PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Thirty-three Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center employees received 2008 Army Research and Development Achievement Awards here April 14.

Col. Russell J. Hrdy, ARDEC deputy director, distributed the awards, presenting each award winner with an official plaque.

The RDA award is the Army's top award for research and development. In all, the Army recognized 39 projects, eight of which were designed by ARDEC employees. That means 20 percent of the total projects recognized were from ARDEC.

"Twenty percent - that's really a testament to the innovation and skill of our workforce to pull in that many awards. And that's really a credit to what you do and I congratulate you on that," Hrdy told the recipients.

The awards span the whole gamut of current and future-force work, he explained. Those recognized include:

* Matthew Evangelisti, Vincent Gonsalves, Keith Fulton and Gerrard Eilert for their work on the RKG-3 Grenade Simulator, a training item for Soldiers that simulates the functioning of the RKG anti-tank grenades used by insurgents.

* Sanjeev Singh, Philip Samuels, Paul Vinh and Chandrark Patel for their work on the development of the first Army explosive formulation to pass all insensitive munitions tests. Because of its low cost and acceptable energy output to destroy enemy targets, the IMX-102 was developed to replace the widely-used explosive TNT.

* Douglas Troast, Dr. Donald Carlucci, Alan Totten, James Hahn and Thomas Coradeschi for their work on the XM982 Excalibur precision-guided extended-range artillery projectile.

* Dr. Andrew Littlefield, Edward Hyland, Daniel Crayon and Upendra Patel for their work on the high-tension wrapping of thermoplastic composite structures, which was a multi-year effort that culminated in 2007 with the wrapping of the second of two prove-out tubes as part of the Durable Gun Barrels Manufacturing Technology Program. With the successful completion of this tube the technology was transitioned to the Army's Electromagnetic Railgun Program and the 120 mm XM360 System Design and Development Program.

* Stephen Chico, John Costello, Khaled Darwish, Josiah Fay and Christopher McEwan for their work on the Abrams Reactive Armor Tile System for enhanced protection to the Abrams Tank.

* Daniel Cler, Robert Carson, Jeffrey Greer and Mark Doxbeck for their work in enabling technologies for muzzle-brake development designs that will enhance overall system mobility and lethality through system weight reduction and parallel-guided munitions development compatibility.

* Deepak Bupathi and Ross Towers for their work on the Picatinny Optical Detection System, known as PODS, which allows Soldiers to remotely observe hostile combatants, to include snipers, forward observers and triggermen. PODS is an optical-augmentation system, designed specifically to detect the optics used in remote observation relying on retro-reflection technology, thereby enabling the warfighter to locate and situate potential optical threats prior to engagement.

* King Siu, Brian Peltzer, Mark Mellini, Amir Morcos and Myron Hohil for their work on Rattlesnake, an unattended ground-sensor system to address and defeat improvised-explosive-device threats.