Lab showcases cutting-edge research at Global Force Symposium

April 14, 2015

By Tracie R. Dean, ARL Public Affairs

Innovation that can meet the Army's future requirements of Force 2025 and beyond was the focus at the Association of the United States Army's 2015 Institute of Land Warfare Global Force Symposium and Exposition recently held in Huntsville, Alabama.

This year, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command spearheaded the Army's participation in the symposium. The theme throughout the three-day conference –Win in a Complex World– highlighted changing requirements for the Army of the future. Featured presentations and exhibits explored and identified ways to ensure that the Army will remain adaptive and superior in a rapidly changing operational environment.

The symposium also presented a unique opportunity for Army S&T organizations to show some of their most cutting-edge military systems, capabilities and technologies.

ARL had a visible role including participation by the ARL director, presentations at the Warrior Exchange Corner Forum and technical displays from across the directorates. The laboratory's exhibits included the Upper Airway Trainer, Augmented Reality Sand Table, Head Health Challenge, Neuro Technologies for Cognitive Sensing and the Handheld Machine Based Translator.

ARL Director Dr. Thomas Russell served as a panel member during this year's AUSA.

Russell noted how the AUSA panels and presentations focused on the Army strategy and communicated to industry how the Army operating concept and the Army Warfighting challenges are leading the Army into the future. "The focus was on innovation and how the Army needs to become much more innovative to meet its future needs," Russell said.

During the Warrior Corner Focus Forum, Dr. Dy Le of ARL's Vehicle Technology Directorate, explained the Virtual Risk-Informed Agile Maneuver Sustainment concept of operation.

Le's presentation, titled "VRAMS for Future Vertical Lift," discussed the science behind the VRAMS method, which is aimed at sustaining future Army aviation in complex environments with little or zero maintenance. Le noted that there is still a lot of research to be done in order to move from a VRAMs concept to technology demonstration and fielding. He added, "This is where industry collaboration becomes critically essential and beneficial."

For the first time, this year's event provided time for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community with college and university students and faculty from throughout the Tennessee Valley attending.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which led discussions with students regarding STEM opportunities, solicited the help of Dr. Vallen Emery, ARL's outreach program manager. Emery conducted two seminars that addressed the many opportunities that are available to STEM students at Army S&T organizations across America. "The focus of the engagement was to encourage the students to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about scholarship programs, summer hire programs, summer research and internship opportunities and share with them the opportunities available across the RDECOM enterprise," said Emery.

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 how Soldiers can better communicate in complex environments.

Dr. Steve LaRocca of ARL's Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, described the benefit of the Handheld Machine-based Translation technology to the Soldier.

"It [machine-based translation technology] responds to requirements to share knowledge of exact translations for technical terms in a disconnected operating environment, and facilitates sharing of user data sets developed locally," LaRocca said. "High-quality translation work in technical domains generates new knowledge which deserves to be captured, shared and used repeatedly for a long time. The data underlying our products will fuel the development of new technologies for decades beyond the present."

AUSA hosts several symposium throughout the year with its annual meeting taking place each October in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is the nation's premier laboratory for land forces and is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it, or communicates with it, AMC delivers it.

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Last Update / Reviewed: April 14, 2015