PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- One of the U.S. Army’s premiere research and development laboratories at Picatinny Arsenal has signed an agreement with a New Jersey university to share research in a wide range of areas, including improvements in unmanned aerials systems and in photonics, a research field whose goal is to use light to perform functions that are traditionally done with electronics.The Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center signed a Master Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, with the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.Photonics and quantum science are cutting edge research areas that have been identified by the highest levels of the U.S. government as being of critical importance to national defense.Photonics is an enabling technology for many current and future armament systems.At Stevens, the laboratory led by Prof.Yuping Huang, the Gallagher Associate Professor of Physics and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has made important advances in photonics technology, some of which are highly relevant to armament applications, according to researchers at the Armaments Center. Also, the two parties agreed to investigate opportunities to develop and enhance the use of quantum technology research in military systems.In addition to photonics and quantum science, the other main statement of work in the agreement calls for research and development in energy harvesting and other sustainable energy solutions. The agreement notes the potential use of such technologies with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly known as drones.Small UASs and long-range artillery are essential weapons for enhanced lethality and force projection by the U.S. military, according to Armaments Center officials. Capabilities are limited, however, by energy and power supplies that define the size and range of the weapon system.Continuous research, development, testing and evaluation to reduce the size, improve storage, and reduce weight of batteries--while advancing sustainability, self-generation or regeneration of onboard or ground based power and energy—are expected to drive technology advances that result in lethality overmatch and decisive battlefield advantages.The CRADA also notes other areas of collaborative research, including artificial intelligence, composite materials, thermal processing, and force protection technologies. Other areas of investigation include development of procedures encouraging innovation, power and energy, smart grids, smart power supplies, virtual reality, augmented reality, high performance antennas, and bio-metics. This work falls within the mission of the Armaments Center, which is part of the Army Futures Command through its reporting role to the Combat Capabilities Development Command."By concentrating on areas that have great potential to be of value to future missions, this agreement will serve as a springboard for future breakthroughs," said John F. Hedderich III, Director of the Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center. "Ultimately it will lead to better armaments and equipment that will benefit the warfighter.""The decades long history of fruitful cooperation between the CCDC Armaments Center and Stevens Institute of Technology has culminated in the execution of the CRADA, which will pave the way for many more years of significant collaborations between CCDC AC and Stevens," said Nariman Farvardin, President of Stevens Institute.