Without strong basic research, the foundations for the development of future technologies will not be laid.
STAR21, National Research Council
The Army is the full spectrum land warfighting force of the United States. In order to maintain an overmatching capability on which the U.S. depends, the Army invests in basic research to provide this force with technological superiority. Fundamental research is the "seed corn" for technological discoveries and advancements. The Armys basic research:
Fosters progress and innovations in Armyunique areas (e.g., armor/antiarmor) or where commercial incentive to invest is lacking due to limited markets (e.g., military medicine to develop vaccines for tropical diseases).
In this way, the Army can develop or adapt its technology needs for the everincreasing variety of missions it faces. The Armys dependence on technology is increasing as it evolves toward smaller, lighter, more lethal forces. The investment made in basic research today will shape the future Army by providing the technological building blocks needed to address imperatives emerging from future warfighting concepts.
Senior Army management is committed to a sustained basic research program that supports the Armys needs. To this end, the Army structures a coherent basic research program and integrates extramural research that leverages the power of academia and industry with inhouse research in critical, Armyunique areas. The resulting science base provides the foundation for followon applied research (6.2) and, eventually, advanced technology development (6.3) programs.
The Army research program is managed and performed by a network of Army laboratories and centers. Within the Army Materiel Command (AMC) the Army Research Office (ARO) manages extramural programs through the University Single Investigator program, selected centers of excellence (COEs) and the university research initiative (URI) programs. The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) supports several Centers of Excellence, manages the federated laboratories, and conducts inhouse research. Finally, the research, development and engineering centers (RDECs) initiate research through the Inhouse Laboratory Independent Research program. The Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Army Research Institute (ARI) for Behavioral and Social Sciences also conduct a mixture of intramural and extramural research programs as shown in Table V1.
Without the scientific base developed by these activities, the Army would not have in its arsenal many technologies that are now taken for granted and that have been used effectively in
Table V1. Basic Research Responsibilities of Department of Army Components
Basic Research Mission
|Army Materiel Command||Conduct and
sponsor basic research unique to Army requirements (that are not covered by the Army Corps
of Engineers, Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, and ARI) and areas assigned to
AMC through the Department of Defense (DoD) in support of other agencies
Ensure that basic research supports future warfighting requirements
Making technology work for soldiers
Lighter, smaller components
Protection and survivability
Specific areas are:
Vehicles (tracked and wheeled)
Guns and artillery
Nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) defense
Simulation and training devices
Armor (personnel, vehicle, weapon systems)
Training and Doctrine Command to focus on future warfighting doctrine and required
Leverage industry, national laboratories, and academia
Teams and consortia with national organizations
Participate in international organizations
AMCs ARO directs most longterm (theoretical and feasibility) efforts
AMCs ARL directs most shortterm (prototype and demonstration) efforts
Move basic research successes from ARO and ARL to AMC research, development and engineering centers for systems application
|Army Medical Research and Materiel Command||Exploit basic science to define potential biomedical solutions to overcome militaryunique threats to health and combat health care delivery constraints, and maximize the operational performance of the warfighter||Infectious
diseases of military importance
Combat casualty care
Army operational medicine
Medical chemical and biological (CB) defense
and exploit civilian basic biomedical research to define injury mechanisms of military
Maintain inhouse expertise, including uniformed military medical scientists, to avoid technological surprise and maximize ability to meet military needs
Selectively invest in critical extramural capabilities
Leverage industry and other government agency programs, exploiting unique Army capabilities to facilitate discovery of dualuse technologies
Maximize efficiency through triservice coordination via the Armed Services Biomedical Research Evaluation and Management Committee
|Army Corps of Engineers||Conduct
scientific research in disciplines associated with civil engineering, environmental
sciences, and environmental quality that expands knowledge base and provides technical
underpinning for exploratory research related to future operational capabilities for:
Mapping, terrain analysis, image processing, and radar exploitation
Effects of cold regions and winter weather on combat operations and stability and support operations (SASO)
Airfields and pavements for strategic and operational mobility
Next generation Army mobility models
Acquisition, operation, maintenance and repair of installations
analysis (radar and spectral analysis for data generation)
Terrain analysis and reasoning
Energy propagation in terrestrial environments
Pavements and airfields
Hardened construction materials
Multispectral materials for field fortifications and structures
Hazardous/toxic waste remediation
Hazardous wastewater management
Quantifying impacts of military operations on natural and cultural resources
execute research efforts focused on future operational capabilities (FOCs) and concepts
Establish and maintain liaison support to primary customers
Identify specific technology areas that lend themselves to partnering with academia and industry
Develop a resource strategy that supports both internal teaming and external partnering
Transition basic research successes in a timely manner
|Army Research Institute||Conduct
scientific research that will support the development of peoplerelated technologies:
Training: improve the longterm retention of trained skills and the potential of skills to transfer to real life
Personnel: improve recruitment, assignment, and Armys ability to address societal issues
Leadership: improve the assessment and development of skills
|Aim research to
Coordinate research with applied scientists to increase chance of transitions
Call upon worldclass scientists for conduct of research
recent military operations around the world. The ultimate payoff of basic research is the translation of concepts into technological applications. Examples of applications that have evolved from Army basic research programs include:
The concept of inverted populations of excited quantum states translated into a laser.
The Army must be a versatile, mobile, deployable, power projection land warfighting force. To meet this objective the Army is increasing its dependence on technology to increase its lethality and survivability, decrease its logistics burden, maximize its situational awareness, lighten the force, and enhance soldier performance. To become technologically superior there is a continuous and essential emphasis on basic research in:
Enabling breakthrough capabilities.
1. Army Basic Research Program
The Army basic research program is a critical and integral part of the Department of Defense (DoD) Basic Research Plan (BRP). This DoD BRP describes twelve scientific disciplines and formulates broad visions of what might be achieved in each of these disciplines. It also presents six Strategic Research Objectives (SROs) that define rapidly expanding research fronts with the potential for high military benefit.
The Army Basic Research Plan formulates Armyoriented programs in all but one (Ocean Sciences) of the DoDrecognized scientific disciplines, and it recognizes and plays a lead role in all six of the SROs. These Army programs and roles are detailed in following sections of this chapter.
The Army BRP is managed and executed to focus knowledge in areas critical to the Army. It initiates and fosters revolutionary research that is capable of providing innovative new opportunities for the future Army and evolutionary research responsive to identified needs. The level of investment is dependent on:
Emerging technological opportunities.
There is a tripartite approach to Army basic research that is based on complementary driving forces. These driving forces are:
To exploit basic research opportunities and discoveries (revolutionary innovations).
The Armys basic research program maintains a balanced intramural/extramural effort to satisfy these driving forces. Sixty percent of monies funded are for extramural research to:
Give leverage to the power of academia and industry.
Forty percent of the monies funded are for intramural research programs (Army inhouse) that:
Help maintain "smart buyer" capability essential to the Army.
2. Future Outlook
As the Army enters the 21st century, doctrinal changes are envisioned that will exploit technological advancements. From the beginning of the next century to the year 2010, Force XXI and Army Vision 2010 doctrines will shape the Armys warfighting capabilities, and technologies already unfolding will support these doctrines. Further into the future, in an effort to project the Army toward the year 2025, the Chief of Staff of the Army has established the AAN. In planning the Armys basic research programs, this AAN initiative provides additional focus for the overall program. A key role for the Army research program is to foster the fundamental research that will enable AAN initiatives. The AAN will benefit from all 6.1 basic research, including the SROs, because the discoveries of today are the enablers of tomorrows technologies.
It has been recognized for some time that basic research has been and will continue to be critical to the success of the military. Comments on basic research made over 50 years ago by Dr. Vannevar Bush, 1963 National Medal of Science Recipient, are still valid today: "Basic research is performed without thought of practical ends, but it provides a means of answering a large number of important practical problems." William J. Perry, former Secretary of Defense, also stated, "We are not the only nation with competence in defense science and technology. To sustain the lead which brought us victory during Desert Storm . . . recognizing that over time other nations will develop comparable capabilities, we must . . . invest in the next generation of defense technologies." More recently, Dr. Anita K. Jones, Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E), emphasized that basic research "provides guidance to the services and defense agencies so that their combined research efforts may enable our primary customerthe warfighterto gain military advantage in the future." The wonder of research is that you never know what you might discover.
The following sections of this chapter detail the Army initiatives that scope the Armys basic research program and the scientific research areas that execute it.
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