Picatinny, Benet Labs, engineers recognized by the Army for scientific advances
September 1, 2010
- 28 ARDEC scientists and engineers were named Aug. 24 as recipients of the 2009 Army Research and Development Achievement Award
- ARDEC received recognition for 8 key projects that show significant advancement in the field of military science and engineering
- In total, 41 projects from research and development organizations across the Army were recognized
Twenty-eight U.S. Army Armament Research Development Engineering Center scientists and engineers were named Aug. 24 as recipients of the 2009 Army Research and Development Achievement Award for eight projects recognized for their significance.
The ARDEC personnel were named in a memorandum by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research and Technology), Marilyn Miller Freeman. In total, 41 projects from research and development organizations from across the Army were recognized.
"This award is reserved for significant military accomplishments in science and engineering," said ARDEC Director Gerardo Melendez. "Accomplishments like this are so ground-breaking that, for example, they establish a new scientific basis from which other developments will ensue. They materially improve the Army's technical capability, or they exhibit engineering leadership that advances important projects or efforts."
All award winners will receive an official plaque from the Department of the Army that will be presented by their organizations.
"Each of the personnel named in this award has contributed to the Army's mission in a big way," said Melendez. "Since all of the scientists in the Army Research Development and Engineering Command work as a community, all of the honorees will contribute to our nation, and even to what we do moving forward here at Picatinny, but I'm especially proud of the great showing from the ARDEC engineers named in this year's program."
Here is a list of the ARDEC teams and the accomplishments for which they have been recognized:
<b>Up-Armor: I-20 Expedient Materiel Solution Development for the Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Survivability Armor Technology Objective</b>
The Team: <i>Richard Fong, LaMar Thompson, Robert Koch</i>
Over four months, this Picatinny Arsenal team rapidly co-developed a solution under a joint effort with an international partner to many of the current and emerging threats faced by warfighters, including those posed by the deadly, hull-piercing devices known as explosively formed penetrators. Incorporating a technology known as multiple velocity reactive armor, as well as an ultra-high-strength composite material, the solution increases the survivability of many current wheeled vehicles by protecting key areas of the vehicle. At 40 percent the weight of state-of-the-art passive armor technology, the new technology was optimized to defeat a wide range of threats and was live-fire tested. The material solution was packaged into a modular kit design and successfully integrated onto a demonstrator platform.
<b>Deadly Drone: Lethal Unmanned Aerial System</b>
The Team: <i>Barry Schwartz, Lloyd Khuc, Velan Mudaliar, Mark E. Wessel, Atmin Purohit</i>
This team from Picatinny Arsenal is developing an unmanned aerial system (UAS) that is man-portable and capable of delivering a warhead on target in an innovative way. Flown in a UAS, the payload can be flown remotely by an operator or along a course of pre-determined points programmed into a navigational computer. With its advanced Electronic Safe/Arm Device fuzes, the operator retains several options for remotely arming the drone's on-board explosive to detonate above ground or on target impact. Compared to typical artillery, the system provides a significant advantage because it provides a method of delivering a range of effects while significantly reducing the risk that the origin of the round can be determined by the enemy. While the team's goal is to develop a shoulder fired, tube-launched UAS, it has already demonstrated a system that can be launched from ground rails using compressed gas.
<b>Finding the Hidden Enemy Fighter: Dual Color Optical Retroscope</b>
The Team: <i>Paul Willson, V. Swaminathan, Gabriel Chan, Maj. Brian E Souhan, Deepak Bupathi</i>
This team of Picatinny Arsenal scientists and engineers performed research, development and testing of a tool for detecting optical elements such as telescopes, cameras, binoculars, and aiming devices, which are indicators of enemy positions and activities. If such optical elements can be reliably detected before a sniper fires or an improvised explosive device is set off, lives can be spared. With a unique combination of lenses, light sources, computers and software, the retroscope demonstrably performs initial classification of target types while reducing clutter and false warnings. A patent for the "Dual Color Retro-Reflection Sensing Device" was filed in June of 2009.
<b>Multipurpose Munition: The Advance Hardened Combined Effects Warhead for the Medium Range Munition</b>
The Team: <i>Jeffrey Kraft, David Pfau, Daniel Suarez</i>
Using cutting edge developments in high-rate computational analysis, this Picatinny Arsenal team has developed the hardened combined effects warhead. This new technology combines the heavy armor penetration ability of a shaped charge with a "bash-through" capability of a hardened warhead. These attributes combined into one munition maximizes effectiveness and performance against a wide range of targets, which in turn improves the overall effectiveness of the warfighter. It also reduces the mission planning and logistics burden, both of which decrease the long-term cost of maintaining munitions.
<b>Safer Munitions: Implementation of Reduced Sensitivity Explosives to Replace TNT and Composition B</b>
The Team: <i>Sanjeev Singh, Philip Samuels, Anthony DiStasio, Chandrark Patel</i>
The team of engineers from ARDEC and Program Executive Office for Ammunition created and followed through on a program to replace TNT and Composition B with a new class of explosives for use by Soldiers and Marines that is unlikely to explode if shot or hit by roadside bomb fragments during transportation or in storage. The new class of explosives has recently been successfully tested and plans are in place to replace TNT and Composition B in most of the Army's artillery rounds used by U.S. Troops. The new explosive will significantly improve the warfighter's chances of surviving attacks or accidents while carrying the rounds and improves the reliability of supplies into combat areas.
<b>Green Detonator: NOL-130G: The First Lead-Free STAB Initiation Mixture</b>
The Team: <i>Neha Mehta, Karl D. Oyler, Gartung Cheng, Emily Cordaro</i>
This Picatinny Arsenal team developed NOL-130G, which is made with Triazine Triazide (TTA), a high-nitrogen organic compound designed to completely replace the hazardous heavy metal compounds, lead azide and lead styphnate, in the initiating charge of the widely-used M55 detonator. Lead compounds are extremely toxic and difficult to remove from the environment. This development arrives just in time, as the most widely used primary explosive, lead azide, is no longer produced in the U.S., meaning the military currently relies on a dwindling stockpile that will only last for three-to-five more years. This development can reduce the exposure of the warfighter to toxic, harmful substances and simultaneously helps to circumvent a difficult production issue. The formulation has been successfully tested.
<b>Explosively Forged: Explosive Bonding and Machining Technologies</b>
The Team: <i>Frank Campo, Mark Miller, William de Rosset</i>
This team of engineers - Campo and Miller from ARDEC's Benet Labs, Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y., and de Rosset from Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., achieved what industry experts said could not be done. They clad a tantalum-10 tungsten (Ta-10W) refractory metal liner onto the inside of a full-length gun bore with a progressive twist rifling pattern using explosive bonding. The new liner and bonding process will replace the conventional chrome plating of gun barrels that involves the biologically hazardous hexavalent chrome. This allows the Army to be in compliance with a mandate from the Under Secretary of Defense to eliminate hexavalent chrome. Their innovation enables current and future weapon systems to use higher energy propellants resulting in increased muzzle velocity. This provides warfighters an enormous increase in lethality when firing these weapons in the battlefield.
<b>Piezo Powered: Energy Harvesting Electronic Round Counter</b>
The Team: <i>Mark A. Johnson, Mark A. Doxbeck</i>
Since many gun and mortar tubes are removed from service after firing a pre-determined number of rounds, Soldiers have used paper cards to track the number of rounds fired. These cards are sometimes lost, and no automated method of keeping track of the rounds fired has been developed. This ARDEC team from Benet Labs, Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y., developed a system that takes advantage of advanced piezo-ceramic technology to capture enough of a charge from a round firing to activate a memory storage device that requires no batteries. The device is currently being tested and improved to handle the range of environmental conditions faced by Soldiers. A patent was awarded May 18, 2010 to Johnson and Andrew Littlefield, also of Benet Labs.