YUMA PROVING GROUND, Ariz. – As the Army works to modernize warfare during Project Convergence 20, a campaign of learning happening at Yuma Proving Ground, Az., Aug. 11 – Sept. 18, 2020, a dedicated groups of scientists and engineers are on the ground experimenting with equipment and testing ways to make modern systems and artificial intelligence work for the warfighter.
PC20 is an Army Futures Command-led effort that will ensure the Army, as part of the joint force, can rapidly and continuously converge effects across all domains – air, land, maritime, space and cyberspace. To do that, scientists and engineers with Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Lab are at Yuma Proving Ground studying sensors, artificial intelligence (AI) systems, data collection, and state-of-the-art weaponry.
Dr. Patrick Baker, Director of the CCDC’s Army Research Lab, said the early experimentation being done with autonomous technologies at Yuma will eventually lead to capabilities that Soldiers can use to dominate the battlefield.
“Autonomous technologies provide transformational capabilities on the battlefield that will only advance,” Baker said. “It will become more capable over time.”
As part of the Army Modernization Strategy, the Army is focused on becoming Multi-Domain Operations-capable by 2035. These AI systems being tested by scientists and engineers at Yuma Proving Ground eventually will be integrated with frontline Soldiers to provide precise tactical advantages.
“The technology has been made very applicable to Soldiers in all aspects,” said Kayla Riegner, the lead for the line of effort dedicated to producing unmanned Next Generation Combat Vehicles (NGCV). “The collaboration will continue to push the technology further.”
Exercises like PC20 continue to prove the significance of interconnecting military resources and rapid modern technology growth to provide precise attacks on enemy forces while producing less casualty rates on the battlefield. The effectiveness of the teams working in cohesion during PC20 has shined a brighter outlook for any future combat-related conflicts.
“It really comes down to the people on our teams,” Baker said. “All together, they have done such a tremendous job at supporting PC20 and the Army mission.”