Sciences-for-Maneuver Campaign Plan

Sciences-for-Maneuver Campaign Plan

Sciences-for-Maneuver is focused on developing the underpinning science of advanced mobility systems and their supporting architectures to ensure the future Army's movement, sustainment, and maneuverability through contested multi-domain battlespace environments.

MISSION: To discover, innovate, and transition science and technology to enhance soldier and platform maneuverability and sustainment and significantly increase the Army's force effectiveness and rapid expeditionary responsiveness in complex multi-domain environments.

VISION: The Sciences-for-Maneuver Campaign is strongly focused on fundamental research which will enable key technologies that can address far-term science and technology challenges that are envisioned for the future battlefield. The emphasis areas include Platform Intelligence, Platform Mechanics, Energy and Propulsion, and Logistics and Sustainability. Realization of scalable integration of robotic and autonomous system capabilities teamed within Army formations supporting all warfighting functions, where Air and ground platforms, enabled by intelligent sustainable mobility, are available to commanders of the Army of 2050. Vehicle platforms will move efficiently and collaboratively in contested environments with improved performance. The underlying power systems will be designed for self-sustainability and high power density under extreme operating conditions. The Future Army will be able to conduct sustained operations in resource constrained and hostile environments, without access to safe refueling/recharging, and possibly without forward operating bases for long durations eliminating energy resupply vulnerabilities & logistics burden. This will be enabled through the development of energy efficient electronics, increased energy density for soldier wearable power sources, utilization of energy harvesting technologies, and integration with self-sustaining robotic platforms, where embedded intelligence in vehicle platforms will provide intelligent functions to materials, structures, and mechanisms. Tactical units will also be deployed in a widely dispersed expeditionary manner.

Energy and Propulsion concentrates on understanding and exploiting the applications of energy generation, storage, conversion, and management. The goal of this research is to provide energy and power applications to enhance Army operational effectiveness, improve efficiency, and accelerate development of critical military Soldier and platform systems ensuring Army Power Projection superiority. Topics covered include energy efficient electronics, energy storage, power and energy generation and conversion, power distribution and transfer, and intelligent power management.

Platform Mechanics focuses on fundamental research that enables the development of the highly maneuverable platforms for the Army of the future. The area includes both air and ground systems and cuts across vehicle scales. Topics covered include structures and dynamics, aeromechanics, terramechanics, actuation and control, and platform modeling and design for increased speed, duration, and payload carrying capacity.

Vehicle Intelligence focuses upon fundamental research that enables effective teaming of Soldiers and robots to conduct maneuver and military missions. Research activities are centered upon enhancing the autonomous capabilities of unmanned systems. Research areas include scene perception to understand and maneuver through the environment, machine intelligence and control, interacting with and manipulating the environment, large scale heterogeneous teaming of systems, learning and adaptation for resilient behaviors, and soldier-machine communication for effective human robot interaction.

Logistics and Sustainability focuses on fundamental research to enhance the reliability and maintainability of future Army platforms by design to reduce the maintenance burden to near zero. Topics include damage-adaptive and risk-informed sustainment, system and component reliability of lightweight multifunctional structures, state awareness for probabilistic risk assessment, prognostics, and diagnostics.

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Energy Storage for Mobility

Energy Storage for Mobility

Applied research geared towards the development of an integrated energy system, where efforts are centered on energy storage systems that can be integrated into platforms, Soldiers, and base camps. Due to the ubiquitous and increasing Energy requirement associated with Army maneuver efforts, improved energy storage is an ever-present challenge. As a Maneuver taxonomy category, Energy Storage for Mobility relies on fundamental research in electrochemistry and energy storage synthesis inherent in the Materials Research Campaign. Energy storage systems enable unique platform operational capabilities, allow improved energy efficiency in platforms and at base camps, and enable extended operations of dismounted Soldiers.

  • Electrochemical Energy Research
  • Novel Metal-ion and Aqueous Batteries
  • Hybrid Alkaline and Alkaline/Acid Fuel Cells

Power/Energy Conversion

Power/Energy Conversion

Research in this area investigates the science and technology necessary to enable platforms to move effectively while also powering on-board systems. The available forms of energy during a mission, either carried as fuel or harvested from the environment, must be converted into mechanical energy and electrical power. This area also focuses on devices and systems that can provide Soldier and small system power that will lower the weight burden while allowing long duration operation through development of wearable and conformable hybrid energy sources, wireless energy transfer, and integration of energy efficient electronics.

  • Multi-fuel Conversion and Diagnostics
  • Multi-phase Flow Dynamics
  • Compact Power Generation for UAS, Robots, and Soldier Portable Generators
  • Turbine and Hybrid-Electric Power Generation
  • Conversion of Indigenous Materials into Useful Energy Fuel cells for Use as Energy Conversion Devices
  • Soldier and Small System Energy Generation and Harvesting

Distribution and Transfer

Distribution and Transfer

This research area focuses on the efficient transmission and conditioning of propulsive and electrical energy within vehicles and tactical grids. In Army vehicles, this includes the mechanical, electrical and hybrid drivetrain elements transferring power from powerplants to thrust-producing devices. For electrical power distribution this includes switches, converters, inverters, and other devices to control and condition energy into precise waveforms, frequencies, and voltages for platform mission equipment. For electrical systems, the Materials Research Campaign provides fundamental findings into the Sciences-for-Maneuver Campaign. The Sciences-for-Maneuver Campaign, in turn, provides underlying support to the Sciences for Lethality and Protection Campaign and Information Sciences Campaign as they interface with platforms.

  • Tribology and Lubrication Science
  • Durable, Active Power Transmission Research
  • Less Mechanical, Less Metallic Drivetrains
  • Hybrid-Electric Power Distribution and Transfer
  • Platform Electrical Architectures
  • Vehicle and Platform Power Integration and Control
  • Power enabled Platform Protection

Intelligent Power

Intelligent Power

This area focuses on research to achieve the Army goal of energy efficiency through computational control of energy systems. Energy generation, distribution, conversion, and usage can be sensed, communicated and controlled through networked and cognitive systems to enable multimodal operational flexibility, where optimization can be tailored depending on the mission or current situation. These devices and systems will rely heavily on the Computation Sciences, Information Sciences and Material Research Campaigns for the elemental hardware and software to manage complex energy networks

  • Base Camp Power Architectures
  • Intelligent Behaviors for Self-Sustaining Robotic Systems

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Fluids Structures & Dynamics

Sciences-for-Maneuver Campaign Plan

Research focuses on how manned and unmanned air and ground platforms, including microsystems, interact with the environment and how components internal to the platform interact with each other. This involves fluid dynamics and, more specifically, aerodynamics research, where concerns for flow control, interactional aerodynamics effects and fluid-structure interactions are addressed from a maneuver perspective. Army applications spans a large range of aerodynamics including viscous, extremely low-speed flows for flapping wings, low-and high-subsonic flows over aircraft and slow projectiles to supersonic flows over high speed munitions.

In addition to aerodynamics, other areas of interest include structural and vehicle dynamics, flight mechanics, acoustics research, and terramechanics. Structural dynamics includes loads and vibration of structures and mitigation technologies such as tuning frequencies, damping, or absorbers, while vehicle dynamics research is focused on the control response times, stability, and handling qualities of the platform in steady state and during maneuvers. Lightweight and multifunctional material solutions are sought to establish novel approaches that exploit nonlinearity in complex systems to achieve highly efficient, highly optimized designs. The flight mechanics of air vehicles considers the science associated with the propulsion rotating systems, rocket motors, and propeller and rotor blade systems. Acoustics research focuses on sources of noise on the system and covers the noise generation and propagation from the platform for the purpose of sound mitigation of the maneuver. Finally, terramechanics is the study of the interaction between a platform and the ground, particularly when the ground is a non-solid surface such as sand, mud, or snow.

  • Fluid Dynamics (Aerodynamics)
  • Fluid Structure Interaction
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Vehicle and Multibody Dynamics
  • Aeromechanics/Flight Mechanics
  • Acoustics
  • Nonlinear Dynamics and Stability

Actuation and Mechanisms

This research is focused on the physical movement of a platform including the control surfaces and linkages, such as those currently required to move the rotor blade system on a helicopter, the propulsors, and other actuators or manipulators. It also seeks to exploit complex interactions such as those studied in compliant mechanisms and inherent material response that may be triggered to redirect energy, redistribute entropy, and reconfigure mass and matter to achieve novel behaviors (e.g., bio-mimetic or emergent). Additionally, active control and multibody interactions from the mechanical perspective are considered.

  • Active Control
  • Reconfigurable structures
  • Propulsors
  • Manipulation
  • Actuation

Platform Configuration Concepts

Platform Configuration Concepts

This research is focused on the physical movement of a platform including the control surfaces and linkages, such as those currently required to move the rotor blade system on a helicopter, the propulsors, and other actuators or manipulators. It also seeks to exploit complex interactions such as those studied in compliant mechanisms and inherent material response that may be triggered to redirect energy, redistribute entropy, and reconfigure mass and matter to achieve novel behaviors (e.g., bio-mimetic or emergent). Additionally, active control and multibody interactions from the mechanical perspective are considered.

  • High Performance Computing (HPC) modeling and simulations
  • Design Decision Science
  • Technology Tradespace Exploration
  • Capability Based Assessment
  • Structural health monitoring-based design

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Perception

Perception

Research in this area examines the vehicle's "understanding" of its own state and that of its local environment, in the context of its mission, background knowledge, and organic sensor information. Research is conducted on specialized sensors and concomitant processing; distributed perception to enable navigation and manipulation of extremely small platforms; and vehicle planning and monitoring behaviors supported through combined sensory and contextual information in a world model.

  • Sensing & Sensor Processing
  • Semantic Perception (Scene Understanding)
  • Distributed Perception/Fusion

Intelligence and Control

Intelligence and Control

Research examines vehicle behaviors, including planning, monitoring, and correcting behaviors to achieve desired mission goals. It focuses heavily on mechanisms for learning, both supervised and unsupervised; for continual or life-long learning, and for generalization. Research in this area focuses on effective mechanisms for creating increasingly complex and adaptive behaviors from elemental machine skills, capabilities that will enable the vehicle to effectively team with Soldiers and other unmanned vehicles at the operational tempo of the mission. This research also extends to damage-adaptive maneuver enabled by self-awareness embodied in self-responsive components, structures, and sub-systems, capable of self-sensing, self-reporting, and self-healing behaviors. These efforts include the means for creating behaviors for individual vehicles, as well behaviors for groups of homogeneous or heterogeneous vehicles working together to achieve a singular goal. The vehicle control architecture is generally described as hierarchical and possessing three layers: a low level control layer, a vehicle centric middle layer, and a global mission level layer.

  • Control
  • Planning/Guidance
  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Testing & Coordination
  • Behaviors
  • learning & Adaptation

Robot-Human Interaction (RHI)

Research focuses on interactions between humans and robots/intelligent platforms. It examines mechanisms for effective robot communication between robots and Soldiers; communication or transmittal of information in its most elemental sense - including the understanding of gesture and voice; the use of language as an abstraction for transmitting information; and intra-team behavior. Long term research also includes efforts to measure the human state and explore new architectures that incorporate insight into the operator state and intention in Human/Autonomous System Decision Architectures for the integration of human adaptive abilities for enhanced autonomy in complex and dynamic conditions. Finally, it provides models of societal interaction to enable construction of robot behaviors that will lie within societal behavior norms and create a common model of behavior.

  • Machine-Soldier Communication
  • Societal Interaction
  • Intra-Team Behavior

Environment Interaction

Environment Interaction

Research focuses on interactions between intelligent robots and the environment. It examines the mechanisms by which a robot may physically interact, understand, manipulate, and use the environment and objects in the environment. Research in this area employs aspects of intelligence and control, perception, proprioception, morphology awareness, and dynamics in addition to a capability to physically interact to provide a robot understanding as to how it may efficiently and intelligently plan to produce an effect on the environment. The act of physical interaction may be employed as a learning mechanism to increase a robot's knowledge of the environment and its state and relationship to the environment and objects in the environment.

  • Planning/Guidance
  • Reasoning and Learning
  • Perception/Proprioception
  • Physics-based Interactions
  • Control

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Reliability

Reliability

Research focuses on exploring and innovating capabilities and design concepts for fatigue resistance and mitigation in future manned or unmanned air and ground platforms. Taking into account reliability metrics to achieve the "zero-maintenance" goal for Army platform systems, subsystems, and components, the long-term goal of this area is ultra-reliable Army vehicle platforms. VTD conducts fundamental research focused on technologies required to enable damage-adaptive and risk-informed sustainment with emphasis on integrated vehicle health management, damage adaptive maneuver, and risk-informed operational decisions to enable zero-maintenance operating periods. To achieve this, current and future fundamental research efforts focus on topics including the development of extremely lightweight, durable, adaptive and damage tolerant structures, novel multifunctional materials, emplaced and embedded networks for sensing structural damage, usage monitoring, and embedded structural intelligence. Fundamental research is also conducted on artificial intelligence and machine learning concepts tailored for nonlinear state estimation, prognostics, and probabilistic risk assessment of complex air systems.

  • Extreme lightweighting for sustainability
  • Adaptive self-responsive durability
  • Real-time probabilistic risk assessment

Mechanism State Awareness (Health)

Mechanism State Awareness (Health)

Research focuses on discovering, innovating, and transitioning capabilities and design concepts that can be used to enable state-of-the-art self-health diagnostics, inspections and monitoring for platform systems, subsystems, and components. These research efforts include built-in state awareness, prognostics and diagnostics, probabilitics and risk assessment, and load monitoring and regime recognition. The long term goal of this S&T thrust is to enable the development, demonstration, and transition of the Virtual Risk-informed Agile Maneuver Sustainment (VRAMS) technology to substantially reduce the Army sustainment costs and to provide the Army commanders with the capability to plan missions in real time. This concentration area also relies on capabilities in, and leverages the synergetic link to the Information Sciences and Computational Sciences Campaigns.

  • Built-in State Awareness
  • Prognostics and Diagnostics (P&D)
  • Probabilistic and Risk Assessment
  • Load Monitoring & Regime Recognition

 

Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2018