REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Redstone Arsenal’s new Directed Energy Systems Integration Lab, or DESIL, is laser-focused and ready to support customers’ directed energy efforts for Army modernization.
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Technical Center’s DESIL, a focal point for research, development and engineering advancement in directed energy strategic weapons technologies for the Army’s modernization efforts, is now open for business, said Nicole Olbricht, chief, Systems Integration Division (Hypersonic, Directed Energy and Space Systems), Technical Center.
“We look forward to working with military, industry and other partners as they characterize their directed energy systems,” Olbricht said. “The DESIL provides a unique environment for customers to set up, integrate, checkout and characterize their system in an independent government-operated facility so that they can focus their attention on their system without having to manage and upkeep their own facility. It has both an indoor, climate-controlled facility as well as an outdoor test area. The high bay is used for system setup, integration and initial check-out, while the test area co-located with the DESIL allows for outdoor system testing.”
DESIL allows collaboration across Team Redstone, the Army and industry for crucial technology development to maintain the nation’s competitive edge against adversaries.
Services at DESIL include: systems integration for directed energy weapon systems; subject matter expertise on directed energy weapon systems; modeling and simulation support for directed energy weapon systems; customer support for industry, academia, government and more; system characterization and measurement; and support for experiments, integration and tests of sub-components of systems, subsystem and full system.
“I am always impressed with this facility, the potential that lies behind it, and the future to come for it and other facilities,” said Cody T. Eberly, DESIL manager. “The benefit for Redstone Arsenal, the Army and Department of Defense is that we would be able to provide a third party source of integration and verification of directed energy weapon systems, and I like to think it acts as a funnel for the Army to utilize as a technology readiness level for systems and components. This is a first of its kind for the Army to have a government-owned lab with integration capabilities for these systems.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the start-up process of this facility and look forward to the steady state of operation,” he added. “There is a lot of technology out there with these systems that I look forward to working with and learning about.”
The DESIL is a 5,400-square-foot facility designed is to provide the Army with a consolidated capability to support a full end-to-end directed energy system, from software simulation, to subcomponent system testing, subsystem testing and full system verification and validation testing for customers. Its mission will also provide the Army with an enduring capability of open architecture modeling and simulation, hardware in-the-loop, and testbed laboratories to support development, validation and testing of high energy laser components, subsystems and systems.
It has an integrated characterization and testing environment with specialized safety systems for directed energy; specialized directed energy characterization technology to assist in measurement and verification of directed energy systems; a 400-meter directed energy range for full system performance metrics; and a distributed network with other partner organizations for directed energy research to share information.
“The facility was designed with safety of technical personnel as well as the public in mind,” said Daniel R. Bryant, Systems Engineering director, Engineering and Test Directorate. “All of the high energy laser testing at the DESIL will be 'below-the-horizon' into a 60-foot earth berm to keep the energy contained to the test area. Directed energy technology promises to increase ‘magazine depth,’ reduce the ‘cost per kill’ of missiles for air defense, and significantly reduce the logistics required. The DESIL supports SMDC through development and experimentation of our science and technology efforts.
“The SMDC Tech Center has a deep bench of knowledge on directed energy weapons,” Bryant said. “We are poised to support directed energy development in order to deliver the best in air defense and counter-sensor capability to our Soldiers.”
If organizations are interested in learning more about how to become a DESIL customer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.