What We Do

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Army Research Laboratory partners across the national security enterprise to deliver fundamentally advantageous change that is rooted in the creation and exploitation of scientific knowledge and delivered at the speed of relevance.

Foundational Research

DEVCOM ARL executes intramural and extramural research organized by 11 competencies that provide the Army with foundational expertise and specialized capabilities grounded in scientific excellence and driven by unique Army challenges. Our disruptive scientific research coupled with collaborations and prioritized funding to the worldwide scientific community, both academic and commercial, create and exploit scientific knowledge in the competencies that are leveraged to develop new opportunities, build programs, align people and funding, and advise on future operational concepts. We also seek to dynamically and continually reshape these competencies by creating and directing new scientific discoveries to redefine the frontiers of the possible.

Biological and Biotechnology Sciences

Biological related disciplines, including synthetic biology, biological materials, biological/ abiological interfaces, and biological effect

Electromagnetic Spectrum Sciences

Novel approaches to sensing and operating across the entire electromagnetic (EM) environment; counter-sensing across the EM spectrum; protection from EM effects; emerging concepts for RF, radars, and electronic warfare (EW)

Energy Sciences

Science of mechanical and electrical power generation, storage, conditioning and distribution; energy conversion; and emerging concepts for lasers, directed energy (DE), DE protection and propagation

Humans in Complex Systems

Multi-disciplinary non-medical approaches to understand and modify the potential of humans situated in and interacting within complex social, technological, and socio-technical systems

Mechanical Sciences

Science of novel mechanics, mechanisms, and control to enable manned/unmanned ground and air vehicle concepts

Military Information Sciences

Underpinning sciences, physical autonomy, and enablers required to provide timely, mission-aware information to humans and systems at speed and scale for all-domain and coalition operations

Network, Cyber, and Computational Sciences

Sciences to enable and ensure secure resilient communication networks for distributed analytics in Multi-Domain Operations

Photonics, Electronics, and Quantum Sciences

Materials (and related manufacturing methods) and devices intended for achieving photonic, electronic, and quantum-based effects

Sciences of Extreme Materials

Materials and related manufacturing methods focusing on mechanical response and performance extremes, including active, adaptive, and flexible/soft materials; novel manufacturing science for energetic materials

Terminal Effects

Sciences and applied research of weapon target interactions

Weapons Sciences

Internal, transitional, and external ballistics; launch, flight, control, and navigation of guided weapons and aerial systems; development of novel weapon concepts

Essential Research Programs

DEVCOM ARL’s Essential Research Programs (ERPs) are among the highest priority research efforts within the laboratory and are broadly supported by the 11 research competencies.

They are actively managed transdisciplinary foundational research programs with an overarching outcome-driven plan and quantifiable research goals. They focus on answering challenging, high-risk questions that converge to provide research outcomes and shape concepts to curtail technological surprise, prevent overmatch, and get ahead of the threat before the threat is even aware of the technology.

The ERPs have been developed with the understanding that future warfare will be fought across all five domains (Land, Air, Maritime, Space, and Cyberspace) and among three realms:


The domain of activities defined in space and time by the laws of physics

Informational or virtual

The domain of activities defined by thought and perception

Cultural or human

The domain of activities defined by the interaction of people and societies

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