Aberdeen Proving Ground

ARL Supercomputing Research Center

1. DoD Supercomputing Resource Center

ARL hosts one of five DoD Supercomputing Resource Centers (DSRCs) for high performance computing (HPC). The ARL DSRC is located within the ARL Supercomputing Research Center and features state-of-the-art, scalable, parallel architectures and large vector-parallel systems supporting both classified and unclassified missions throughout the DoD’s Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) community. The DSRC is critical for technology based research; enables optimized design, development, and testing; and minimizes lifecycle acquisition costs. Current ARL HPC systems have a cumulative capability of 1.1 PetaFlops and are ranked in the top fifteen percent of the world’s most powerful computing sites.

2. Data Analysis and Assessment Center

The DoD Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC) Data Analysis and Assessment Center (DAAC) provides classified facilities to enhance customer interactions with the ARL computing environment. Located within the ARL Supercomputing Research Center, the ARL DAAC includes high-end graphics workstations and high-speed unencrypted network access to high performance computing resources, providing customers with the latest hardware and software technology to facilitate interactive analysis of large time-dependent datasets generated at the DSRC. The DAAC enclave includes a number of large, flat panel monitors capable of supporting a 3D interactive display of computational results. Private technology exchanges and small,  classified training courses associated with use of the computing facilities use a dedicated, classified collaborative workspace co-located within the enclave.

Computational Sciences Laboratory APG

The Computational Sciences Laboratory encompasses nearly 2,000 square feet and incorporates state-of-theart visualization computational hardware with high speed, high performance computing featuring unique visualization technologies such as a gesture-based MultiTouch Video Wall and a Matrix 3D LCD Video Wall System. The laboratory area also includes a number of large, flat panel displays and a 20,000 lumen high resolution active-stereo projection wall used to feature current projects and successes resulting from ARL’s advanced computing research programs.

Cognitive Assessment, Simulation, and Engineering Laboratory

CASEL is a standalone behavioral research facility that provides several capabilities to better understand and improve individual and team performance, Soldiers’ cognitive readiness, and knowledge management in stressful, militarily relevant conditions. CASEL comprises an observation/control room, three test chambers, a simulated-tactical operations center (S-TOC), and an immersive cognitive readiness simulator. Connectivity and video feed among all experimental rooms allows centralized observation and control of research activities. Key research supports the human dimension of mission command, i.e., network science. The observation/ control room can be configured to represent a mission command center; the test chambers provide an isolated area in which to place members of lower echelon assets; the S-TOC layout is designed to simulate the flow of information on the digital battlefield; and the immersive simulator can be configured to represent the Soldier on the ground. These areas represent the geographical dispersion that would occur in actual theater, and thus enable the study of distributed team performance in a network-enabled environment.

Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Laboratory

The C4ISR laboratory allows researchers to determine how information affects Soldier performance. The laboratory includes eight whisper rooms where individual subjects can be isolated from one another, a squad leader room, and a control room. Teams as large as a squad interact with the virtual environment through networked rooms, each equipped with a computer and large screen monitor. The laboratory design allows researchers to optimally present information to individual Soldiers and to the aggregated squad to investigate effective squad performance and human systems integration.

Dismounted Infantry Survivability and Lethality Test Bed 

DISALT is an indoor weapon simulator for studying the effects of weapon configuration on marksmanship performance, without the expense of live-fire. The test bed projects asimulated environment ranging from a standard shooting range to a densely populated urban environment. A high speed weapon tracking system provides real-time continuous weapon aim point data to the weapon computer subsystem while the simulated shooting scenario is running. An electromechanical recoil subsystem and digitized sound data simulate recoil. In addition to data normally collected on a standard shooting range, DISALT measures and records information on where the Soldier is aiming immediately prior to trigger pull.

Environment for Auditory Research Facility

EAR is an auditory perception and communication research center enabling state-of-the-art simulation of various indoor and outdoor acoustic environments. The heart of EAR is the Control Room—an integrated control center providing complete control of instrumentation and research activities in five unique listening spaces. Four indoor spaces are each focused on different research capabilities and environments, including sound localization, moving sound sources across distances, immersive audio environments, and reverberant environments. One outdoor space allows integration of real and simulated auditory environments. The EAR’s auditory perception and communication research capabilities are unmatched anywhere else in the world.

Mission Impact through Neuro-Inspired Design Laboratory

The MIND Laboratory facilitates basic and applied research that transitions neuroscience knowledge and approaches from the laboratory to real-world environments. MIND comprises two core elements, the first of which is a multi-chamber and re-configurable experimental space providing state-of-theart electrically- and acoustically-controlled environments specifically designed for maximizing neurophysiological, physiological, and behavioral measurement capabilities and data acquisition. Facilities in this space support a wide range of tasks for single- and multi-participant, multi-disciplinary, translational neuroscience research efforts. MIND’s second core element is a computing laboratory with more than a dozen, 8- and 12-core, large memory capacity Linux workstations and a dedicated multi-core distributed computing server that enables the development, implementation, and utilization of advanced computational and algorithmic approaches. These approaches span the potential utilization of Army high performance computing capabilities to the analysis of the multi-channel, high-dimensional data obtained in the MIND experimental facility.

Neural Engineering and Research in Vehicle Environments

NERVE explores cognitive and neural processing associated with Soldier display design, performance under stress, and operations in complex environments to advance neuroscience research. The facility comprises hardware and software engineering, development, and fabrication areas; a staging area; and a reconfigurable driving course. NERVE maintains three experimental High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV’s) that can be configured to provide test bed platforms for the study of novel interface concepts during mounted operations on paved, unpaved, and off-road driving surfaces. Although NERVE is used primarily to support the transition of MIND laboratory research efforts to more operational environments, the facility supports research efforts across ARL.

Shooter Performance Research Facility (M-Range)

M-Range is an outdoor, live-fire shooting facility for researching the interaction between weapon design and human performance via state-of-the-art marksmanship evaluation. In addition to standard metrics that are collected on a live-fire range (e.g. hits/misses and distance between center of mass and where a round is shot), M-Range is outfitted with acoustical sensors on each target that allow for real-time calculation of round placement through or near a target. Real-time data collection capability not only expedites data collection and analysis, but also provides real-time feedback to the shooter on performance. Targets vary according to distance (between 25 meters and 1,000 meters), time interval, target exposure time, and target sequence.

Soldier Performance and Equipment Advanced Research Facility

The SPEAR facility enables researchers to study the interactive effects of physical and cognitive stress on Soldier performance in operationally relevant environments. Three components comprise the facility: (1) a state-of-the-art indoor biomechanics laboratory, (2) an outdoor mobility and portability course, and (3) a 2.5-mile crosscountry course that includes an 802.11 WiFi network. This unique combination of components enables researchers to physically and cognitively stress Soldiers while measuring their performance in a minimally intrusive manner. Proximity of these components to one another enables researchers to design studies with a high degree of experimental control in the biomechanics laboratory and a high degree of operational relevance (e.g. traversing rough terrain on a cross-country course while sending and receiving information over a sensor and communication network).

System Assessment and Usability Laboratory

SAUL is a multi-functional space designed to conduct Manpower and Personnel Integration (MANPRINT) 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.

Tactical Environmental Simulation Facility

The centerpiece of the Tactical Environmental Simulation Facility is an Omni-Directional Treadmill (ODT) that allows Soldiers to walk or crawl naturally in a simulated environment. The ODT is integrated with 360 degrees virtual visual and auditory environments to enable repeatable, controlled investigations of critical issues for dismounted Soldiers. This facility allows investigation of the interaction of physical and cognitive stress on Soldier performance in a controlled laboratory environment while imposing more realistic physical loads (e.g. from Soldier-borne equipment) on Soldiers than those experienced in simulators that do not allow for natural movement.

ARL Enterprise Optical Network Research Test Bed

ARL’s Enterprise Optical Network (AEON) research test bed provides ultra high speed network connectivity to ARL’s external DoD, academic, and commercial research partners. Additionally, AEON provides ARL scientists and engineers with high bandwidth access to Large Hadron Collider data. AEON establishes a framework for research, development, testing, and evaluation of next-generation fiber optic networking technologies and is an integral component of DoD’s investment in advanced networking research and development. The facility is part of a select few Metropolitan Area Network test beds dedicated to research of emerging network technologies. Including both lit and dark-fiber connections, AEON experimentation ranges from evaluation of new types of photonics to fundamental research into quantum mechanics.

Spesutie Island Robotics Research Facility 1 

Spesutie Island Robotics Research Facility 1 comprises mixed-use space, a Software Development Laboratory, and a Controls Laboratory. In the Software Development Laboratory, researchers develop perception and planning algorithms and software for small robots. In the Controls Laboratory, researchers develop control algorithms and software for manipulation by and mobility of small, unmanned platforms, including hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation. Facility research supports the current Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) program, including research with other U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) elements.

Tactical Information Analytics Facility 

This facility hosts the development of advanced information analytics to assist Soldiers in determining, using, and sharing relevant information and improving the synthesis of data to decisions. Targeted areas of research include visual, text, and data analytics; information valuation; reasoning under uncertainty; and social network analysis.

Visualization Augmentation Laboratory for User Experiments Facility

This facility is a software integration and demonstration laboratory that combines a unique blend of integration software technologies, visualization display modalities, infrastructure for collaboration among users, and tools for conducting experiments. The facility hosts a network of hardware and software that provides a foundation for evaluating new concepts in battlefield information processing.

ARL Center for Advanced Polymer Processing

The ARL Center for Advanced Polymer Processing facility engages in fundamental and applied materials and processing research impacting items such as protective equipment, sensors, high energy density electronics, battlefield medical treatment and broadly across the materials research paradigm. The key components of ACAPP include engineering and environmental laboratory controls, advanced mixing, materials characterization, post extrusion polymer processing, and microfabrication; ACAPP houses a full suite of printing, sintering, and lithographic techniques for producing 2D and 3D polymeric structures.

Center for Cold Spray Research and Development

This is the only DoD facility capable of cold spray research and development, production, and field-repair. It features three stationary cold spray systems used for research, development, and prototyping in addition to five portable cold spray systems that are used in the field.

Dissimilar Materials Assembly System

DMAS, developed by ARL, allows fully automated assembly of dissimilar materials, such as ceramics and polymer composites. For example, it can integrate different materials and complex fiber architecture sequences that have been proven to reduce back face deformation in ceramic based body armor systems.

Structural Integrity and Durability Laboratory

The Structural Integrity and Durability Laboratory supports research efforts in durability and damage tolerance, probabilistic and risk-based life assessment, structural health monitoring, additive manufacturing, and survivability. This research will enable extremely lightweight, adaptive, durable, and damage tolerant structures for the future force, supporting air vehicle structures and dynamics research as well as ground vehicle structural mechanics and dynamics technology. The lab contains several Material Testing Systems (MTS) mechanical testing machines, including a unique 1,000-Hz machine for high-cycle fatigue and additive manufacturing equipment as well as fixturing and instrumentation to support experimental research.

Aerodynamics Experimental Research Facility

The Aerodynamics Experimental Research Facility tests aerodynamics and fluid dynamics of smart munitions and submunitions dispensing systems; experimental direct fire accuracy; advanced munitions design; and structural dynamics of gun and ammunition systems from 2 mm to 40 mm.

Armor Experimental Facility

The Armor Experimental Facility is a fully-instrumented experimentation complex used to develop and evaluate armor technology for defeating explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) and shaped charges. It features high energy x-ray instrumentation that provides detailed information on the acceleration and deformation of liners as they form into penetrators.

Basic Research Firing Facility

The Basic Research Firing Facility is an indoor ballistic test facility that has recently transitioned from a customer-based facility to a dedicated basic research asset. It has an airgun launch capability for rounds with a diameter up to 25.4 mm at a maximum range of 65 feet. Upgrades to this facility will accommodate powder guns capable of handling 5.56 mm – 37 mm rounds at the same range. Kottke Automated Instrumentation ensures activation of 150 – 450 kiloelectron volt x-rays and high speed video equipment (Photron, Phantom, Ultra 24, and Shimatsu cameras) with no cross-talk or pre-triggering.

Composites Processing Research Facilities

Advanced low-cost, reliable processing techniques are essential for the transition of polymer matrix composites to Army ground vehicles, aircraft, and other materiel. ARL’s ISO 9001:2008 certified composites processing facility produces structural, ballistic, and research grade composite solutions using fully-automated autoclaves, high pressure compaction presses, large and small diameter filament winding stations, and other research tools to resolve scientific and engineering challenges in process optimization, materials fabrication, and automated process control.

Dynamic Rocket-Propelled Grenade Firing Facility

This facility conducts completely instrumented terminal ballistic experimental tests with dynamically launched RPGs. The rounds are either launched free-flight or through ARL’s own Precision Delivery System (PDS). PDS is a unique launching system enabling the RPG to strike extremely close to the target aim-point.

Enclosed Small and Medium Caliber Firing Experimental Facility

This facility conducts completely instrumented terminal ballistics experimental tests with small and medium-caliber tungsten alloy penetrators against advanced armor threats.

Experimental Facility 20

EF20 is a fully instrumented indoor firing facility dedicated to improving the personnel protective equipment (PPE) worn by today’s Soldier. Researchers conduct firing programs to examine protective levels of new and novel materials before incorporation into PPE designs and to advance stateof- the-art PPE experimental and test methods.

Explosively Formed Penetrator Terminal Effects Research Facility

This facility is a fully instrumented experimentation complex used to investigate terminal ballistic effects of explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warheads. It features high energy x-ray instrumentation that provides detailed information on the acceleration and deformation of liners as they form into penetrators.

Guidance Research Facility

The Guidance Research Facility is the Army’s most advanced facility for conducting research and experimental validation relating to advanced guidance methods for precision weapons. Advanced guidance algorithms and approaches are postulated, evaluated, and optimized using a combination of capabilities that include unique instrumentation for the characterization of guidance sensors (inertial, magnetic, optical, and Global Positioning System), modeling and simulation of guidance algorithms, and hardware-in-the-loop evaluation of new techniques.

High Rate Mechanical Characterization Facility

The High Rate Mechanical Characterization Facility measures response to deformation of energetic materials under operational conditions. Uniaxial compression and tensile measurements predict mechanical behavior in material and structural models; assess the mechanical response of new gun and rocket propellants, explosives, and other munitions; and evaluate the vulnerability response of these materials to impact threats.

Large and Small-Caliber Armor Research Facility

This facility is an environmentally-contained outdoor complex that hosts complete diagnostics to analyze the performance of classified armor technologies against kineticenergy penetrators, including depleted-uranium armors and munitions.

Large-Caliber Terminal Ballistics Facility

This facility, unique in the United States, is capable of conducting full-scale terminal ballistic experiments with both kinetic-energy projectiles and explosive warheads against both passive and reactive armors. It features an environmentallycontained impact chamber that can handle highly explosive warheads and targets, depleted-uranium projectiles, and fullscale combat systems or subsystems.

Novel Energetic Research Facility

NERF is an Energetic Materials Development Facility containing a processing complex with energetics processing and manufacturing labs and a formulation complex with energetic formulation and energetics properties labs. Mission successes include Army Insensitive Munitions (IM) Energetics.

Precision Munition Electro-Sciences Facility

This facility allows the characterization of the electro-magnetic environment produced by a precision weapon in free flight. It can measure the radiofrequency (RF) spectrum from 200 MHz to 18 GHz and allows the classification of critical weapon aspects such as interference between GPS and telemetry signals in addition to providing experimental data needed to validate advanced RF theory and supporting models.

Target Assembly Facility

The Target Assembly Facility integrates new armor concepts into actual armored vehicles. Featuring the capability of machining and cutting radioactive materials, it provides a means of fabricating and analyzing depleted-uranium armors and armors impacted by depleted-uranium projectiles.

Transonic Experimental Research Facility

The Transonic Experimental Research Facility evaluates aerodynamics and fluid dynamics of projectiles, smart munitions systems, and sub-munitions dispensing systems;determines input for artillery fire-control computers and firing tables; evaluates advanced conventional gun propulsion technologies; determines experimental direct fire accuracy; evaluates advanced munitions designs; and analyzes the structural dynamics of gun and ammunition systems from 60 mm to 208 mm.

Combustion Research Laboratory

The Combustion Research Laboratory facilitates the development of new combustion systems or improves the operation of existing systems to meet the Army’s mission for single-fuel (JP-8), high efficiency, high powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and ground vehicle systems. It contains a high temperature and high pressure flow-through type combustion chamber; fuel injection analyzer; fuel benches; and various laser optical diagnostic tools. This facility is the only combustion laboratory with these capabilities within the DoD. Research conducted in this laboratory supports the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) and U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) Technology Program Agreements (TPAs) and collaborations with other DoD and DoE laboratories, universities, and industries.

Heat Engine Systems Altitude Test Facility

This engine altitude test facility is capable of simulating altitudes from sea level to 25,000 feet and temperatures from -40 to +130 degrees Fahrenheit. Under simulated conditions, researchers test a variety of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engines for their performance and efficiency. The laboratory space currently includes a propeller test stand and an exhaust gas analyzer and, in the near future, will also include an AC dynamometer engine test bench for small engine research to improve combustion, performance, and efficiency. It is a uniquely singular national asset for evaluating the performance of UAV class engines under actual operating conditions.

High Temperature Propulsion Materials Laboratory

The High Temperature Propulsion Materials Laboratory contains an atmospheric burner rig with the capability of simulating engine hot-section temperatures up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit to experimentally evaluate advanced materials and subcomponents. The burner rig provides hot gas mass flows of approximately 0.3 to 0.75 pounds-per-second, Mach numbers of approximately 0.3 to 0.7, and impinging velocities of approximately 200-519 meters/sec. The facility also includes a 22-kip Material Testing System (MTS) mechanical load frame with a high temperature furnace capable of exposing materials to temperatures over 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The laboratory supports exploratory research in advanced turbine airfoil-doped ceramic thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) and ceramic environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) and the evaluation of high temperature engine sensors and other engine hot-section technologies.

Mechanical Components and Tribology Laboratory

This laboratory evaluates fundamental friction, wear, and lubrication technologies for improved, robust, and powerdense vehicle transmissions. The facility explores innovative methods to extend efficiency and durability of mechanical components such as gears, bearings, splines, clutches, and seals. Researchers analyze operations under extreme conditions, such as oil starvation to identify opportunities for improved survivability, and evaluate mechanical diagnostic techniques to achieve better fault detection and life prediction. Promising drive train technologies pass through the drive train systems laboratory before transitioning to U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Centers and original equipment manufacturers.

Microsystem Aeromechanics Wind Tunnel

The Microsystem Aeromechanics Wind Tunnel advances the study of fundamental flow physics relevant to micro air vehicle (MAV) flight and assesses vehicle performance in terms of flight efficiency, stability, and control to improve the range, endurance, payload, and maneuverability of handheld aerial platforms. The tunnel is a closed circuit with a closed test section that is 6-feet long with a 3-feet square crosssection. To facilitate a wide range of experiments, the test section is reconfigurable: both sidewalls and ceiling are removed and replaced as necessary. The tunnel floor includes a turntable and optionally mounted model sting with pitch control. A six-component force balance mounts to the sting, providing aerodynamic forces and moments to characterize component and vehicle loadings. The tunnel design results in relatively low levels of free-stream turbulence intensity. A compartment upstream of the test section facilitates the introduction of additional levels of free-stream intensity to systematically study the impact of this variable, which has a significant impact on MAV performance. The test section is surrounded by an optical rail system mounted on motorized linear traverses to support the use of digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) and other optically-based experimental diagnostic techniques.

Prognostics and Diagnostics Laboratory

The Prognostics and Diagnostics (P&D) Laboratory supports and conducts fundamental experimental P&D related efforts within the Army’s Condition-based Maintenance (CBM) Enterprise. This facility houses state-of-the-art P&D hardware, software, and technical capabilities and contains a 22-kip Material Testing Systems (MTS) mechanical load frame with a high temperature furnace capable of exposing materials to temperatures over 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. It also houses a state-of-the-art, customized, 16-channel high speed acoustic emission system; 64-channel acousto-ultrasonic piezo-based hardware; a high speed (500 KHz) 4-channel Fiber Bragg Grating interrogator unit; Digital Image Correlation (DIC) hardware capable of dynamic strain measurement up to 30 Hz; a hand-held phased array ultrasonic system; a dual mode eddy current system; an Agilient impedance analyzer capable of measuring up to 550 MHz; high speed oscilloscopes and other National Instrument data acquisition systems; Labview Software; a dual head piezoelectric and electromagnetic actuator; and several types of acoustic emission, ultrasonic transducer, Fiber optic, and piezo-based sensors. The P&D Lab supports prognostics health management research activities encompassing various research aspects of structural health monitoring and life prognosis; propulsion health monitoring; machinery and rotary dynamic components diagnostics and prognostics; physics, materials, electronics, advanced sensing, and data acquisition hardware; signal processing; data mining and fusion; and system health management and reasoning.

Spesutie Island Robotics Research Facility 2

Spesutie Island Robotics Research Facility 2 comprises mixed-use space, electronics, research laboratories, and vehicle repair facilities. Research activities include micromechanics, mechanics, robotics, and specialized materials research. Specialized equipment includes experimental rigs for characterization of electrical properties of conductive composite materials, an oil tank and balance for investigation of forces acting upon flapping wing structures, and a 3D printer for rapid prototyping of experimental models. Researchers use an approximately 25 feet x 35 feet open high-bay facility in the building for experimentation with small mobile ground robotic vehicles.

Spesutie Island Robotics Research Facility 3

Spesutie Island Robotics Research Facility 3 includes a specialized containment facility for use in experimentation with rotating systems, including small helicopters and the small rotor test bed. A significant portion of the laboratory has been set aside for installation of a motion capture system and reconfigurable experimentation space that will permit external control of unmanned ground vehicles. The building also houses experimental equipment and a small repair workshop.

Universal Drive Train Facility

This vehicle drive train research facility is capable of evaluating helicopter and ground vehicle power transmission technologies in a system level environment. The flexible lab contains 1,000-horsepower and 250-horsepower motors/ dynamometers capable of simulating inputs and outputs of many Army vehicle transmissions, including helicopter main transmissions and tail rotor drive trains as well as ground vehicle drive train elements. This laboratory proves innovative component technologies, alternate system architectures, and mechanical diagnostic techniques before they transition to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). It serves a vital transitional role for  fundamental and applied drive train component technologies.

Materials Characterization Facility

The Materials Characterization Facility enables detailed measurements of the properties of ceramics, polymers, glasses, and composites. It features instrumentation for analyzing the chemical properties of materials at a wide range of temperatures and optical and electron microscopy and electron probe instruments for microstructural analysis; x-ray residual stress analysis; and electrical, magnetic, and thermal property characterization.