Army researchers focus on readiness at Global Force Symposium

March 28, 2017

By Tracie R. Dean, ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • Delivering Capabilities for Multi-Domain Battle was the focus at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2017 Global Force Symposium and Exposition held Mar. 13-15 at the Van Braun Convention Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
  • The supporting theme throughout the three-day conference –Science and Technology for Multi-Domain Battle Overmatch – highlighted operationalized readiness.
  • ARL had a visible role including five presentations at the event's Innovator's Corner highlighting technical topics and displays from across the laboratory.

ADELPHI, Md. (March 15, 2017) -- Delivering Capabilities for Multi-Domain Battle was the focus at the 2017 Association of the United States Army Institute of Land Warfare Global Force Symposium and Exposition held Mar. 13-15 in Huntsville, Alabama.

This year, the U.S. Army Materiel Command hosted the Army's participation in the symposium. The supporting theme throughout the three-day conference –Science and Technology for Multi-Domain Battle Overmatch – highlighted operationalized readiness. Featured U.S. Army Research Laboratory presentations and exhibits focused on the science and technology that enables readiness, operations and the Army's future force.

The annual symposium presents a unique opportunity for organizations across the Army S&T enterprise to showcase some of their most cutting-edge military research, systems, capabilities and technologies.

This year, more than 6,000 attendees, 200 technology exhibits and 75 speakers gathered to explore the capabilities that outline how the force will transform from being adaptive to driving innovation for Force 2025 and beyond.

A number of presentations and displays were present to provide additional inspiration for future Army research projects and goals.

ARL had a visible role including one Army exhibit; Micro-Autonomous Systems Technology (MAST); and five presentations at the event's Innovator's Corner highlighting technical topics and displays from across the directorates. The laboratory's presentations included Intelligent Autonomous Systems – Manned/Unmanned Teaming; Next Generation Ceramics for Dismounted Soldier Protection; Medical Simulation Research; Soldier Weapon Exoskeleton and Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin or WIAMan technology.

During the Innovator's Corner forum, Dr. Lionel Vargas-Gonzalez of ARL's Ceramics and Transparent Materials Branch presented the Next Generation Ceramics for Dismounted Soldier Protection technology. Vargas-Gonzalez highlighted previous and current research achievements in the areas of novel materials, materials processing science, and materials and manufacturing design toward the development of improved dismounted Soldier protection technologies.

"Past investment in heterogeneous ceramic mixtures and hybridized composite laminate architectures led to quantifiable improvements to mass efficiency of torso protection plates. To continue to push the limits of the art of the possible, it became necessary to look for high-risk solutions, such as materials which exhibit impressive properties but have been previously determined not to be viable due to synthesis or processing challenges outside of the laboratory environment," Vargas-Gonzalez said.

"To this effect, a recent success in the Army mission effort has been the development of a novel approach for the synthesis of boron suboxide, a ceramic chemistry that could be a potential enabler for future enhancement of Warfighter effectiveness due to its impressive combination of material hardness and low density; both features necessary for high ballistic efficiency. Laboratory efforts have proven highly successful and are currently being transitioned to large-scale through industrial collaboration."

Throughout the symposium, attendees had a chance to actively engage Army scientists and engineers working on some of the nation's most difficult scientific and technological challenges facing the Army, including research and development for the future Soldier. Dan Baechle of ARL's Composite and Hybrid Materials Branch provided a presentation on Soldier Weapon Exoskeleton focused on research that ARL is developing to investigate increasing the lethality of the future dismounted Soldier.

Baechle presented a mechanical appendage called "Third Arm" which can potentially reduce arm fatigue and improve marksmanship by steadying the Soldier's weapons.

"The Third Arm" attaches to the Soldier's tactical vest and can take the weight of up to a 20 pound weapon off the arms of the Soldier, potentially distributing recoil forces. This technology will increase the future Soldier's lethality by allowing them to easily and steadily wield more powerful weapons by redistributing the weight and recoil of such weapons," Baechle said. "Third Arm could allow our dismounted Soldiers to achieve overmatch against better-armored and more distant threats than we can currently successfully engage.

"These improvements would help enable our future Army to be the most dominant land fighting force in the world."

AUSA hosts several symposium throughout the year with its Global Force Symposium and Exposition occurring in March and its annual meeting taking place each October in Washington, D.C.


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, currently celebrating 25 years of excellence in Army science and technology, is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: March 28, 2017