DETROIT ARSENAL—Last week U.S Army DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center engineers, together with their counterparts at Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center, demonstrated microgrid technology using a variety of tactical wheeled vehicles to field on-the-move power generation capabilities.
Called Secure Tactical Advanced Mobile Power, or STAMP for short – a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) – the team’s technology allows multiple vehicles to network their electrical systems together, sharing power generation in a small electrical grid. The resulting efficiencies in power generation for multiple vehicles and electrical power output represents a significant fuel savings.
The goal is to show that vehicle power networks with on-board power generation and export power capability will provide more combat lethality through power redundancy and resilience while lowering the logistical burden.
Highly mobile and cyber-secure, STAMP is a lightweight fast-forming vehicle hybrid power system that aims to rapidly increase U.S. forces’ fight and sustainment capability when engaged forward as well as project and sustain forces in distant anti-access area denial (A2/AD) environments.
Under the current power system, every component and support element have their own tactical generator – frequently trailer mounted. With the STAMP system not having to haul a trailer to supply on-board power, platforms may see a 25 percent reduction in fuel use. In current systems, such generator power is also not available on the move, and when stationary, many generators operate nearly all the time. The STAMP system only operates the number of networked vehicle assets that are required in order to efficiently produce the power that the vehicles and Warfighters need.
“Legacy tactical power systems decrease combat system availability, create a vulnerable static posture, lack energy storage, lack consumption awareness, and impose challenging logistical requirements,” said Dean McGrew, GVSC’s Powertrain Electrification Branch Chief.
With microgrid technology, vehicle in-line generated power replaces towed generator power while vehicle networked power can be used for onboard vehicle needs and exported for off-vehicle use.
“This enables anti-idle by providing power to quickly charge on-board vehicle energy storage with up to 25 percent fuel savings,” McGrew said.
“The integration of power generation, distribution, battery storage, metering, control systems, and on-board vehicle power (OBVP) from mobile tactical platforms into an AC/DC microgrid will enhance resiliency, mobility, and flexibility of tactical units to execute distributed cross domain maneuvers in multi-domain operations,” he said.
As the future fight will require forces to be highly mobile in dispersed environments, STAMP will provide universal battlefield power.
“STAMP gives you more operational reach and better resilience,” said Mike Gonzalez, C5ISR Center’s Expeditionary Power and Environmental Control Branch Chief and STAMP JCTD co-technical lead. “It will give commanders the ability to interoperate, fall in jointly, fall into coalition, using less fuel, reducing sustainment burden, and giving more solutions to the lowest echelon in multi-domain operations,” he said.
“When you look at this future battlespace, what STAMP brings is the ability to use traditional vehicles, electric vehicles, generators, energy storage, and open up the paradigm for future things like renewables, like other types of energy storage, like tanks and future vehicles –all to be able to interoperate as one power system in the field,” Gonzalez said.
This vehicle microgrid is 25 percent more efficient than spot load/spot supply Tactically Quiet Generators, on par with an AC hybrid Advanced Medium Mobile Power Source (AMMPS) generator microgrid.
STAMP supports bi-directional power between vehicle DC and AC microgrid. Vehicles can export up to 100 kW (kilowatts) of 600 VDC (voltage direct current).
The primary initial users of STAMP are intended to be the Soldiers manning Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries and tactical command posts under the auspices of Missile Defense Agency and Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical. Additional specific use cases include other missile systems, command and control, radar systems, and directed energy systems. Other users are being identified throughout the JCTD.
While STAMP is currently being executed primarily by DOD labs and program offices through the development and integration of individual technical components, testing of those components will culminate in an operational demonstration of the entire set of technologies in 2023.
The STAMP JCTD Team is working on the Transition Plan to facilitate DOD adoption of the power system capability.