National Academies' board taps ARL researcher as expert for upcoming marine forum

February 08, 2016

By ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • Marine Board of the National Academies to provide venue for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • ARL researcher Dy D. Le is a subject matter expert in structural health monitoring
  • Marine Board provides independent, objective analysis and advice to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Feb. 1, 2016) The Marine Board of the National Academies is holding a meeting May 18–19 in Irvine, California, to provide the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, with a forum for a dialogue with experts on the topic of structural health monitoring.

Marine Board Staff Director Scott Brotemarkle reached out to the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Dy D. Le, Vehicle Technology Directorate, Mechanics Division chief.

"Given your expertise in this area, you have been identified and cordially invited by the National Academies to join us as a subject matter expert for this event," Brotemarkle wrote.

The Marine Board, part of the Transportation Research Board – one of seven program units of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – provides independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conducts other activities to solve complex problems and informs public policy decisions.

Specifically, the Marine Board "serves the national interest by providing evaluations and advice concerning the ability of the nation's marine and maritime industries to operate safely and efficiently and in an environmentally responsible manner," according to the organization's website.

Le's research is on next-generation aircraft structures that will sense and detect damage, assess the severity of degradation and repair themselves to bring the structures back to a full or acceptable operational healthy state is part of the materials state awareness capability that is envisioned for new aircraft. Le is currently leading scientists to demonstrate the ARL's newly developed materials-state-awareness concept called Virtual Risk-informed Agile Maneuver Sustainment.

"We envision dynamic feedbacks and self-learning, or artificial intelligence, to sense, detect, assess and act to preserve the integrity of the aircraft while completing its expeditionary mission in complex world," Le said. "This would all be done autonomously."

Le said the first breakthrough, discovered by the ARL Sciences for Maneuver research team in January 2014, was the identification and capture of the change in the material, or material-damage precursor, at microscopic levels before the onset of potential damage.

The structural health monitoring topic of the upcoming Marine Board conference has many parallels to the aviation work done by Le and his researchers.

The USACE is seeking expert opinions from other domains and industries that have developed and implemented some degree of structural health monitoring.

"Experts will also be asked to identify knowledge gaps and further research needs meriting additional exploration by USACE," Brotemarkle wrote.

The USACE, which serves as federal steward of the nation's locks, dams and navigable- waterways infrastructure, has requested this convening of experts to discuss structural health monitoring concepts underlying its proposed strategic plan for maintaining its waterway assets.

The USACE hopes to determine whether structural health monitoring principles, damage prognosis strategy and technology adoption can provide continuous measurements of an aging infrastructure to support real-time operations and alert operators to imminent failures, Le said, and provide longer-term monitoring to accurately quantify asset and component condition, including remaining service life, risk assessment, and maintenance requirements.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.


Last Update / Reviewed: February 8, 2016