Conducting Analysis and Assessment on Technologies

Assessing Mission Capability of Systems concentrates on understanding and ex¬ploiting systems’ technologies, design, and employment together with current – and likely future – state of the art developments to optimize future designs and to inform evaluation and acquisition decisions with analyses that are both technically sound and practically efficient. Key to this effort, are methodologies to integrate technical assessments into the science and engineering domain with considerations of mission effectiveness for the materiel’s operational user.

Laser Vulnerability of Optics and Electro-Optics

A critical concern on the modern battlefield is the vulnerability of Army optical and electro-optical systems, as well as the soldier, to lasers. The Army is continually introducing new and innovative optical systems operating in bands from the visible to the far infrared which are integral to the concept of a lighter, faster military. These advanced sensors require an ever-evolving approach to hardening to reduce active laser signature as well as jamming and damage vulnerability to lasers without reducing the optical systems’ performance. We develop concepts and designs for better laser hardening and we improve capabilities to evaluate the laser vulnerability of Army optics. This includes characterizing laser vulnerability of optical and electro-optical equipment and developing advanced predictive models. Researcher will provide fundamental research and analysis to support laser, optical, and electro-optical measurement and characterization, leading to the development of improved laser hardening designs and concepts as well as improved capabilities to evaluate the laser vulnerability. These capabilities include the development of modeling and simulation techniques as well as the design of laser-based laboratory and field experiments leading to the improvement of optical and electro-optical hardening to laser energy. Posters: Laser Vulnerability of Optical Systems

Principal Investigator:

Norman Comer,, (575) 678-9276

Supporting Facilities:
Electro-Optical Vulnerability Assessment Facility (EOVAF) (WSMR)
The EOVAF is a DoD unique facility for evaluating laser vulnerability of Army optical/electro-optical systems. The properties evaluated include eye protection, optical-augmentation signatures, and laser jamming and damage vulnerability of sensors. Working across the threat spectrum from the visible through the far infrared, the EOVAF accommodates laboratory and field experiments as well as theoretical modeling.

Supporting Facilities:
Electromagnetic Vulnerability Assessment Facility (EMVAF), (WMSR)
The EMVAF is a major radio-frequency (RF) measurement facility developed by RDECOM to perform all types of secure RF/microwave measurements. The EMVAF specialty is measuring and developing susceptibility profiles on US Army weapon systems and foreign systems. Additionally, the facility has significant capability and skills in measuring RF/microwave emissions, coupling, and validating electromagnetic codes.

Military Injury Biomechanics

The goal of our research area is to enhance Soldier protection through understanding the mechanisms and risks of injuries incurred in past conflicts, and relating those to task performance.  Our focus is on applied research and analysis that examines materiel solutions and their effects on protection effectiveness.  We develop novel methods for exploring the vulnerability of humans to blast and ballistics by using simulated environments of combat threats, including ballistic experiments and explosively driven shock tubes.  Fundamental research and analysis utilizes methods like computed tomography (CT) imaging of biological targets, biosimulants, and protective materials to examine material property changes under high-strain rate and traumatic environments.  Posters:  Understanding Military-relevant Injury Mechanisms.

Principal Investigator:

Karin Rafaels,; (410) 278-9459

Remote Sensing of Physiological Signatures

Our program is developing custom image analysis algorithms and tools to remotely ascertain bio-signatures approximating heart rate, respiratory rate and local body temperature to be used for battlefield triage efforts.  We use high-definition thermal, optical cameras and other sensing technologies for experimentation, along with unique facilities to obtain remote data at extended ranges.  We hope to test our methodology into different environments like in a hospital trauma setting and compare our results to standard vital sign measurements obtained via attached sensors.  Advanced expertise in computer vision is needed to automatically identify and analyze regions of interest from multiple subjects simultaneously. Posters:  Remote Sensing of Physiological Signatures

Principal Investigator:

Patrick Gillich,, (410) 278-6332

Center for Advanced Rotorcraft Performance and Survivability

Objectives: To provide opportunities for Government, Industry (large & small) and Academia to collaboratively develop solutions that enhance rotorcraft performance and survivability for both Military and Public operations.  Posters: Center for Advanced Rotorcraft Performance and Survivability.

Areas of research that are included within the scope of this center include:

  • Survivability to Ballistic threats
  • Survivability to DE weapons such as HEL
  • Survivability to hard and crash landings (caused by a threats, reliability failure, etc…)
  • Development and assessment of survivability technologies
  • Rotorcraft state awareness for pilot and crew
  • Integration of multiple disciplines for design optimization
  • Methods to enable integration of computation, modeling, test, & analysis with live tests and hardware-in-the-loop simulations in virtual and composite virtual-real environment accommodating realistic loading conditions

Available facilities at ARL:

  • Extensive ballistic experimentation facilities
  • Unique system, subsystem and component-level test fixtures such as blade test rigs
  • Complete operating helicopters that can be used for many types of experimentation
  • Propulsion and drive-train labs
  • Computational facilities including HPC

Under-body Blast Methodology Development and Validation

The proliferation of under-body blast (UB) threats in recent military conflicts requires the development of modeling and simulation (M&S) tools to assess the effects of UB threats on vehicles and occupants.  A primary focus of our methodology development centers on computational efficiency and robustness to meet the analysis requirements of ground vehicle evaluators serving the test and evaluation (T&E) community.   ARL’s high-explosive experimental facilities offer the ability to study the fundamental phenomenology of buried blast threats and to develop data required for model validation.  Complementary laboratory facilities offer the capability to simulate the effects of UB threats to occupants–in a non-explosive environment–with the use of anthropomorphic test devices.  Opportunities exist in the areas of: 1) advanced instrumentation methods that are sufficiently robust to capture the time and spatial distribution of buried blast loading on structures, 2) advanced algorithms to develop meta models from extremely complex computational physics models, 3) novel methods for modeling complex soil and explosive interactions with vehicle structures, and 4) automated techniques to develop complex meshes of vehicle structures. The ultimate vision of the methodology development is a common modeling and simulation toolset that will span the application space from research and development to T&E.  Posters:  Under-body Blast Methodology Development and Validation.

Point of Contact:

Craig Barker,, (410) 278-0214

Human Systems Integration - Modeling and Simulation

Human Systems Integration (HSI) is an important aspect of the design process to make sure human factors such as capabilities and limitations are incorporated into all of the system acquisition process. The human is a part of all Army systems to one extent or another.  The integration of the system with its human elements will affect every aspect of the system including: management, architectures, logistics, supportability, cost (acquisition and operations and maintenance costs), readiness, effectiveness, reliability and disposal. The goal of this research is to develop Human Systems Integration (HSI) techniques, tools, and technologies to ensure HSI goals, constraints, and human performance measures are achieved.  Posters: (1) Human Systems Integration Modeling For Improved Performance, (2) Supporting HSI Acquisition Goals with Human Figure Modeling and Workspace Analysis

Principal Investigators:

Jock Grynovicki,, (410) 278-5956

Supporting Facility:
System Assessment and Usability Laboratory (SAUL) (APG)
SAUL is a multi-functional space designed to; conduct Human Systems Integration assessments on graphical user interface (GUI) designs, perform software testing of Human System Integration (HSI) tools; and execute usability studies on software user interfaces. SAUL comprises two research areas: (1) the usability research area is a reconfigurable space with up to six isolated cells monitored from a control room and instrumented for observation of user-computer interaction; various types of interface devices are available to replicate the system being assessed; and (2) the software test area comprises mobile devices and computers with various operating systems in multiple network configurations to support development and testing of in-house HSI tools and customer software. By combining the space of the usability research area and the software test area, SAUL converts into a twelve-station computer training area equipped with video teleconferencing and instructor controlled access. The training area shares data across all stations from a central computer to facilitate software training, multimedia exchange, and distance learning.

Comprehensive Injury Prevention and Analysis Network

The goal of establishing the Comprehensive Injury Prevention and Analysis Network (CIPAN) is to establish a community of practice among ARL researchers and practitioners in injury research with government, academic, and industry partners to lead to a more effective and comprehensive injury prevention program for the Army. The CIPAN is a professional network enabling collaboration and dissemination of information on injury research through consolidation of injury information, practices and procedures, the continuous and systematic data collection, and the development and application of analysis tools.  The ARL provides human vulnerability and survivability expertise, which is a core competency area for ARL. ARL scientists and engineers provide multi-disciplinary skills in computation modeling, simulations, injury biomechanics, AIS coding, development of injury criteria, and injury causation.  ARL is able to contribute facilities in ballistic experimentation, computed tomography and x-ray analysis, underbody explosive research, and injury biomechanics laboratories. It brings significant software and analysis tools developed which have been developed in house and may be leveraged for the use of the entire group. The CIPAN is system which is set up to share resources and personnel – building upon the ARL open campus open house concepts, post-doc researcher opportunities, access to ARL’s specialized facilities, opportunities for researcher experience on ARL projects and developmental assignments with other agencies and ARL.  Poster: Comprehensive Injury Prevention and Analysis Network (CIPAN).

Principal investigators:

Patrick Gillich,, (410) 278-6332