U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Tuesday October 16, 2012

What is it?

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, which falls under the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command, helps to prepare the battlefield of the future.

The lab transitions basic and applied research to Research, Development & Engineering Center, organizations within the Department of Defense or in some cases directly to industry. ARL is known as the Army's corporate laboratory because of its characteristic partnerships with academia and industry to explore technology that has the potential to help Soldiers. Research projects at the lab typically have a focus on fundamental futuristic concepts like "Invincible Soldier" or the "Enterprise for Multiscale Research of Materials," designed to protect and equip the fighting force.

Why is it important to the Army?

The Army Research Laboratory's scientists and engineers are considering challenges Soldiers could face in conflicts 10 to 20 years into the future. As the Army's strategic interest has shifted from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to creating a smaller, more technologically advanced joint force, fundamental research will form the building block. The exploration of areas vital to the Army's future force, or to combating terrorism leads to solutions before threats materialize.

What has the Army done?

The Army's investment in basic research in advanced materials has led to sustaining innovation to defend against improvised explosive devices. The most well-known basic research successes of the past include the DOD-funded efforts that led to the first computer, the Internet and even the laser. Most basic research efforts don't lead to such high-profile products, but their impact, although more subtle, is just as powerful.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The lab's already robust materials science research program has been expanded to the Enterprise for Multiscale Research of Materials, a $120 million investment in basic research over 10 years, which includes more than 12 university partners that together may change the way scientists look at designing advanced materials.

Resources:

U.S. Army Research Laboratory
U.S. Army Research and Development Command
U.S. Army Materiel Command
Army Technology Live
Related articles:
Multiscale modeling research seeks atom-to-application understanding of materials
Army scientists demonstrate rapid detection of nerve agents

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