Army takes important step towards enabling a Global Energy Grid for the battlefield
May 30, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Engineers from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's communications-electronics RD&E center, CERDEC, hosted the Defense Information System Agency's chief technology officer here, May 25, to discuss the Global Energy Grid - a concept being promoted by CERDEC to leverage civilian smart grid technologies to more efficiently deliver energy to U.S. forces worldwide.
The GEG, which is modeled on and enabled by DISA's Global Information Grid, will allow energy sources and users to more effectively and efficiently provide, schedule and use conventional and alternative energy sources and storage.
This is an important step towards actualizing the foundation and infrastructure for intelligent power management at the tactical edge, said Thomas F. Podlesak, Ph.D., a supervisory electronics engineer in CERDEC's Command, Power and Integration Directorate.
"Military operations are becoming more and more net-centric, but current energy use in the field is stove-piped with minimal coordination. Our goal is to interface power generation and utilization with data systems so we know where things are and where we have to go. The GEG concept would use DISA-owned data command and control links to coordinate and schedule the generation and usage of military power sources," Podlesak said.
"This is going to coordinate everything so it can maximize the delivery of power from available sources to where it is needed, and it will manage them effectively. Once everything is interfaced, it should be fairly easy to manipulate the data. It's pretty much what happened when we went from individual PCs to a networked system -- it vastly increased capabilities," he said.
In addition to unifying existing programs/technologies, the GEG would leverage energy storage from conventional and alternative power sources, alternative fuels and the onboard power storage of electric hybrid vehicles -- ground, ship or aircraft. The efforts would support forward operating bases, tactical operations centers and possibly dismounted units.
A future meeting is scheduled with DISA's technical director for the Office of the Component Acquisition Executive and their director of Emergency Preparedness.
"The military is in a unique position to advance Smart Grid technology, which is predicated on Informational Assurance due to the development of the Global Information Grid. CERDEC welcomes the opportunity to partner with DISA and other services to advance these goals," Podlesak said.