of trust in quality and accuracy.

According to Kate Sandora, AMANDA model manager, AMANDA’s most recent release and accreditation is a culmination of a large effort by DAC and its partners, encompassing all WIAMan injury criteria developed over ten years of biomechanics research. The accreditation provides more confidence for the live fire testing community and current users, including DAC, DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center.

AMANDA is not a single injury model, but an analytic framework composed of multiple types of injury criteria and reference values integrated together. AMANDA processes accelerations, forces and moments recorded by WIAMan and other ATDs as input, comparing the ATD data with associated injury criteria to make predictions of injuries and determine the injury type, location and severity. AMANDA can also read in and process simulated data in lieu of physical testing.

While WIAMan is the hardware subjected to the blast event to record data, AMANDA is the software allowing the collected data to be processed for analysts’ use, pre-loaded with accredited criterion for injury. The resulting analysis has significant impact on Army vehicle design to improve survivability when Soldiers are subjected to an underbody blast environment. Simply put, insight from AMANDA saves lives.

“The WIAMan data acquisition system takes samples from an event at a rate of approximately 200,000 samples a second, and the typical event takes a couple seconds, so we’re talking around 400,000 data samples — an incredible amount of data,” said Jacob Ehlenberger, AMANDA software developer. “When you load that into AMANDA, all subject matter experts have to worry about is looking at the results. AMANDA automates the entire process, bringing complex analysis to the hands of experts so they can focus on their domain of excellence.”

AMANDA also integrates filtering methodology, developed by Aaron Alai, a DAC signal processing scientist, to ensure sensor data does not reflect extraneous noise that could lead to incorrect injury prediction.

“A common misconception is that sensors and data acquisition systems measure only what one intends for them to measure, but in reality, they respond to anything that can influence the measurement pipeline: a litany of sources from electromagnetic noise to mechanical linkage vibrations. So, data must be filtered to glean accurate information,” Alai said. Alai leveraged frequency analysis to come up with a new method of inferring appropriate filters, working with Ehlenberger and other DAC teammates to ensure they are implemented and contextualized properly.

DAC analysts can then more reliably provide injury assessments that inform vehicle evaluation, design and requirements to better protect Soldiers, bypassing time-consuming manual data manipulation.

Sandora and Ehlenberger, who have worked closely with both analysts and developers of the design and standards for WIAMan, commend the experts’ diverse perspectives to make appropriate injury assessment possible. “You have subject matter experts in the field of human vulnerability working in close contact with engineers of high caliber discussing the ATD experience and mechanical response,” Ehlenberger said. “It is such an impressive marriage of distinctly different and invaluable expertise.”

It is through extensive testing and problem-solving from these experts that WIAMan can produce data to feed AMANDA analysis, ultimately enabling the Army to better quantify risk to the warfighter and identify trade-offs during vehicle design. This analysis ensures growing Army knowledge in human vulnerability and automotive design — and soon, even more, as AMANDA will be integrating more WIAMan injury criterion this fiscal year.

By Kaylan Hutchison, DAC Strategic Communications