By Ms. Joyce M. Conant, ARLJanuary 14, 2014
Jyuji Hewitt, deputy director for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, recently visited a number of directorates within the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to help familiarize him with the research being conducted there, which are all part of RDECOM.
Hewitt is the new deputy director for RDECOM. He first visited the Weapons and Material Directorate, followed by visits to the Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED), Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, Vehicle Technology Directorate (VTD) and the Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate (SLAD).
The purpose of the visit was to get an overall facility capabilities tour. In addition to Hewitt, others from RDECOM who attended the visit included, Col. Frederick Hughes, G3; Linda Longo, chief of the Command Initiatives Group; Dr. Amy Finch, executive officer to the deputy director, (who is from ARL's Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, recently selected to be Hewitt's executive officer); and Col. Chris Oliver, chief, Programs and Engineering.
The group toured HRED's sphere room of the Environment for Auditory Research. There Dr. Angelique Scharine, auditory research team lead, showed the currently fielded advanced combat helmet.
"Our previous research for auditory spatial perception has shown that the ACH is better than previous helmets. We are currently doing research with helmets developed to provide mandible and eye protection (hidden behind the bar is a prototype helmet). Although these helmets provide ballistic protection, they also disrupt the Soldier's hearing," said Scharine. "Our goal is to provide feedback about these effects and to provide models and guidance for minimizing these effects."
While at HRED, the group also visited the RAVEN system, a system developed as part of a collaboration between ARLand its academic and industry partners. The RAVEN system is used for demonstrating the utility of a brain-computer interaction for image triage within a military-relevant simulated environment.
Dr. Brent Lance, HRED, said Mr. Hewitt's visit went very well and that it helped him understand the priorities at RDECOM and how he and his team could better address those priorities.
During the stop to VTD, Hewitt visited the Combustion Research Laboratory. There they discussed ARL research in advanced fuel injection technologies for Army ground vehicle and unmanned air vehicle engines.
At SLAD, the group discussed ARL's support to the Helmet and Electronics and Display System - Upgradeable Protection (HEaDS-UP) Phase IV program. HEaDS-UP, has been a four-year effort at Natick (program lead NSRDEC) to provide mounted and dismounted troops with a more fully integrated headgear system. Specifically discussed was SLAD's involvement in characterizing response of mandibles, visors and helmets to blunt impact as well as determining ballistic response (V50) of the mandibles and visors against fragment threats, said John Polesne, SLAD.
Polesne said the visit was "very productive" and that Mr. Hewitt was "very engaging" with all of the briefers.
"For me, it was particularly interesting how Mr. Hewitt linked our specific technical work and the need for continued exposure relating to top-level Army initiatives," said Polesne. "An example was one of the briefers discussing injury analysis capabilities - specifically addressing quality of life issues and him relating that to the Army Resilient Campaign."
Hewitt was equally impressed by the researchers at ARL.
"ARL is doing some of the most innovative research for the Army and I see that the talented Scientists and Engineers have a passion for our nation's Soldiers," said Hewitt. "The work we do is complex and on the cutting edge of technology. The Soldiers will likely not understand the research behind the technology but they can be assured that the edge we give them in technology will be the edge they need on the battlefield."