Weapons & Materials Research
The ARL Weapons and Materials Research Directorate (WMRD) is a national scientific and engineering resource in weapons, protection, and materials technologies. Throughout the Directorate, we pursue research and technology development that endeavors to enhance the operational capability of America's ground forces. We have an outstanding staff of highly trained scientists and engineers, experienced technicians, and a variety of experimental facilities, many of which are unique in the U.S. and the world. Our research efforts span the gap between basic research that improves the understanding of scientific phenomena and technology generation that supports weapon and protection system developments and fielded system upgrades. The Directorate executes its mission of leading the Army's research and technology program to enhance the lethality and survivability of the individual Soldier and advanced weapon systems. WMRD's lethality theme is to deliver the right lethality for the right threat at the right time, which can be accomplished by providing critical technology for affordable and scalable weapons effects across the full spectrum of operations. Their survivability theme is to couple innovative materials with protection technologies to enable a lightweight and survivable force. The many successes of WMRD and its predecessors have made a dramatic difference to our nation's military capability throughout the 20th Century and into this century. We seek to continue our legacy of technological leadership with the pursuit of advanced concepts and technologies that can solve the problems of today's Army and the new challenges of the Global War on Terrorism and the Future Force.
The Lethality Division of the ARL Weapons and Materials Research Directorate conducts research in interior, exterior, and transitional ballistics of tactical armament systems (guns and projectiles) as well as their interactions with threat targets. The Division's research mission encompasses an emphasis on both future weapons as well as technical support to current operations. The Division's team of scientists, engineers, technicians, and support personnel provides core research - science, technology, prototyping, and troubleshooting - for chemically powered armament systems, tactical missiles, artillery, tank cannons, small arms, and other advanced weapons in all calibers. Research areas include propulsion science; ballistic structures and launch dynamics; lethal mechanisms; energetic materials science; energetic technology; flight sciences; guidance technology; and advanced weapons concepts.
Materials and Manufacturing Science
The Materials and Manufacturing Science Division of the ARL Weapons and Materials Research Directorate performs materials research and development of manufacturing science technologies for weapon systems and Soldier equipment. The expertise of our esteemed scientists and engineers encompass five materials disciplines: polymers, metals, ceramics, composites, and bio-inspired materials. Research areas include armor materials; materials and concepts for weapons; fibers and textile materials; materials and processes at small scale; high deformation rate materials; ceramics and transparent materials; and multiscale materials modeling.
The Protection Division of the ARL Weapons and Materials Research Directorate conducts research in vehicle and personnel protection technologies (including munition survivability) and the interactions of these technologies with threat weapons, munitions, and explosive devices. The Division's research mission encompasses an emphasis on future vehicle platforms and Soldier systems as well as technical support to current operations. The Division's engineers, scientists, mathematicians, technicians, and support personnel are engaged in research and development to provide America's Soldiers with the most survivable armored vehicles and individual protective equipment possible, enabling them to achieve their missions and return home safely. Research areas include armor mechanisms; blast protection; multithreat armor; energetics response and mitigation; high-rate mechanics and failure; threat mechanisms and modeling; and physics phenomenology.