Foundational Research Competencies

Ballistics Sciences

DEVCOM ARL’s S&T investments in ballistics are focused on gaining a greater understanding and discovery of mechanisms to defeat emerging threats and on generating concepts and technologies that support next-generation lethality systems.

Knowledge and concepts gained through these research efforts will lead to technologies that enable a broad array of discriminate lethality systems.  These competencies and knowledge support the Army through 2025 and are essential for lethality superiority of the Army of 2040 and beyond.

Research Focus

To discover, innovate, and transition S&T capabilities that:

  • Facilitate the development of discriminant lethality across a broad range of missions
  • Increase effective range on gun / rocket / missile systems in order to conquer A2AD environments
  • Enable robust technical tools and methodologies for evaluation and combat decision aids

Vision for Multi-Domain Operations

Lethality systems available to commanders of the Army of 2040 are precise, long range, and highly mobile. A globally responsive, lethal, and resilient force serves as a significant deterrent to rising conflict. The desired end state is to leverage the range of S&T enablers to provide forces with the right lethality at extended ranges at any place and time without increased warfighter risk.

Computational Sciences

DEVCOM ARL’s research investment in Computational Sciences focuses on advancing the fundamentals of predictive simulation sciences, data intensive sciences, heterogeneous computing, and emerging computing architectures to transform the future of complex Army multi-domain operations.

Gains made through these underpinning multidisciplinary research efforts provide fundamental insight and understanding of complex Army systems and operating environments.  By harnessing the synergism between emerging heterogeneous computing systems and innovative computational algorithms, the Army is provided computational overmatch in tactical environments where speed and accuracy of decision making is disruptive to OPFOR operations.  Resulting technologies will also provide accelerated innovation of Army materiel.  The envisioned capability specialty areas for Computational Sciences include:

  • AI & ML in SWaP-T (size, weight, power, time) resource-constrained environments
  • Domain-specific and heterogeneous tactical High Performance Computing (HPC)
  • Real-time, scalable big data analytics for Army applications
  • Computational predictive design for complex materials and systems

And the envisioned technical specialty areas include:

  • PC–enabled combined simulation, emulation, and field testing
  • Multi-scale modeling and uncertainty quantification for predictive computational design
  • Advanced and unconventional computing architectures and algorithms research
  • Data reduction, transformation, and correlation

Research Focus

Information dominance for the Army’s multi-domain military operations.

Vision for Multi-Domain Operations

Develop fundamental sciences of computation and networking to ensure the intelligent, resilient processing & transfer of battlefield information for rapid human and automated decision making in Multi-Domain Operations.

Human Sciences

DEVCOM ARL’s Human Sciences core competency is focused on identifying, creating, and transitioning scientific discoveries and technological innovations underlying three research areas: Cognitive Dominance, Readiness for Technological Complexity, and Teaming Overmatch; that are critical to the U.S. Army’s future technological superiority.

This core competency concentrates on high-risk and high-payoff transformational basic research; and critically-focused, promising applied research that are expected to have revolutionary impacts on the Army’s warfighting capabilities. In addition to significantly improving the Army’s existing warfighting capabilities, DEVCOM ARL’s Human Sciences research creates disruptive and game-changing Soldier-centric technologies for the Army, while also preventing technological surprises from potential adversaries.

Research Focus

To discover, innovate, and transition S&T capabilities to:

  • Empower Soldier squads with enhanced cognitive capabilities to make sound decisions quickly
  • Improve individual and small unit ability to maximize the effectiveness of advanced, intelligent technologies across the full range of military operations
  • Provide expeditionary forces with the capabilities to exploit group dynamics, from teams to cultures, to shape the operational environment and provide overmatch
  • Forecast Soldier’s roles, capabilities, and performance with emerging and futuristic technologies on tomorrow’s battlefield

Vision for Multi-Domain Operations

The Army of 2050 maximizes the effectiveness of Soldiers to exploit advanced technologies and operate in small and large units in diverse social-cultural contexts around the globe. The desired end state of the Human Sciences core competency is to leverage the full range of S&T enablers to poise Soldiers to succeed in distributed operations and increasingly dynamic, complex multi-domain battlefields.

Materials and Manufacturing

The Materials and Manufacturing Core Competency focuses on fundamental research to provide superior materials and devices needed to achieve lasting strategic land power dominance.

Materials research supports DEVCOM ARL’s Core Competencies, Essential Research Programs, and the Army’s Modernization Priorities by providing materials with superior properties to address emerging requirements and capabilities for all Army platforms and novel capabilities required for success in the Multi-Domain Operations environment, with emphasis on Photonics, Electronics, Energy and Power, Biotechnology, Structural Materials, Specialty Materials, and Manufacturing Science.

The Army of 2040 will require materials with unprecedented capabilities that can be rapidly grown or synthesized, and processed cost-effectively to enable Army platforms that are highly mobile, information reliant, lethal, and protected. The Materials and Manufacturing Core Competency addresses the future Army’s need to rapidly respond to emerging threats and to eliminate tactical surprise – caused by the proliferation of advanced technology by our adversaries – by creating a materials by-design and on-demand enterprise; and a manufacturing science engine to ensure rapid progression from materials discovery to delivery, with the goal of producing materials in greatly reduced timeframes and at a fraction of the cost compared to today. Across the Materials and Manufacturing Core Competency multi-scale models, over a range of spatial and temporal scales, are being explored to discover relevant phenomena and to enable efficient materials designs. These computational multi-scale models are closely coupled to experimental efforts to reduce uncertainty and to validate model accuracy.

Research Focus

Perform fundamental interdisciplinary research in materials and manufacturing science to ensure rapid and affordable development of materials, from discovery to delivery, critical to the Army of 2040.

Vision for Multi-Domain Operations

Discovery and unparalleled innovation of devices and Materials By-Design and On-Demand across all Army domains. Understand, exploit, and demonstrate diverse material sets with exceptional quality and capabilities relevant to the Army of 2040 via advances in manufacturing science. The desired end state is to enable the Army of 2040 to succeed in distributed operations and increasingly complex environments through realization of superior materials.

Network and Information Sciences

DEVCOM ARL’S research investments in Network and Information Sciences focuses on gaining a greater understanding of fundamental theories and emerging technologies that support intelligent networks and information systems that perform acquisition, delivery, analysis, reasoning, decision-making, collaborative communication, and assurance of information and knowledge.

Insights and innovations gained through these research efforts will lead to technological developments that make it possible to manage, disseminate and utilize information to enable distributed intelligent systems to operate effectively in MDO.  Technologies resulting from these efforts will have a direct impact on future Army capabilities in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), networks, intelligent systems, and cyber security.  The envisioned capability specialty areas for Network & Information Sciences include:

  • Adaptive processing and communication for C4I in the tactical environment
  • Intelligent systems that can maneuver in complex environment
  • Predictive analytics for situational understanding
  • Distributed information delivery and processing for decision making
  • Defensive cyber
  • Environmental modeling & impact characterization for multi-echelon decision making

And the envisioned technical specialty areas include:

  • AI & ML with distributed, dinky, dynamic, disparate, dirty data
  • Uncertainty characterization and quantification
  • Human information interaction
  • Adversarial detection, understanding & resilience
  • Analysis & prediction of the physical environmental effects

Research Focus

Develop fundamental sciences of computation and networking to ensure the intelligent, resilient processing & transfer of battlefield information for rapid human and automated decision making in Multi-Domain Operations.

Vision for Multi-Domain Operations

Information dominance for the Army’s multi-domain military operations.

Propulsion Sciences

DEVCOM ARL’s research investments in Propulsion Sciences is focused on gaining a greater fundamental understanding of advanced propulsion, power, and platform technologies for enduring air and ground platform (manned and autonomous) operations and serves as a key enabler of innovative vehicle configurations and subsystem architectures that are critical to the future Army’s movement and maneuver.

Knowledge gained through fundamental and early applied research efforts will lead to technologies that overcome the constraints on design, fabrication, integration, control, propulsion, and vehicle intelligence to support reliable mobility and ensure power projection superiority for the future Army. The Propulsion Sciences Core Competency builds on fundamental pillars of science and engineering to conduct research in manned-and-unmanned Army vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air platforms and ground vehicles that are critical to the future Army’s movement, sustainment, and maneuverability.

Research Focus

Discover, innovate, inform, and transition S&T enabled capabilities that significantly increase the force effectiveness of the Army’s air and ground manned and unmanned systems in future Multi-Domain Operations.

Vision for Multi-Domain Operations

Leverage expertise in combustion physics, propulsion sciences, aeromechanics, intelligent mechanics, VTOL design and analysis, aviation component and structural materials, autonomous systems, robotic mobility and manipulation, and state-of-the-art modeling and experimental facilities to create disruptive and game-changing vehicle-centric technologies for the Army.

Protection Sciences

DEVCOM ARL’s Protection Sciences core competency is focused on identifying, creating, and transitioning scientific discoveries and technological innovations in four underlying research areas: Vehicle Protection, Soldier Protection, Protection Science Basic Research, and Experimental & Computational Capability for Protection; that are critical to the U.S. Army’s future technological superiority.

This core competency concentrates on high-risk, high-payoff, transformational applied research and critically-focused, promising basic research that are expected to have revolutionary impacts on the Army’s warfighting capabilities. In addition to significantly improving the Army’s existing warfighting capabilities, DEVCOM ARL’s Protection Sciences research creates disruptive and game-changing Vehicle and Soldier-centric protection technologies for the Army, while also preventing technological surprises from potential adversaries.

Research Focus

Discover, innovate, and transition S&T capabilities that:

  • Facilitate the development of protection mechanisms and systems for Army ground platforms and dismounted Soldiers that are effective against a broad array of threats and provide overmatch
  • Allow freedom of maneuver across multi-domain operations
  • Enable robust computational tools and advanced diagnostic & experimental capabilities to enable world class research to develop technologies for tomorrow’s battlefields

Vision for Multi-Domain Operations

Protection systems available to commanders of the Army of 2050 are light weight, low burden, and resilient against a broad array of current and future threats providing uninhibited movement and maneuver during the execution of multi-domain operations. The desired end state is state of the art S&T enablers to provide forces with the right protection at any place and time without increased warfighter risk against the continuum of threats and without degrading combat power.