8. DoD Strategic Research Objectives
In coordination with other DoD departments and agencies, the U.S. Army has defined six SROs that synergistically focus multidisciplinary research themes to achieve technology enablement in 1015 years, with a high potential payoff in numerous Army applications. These SROs were originally envisioned to encompass about 15 percent of the Army 6.1 research budget. Accordingly, the Army has identified approximately this percentage of its 6.1 research program with the six currently approved DoDwide SROs: biomimetics, nanoscience, smart structures, mobile wireless communications, intelligent systems, and compact power sources. The Army is currently expanding these DoD SROs to facilitate the recognition of Armyspecific research themes in areas such as information dominance, enhanced soldier performance, tunable lethality, protection of information systems, advanced compact and multifunctional sensors, and science for innovations in logistics. A more detailed description of the current six SROs follows.
As an SRO, biomimetics aims to enable development of new structural and functional materials and technologically innovative approaches toward sensing and information processing, with product and process lessons from nature contributing to design principles, performance capabilities, and manufacturing possibilities.
To accomplish this goal, biomimetics seeks to benefit from the direct manipulation of a process of biological origin or from engineered exploitation that derives a product or process design or function from a naturally occurring system. The overall approach is one that incorporates in a wholly integrated manner the most advanced and diverse conceptual and experimental tools of a number of scientific disciplines, including, but not limited to, biology, materials science, chemistry, physics, math and computer sciences, and electronics. There are numerous materials occurring in biological systems that exhibit remarkable properties. Uniquely, these materials derive their functionality from fabrication processes composed of several levels of selfassembly involving molecular clusters organized into structures of different length scales. Some of these materials are able to effect exceptionally efficient transfer of mass, charge and energy over a very wide range of performance durations, or to provide unique supportive and protective structures. Biological systems also have exquisite and highly integrated sensing capabilities that allow rapid and selective recognition and signal processing that can detect and classify target molecules, men, or machines in noisy and cluttered environments. Sensors designed using biological principles offer the possibility of novel classes of sensors, far more sensitive and rapid than anything available today.
Rapidly emerging advances in this very young area of scientific endeavor show substantial promise to affect a number of Army applications. Contributions are expected to cover a wide range, including tough, lightweight composites for armor, chemical detection applicable to explosives and nerve agents, novel fibers for individual soldier protection, and catalysts for both synthetic and degradative purposes. Potential Army applications are noted in Figure V1.
Figure V-1. Biometrics Research Explodes in Applications for Army After Next
Achieve dramatic, innovative enhancements in the properties and performance of structures, materials, and devices that have controllable features on the nanometer scale (i.e., tens of angstroms).
Army support for nanoscience research is focused on creating new theoretical and experimental results involving atomic scale imaging methods, subangstrom measurement techniques, and fabrication methods with atomic control that will provide reproducible material structures and novel devices. It also includes direct investigations of phenomenological evolution that is dominated by size effects or quantum effects. These quantum effects may, in turn, be used as the basis for fundamentally new capabilities or for enhancing the performance of existing devices. Similar control over the electromagnetic propagation in nanostructured materials may allow for more precise control of microwave, infrared, and visible radiation. Scientific opportunities include understanding new phenomena in low dimensional structures, nucleation and growth, selforganizing materials, sitespecific reactions, and threedimensional (3D) nanostructural materials.
The ability to fabricate structures affordably at the nanometer scale (as illustrated in Figure V2) will enable new approaches and processes for manufacturing novel, more reliable, lower cost, higher performance, and more flexible electronic, magnetic, optical, and mechanical devices. Recognized applications of nanoscience include ultra small, highly parallel and fast computers with terabit nonvolatile random access memory and teraflop speed, image information processors, low power personal communication devices, highdensity information storage devices, lasers and detectors for weapons and countermeasures, optical (IR, visible, ultraviolet (UV)) sensors for improved surveillance and targeting, integrated sensor suites for CB agent detection, catalysts for enhancing and controlling energetic reactions and decontamination, synthesis of new compounds (e.g., narrowbandgap materials and nonlinear optical materials) for advanced electronic, magnetic, and optical sensors, quantum computation for code breaking, resource optimization and wargaming, photonic band engineering for sensor protection, powerful radar, and low observables, and significant lifecycle cost reductions in many systems through failure remediation. These devices exploit exciting properties of nanoscale materials not predictable from macroscopic physical and chemical principles.
Figure V-2. Nanometer-Scale Micrograph
c. Smart Structures
Demonstrate advanced capabilities for modeling, predicting, controlling, and optimizing the dynamic response of complex, multielement, deformable structures used in civil structures, land vehicle, weapon, and rotorcraft systems.
Smart structures offer significant potential for expanding the effective operations envelope and improving certain critical operational characteristics for many Army systems. Key characteristics of smart structures include embedded or bonded sensors and actuators linked to a controller responsive to external stimuli to compensate in real time or quasireal time for undesirable effects or to enhance overall system performance. To help realize the full potential of smart structures in military systems, the Armys basic research program is supporting fundamental investigations that address active/passive structural damping techniques, advanced actuator concepts able to provide greater forces and displacements, embeddable and nonintrusive sensors, and smart actuator materials (e.g., piezoelectric, electrostrictive, and magnetostrictive materials, shape memory alloys, magnetorheological fluids). Important studies focused on new fabrication processes for actuators and sensors on the micron to millimeter scale, computationally accurate and efficient constitutive models for smart materials, advanced mathematical models for nonconservative and nonlinear structural and actuator response, robust hierarchical control with distributed sensors and actuators, and concurrent, integrated structural design and control methodologies are also being pursued.
Specific potential military applications of smart structures include shock isolation and machinery vibration, vibration control and stability augmentation systems in rotary wing aircraft to extend structural fatigue life and reliability, barrier structures providing improved protection against CB agents, structural damage detection and health monitoring systems, more accurate rapid fire weapon systems, fire control and battle damage identification, assessment, and control of active, conformal, loadbearing antenna structures, phased arrays, and broadband spiral antenna systems (see Figure V3).
Figure V-3. Smart Composite Actuator Concept and Army Applications
d. Mobile Wireless Communications
Provide fundamental advances enabling the rapid and survivable communication onthemove (OTM) of large quantities of multimedia information (speech, data, graphics, and video) from point to point, broadcast, and multicast over distributed mobile wireless networks for heterogeneous command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) systems.
Research on high frequency devices, sources, and waveguides and techniques such as quasioptical power combining can increase radio carrier frequencies beyond 20 gigahertz (GHz) where channels can have wider bandwidths and consequently greater capacity. Research on processing for smart antennas with beamsteering, diversity combining, and spectrum reuse and new methods of source, channel, and modulation coding enable increased capacity with lower power, extending battery lifetime and reducing probability of interception. Protocol engineering research provides the technology to integrate cable, satellite, and mobile wireless heterogeneous networks and to maintain connectivity, routing, and quality of service for multimedia communications in highly dynamic battlefield conditions. Modeling and simulation (M&S) research is performed to assess performance and network stability and to evaluate propagation phenomena in urban and rural environments.
Research in this area provides the technology for establishing and maintaining mobile wireless network communications OTM under the harsh and highly dynamic conditions of modern battlefields. Civil networks have a fixed structural component (e.g., cellular towers) not usable in mobile military systems and the military channel is more complex and dynamic. Timely arrival of messages is highly critical to military operations and networks can have no single points of failure and must be selforganizing to be survivable. Research in mobile wireless communications is needed to dramatically improve the throughput, survivability, and security of complex mobile wireless networks critical to the success of future Force XXI and AAN highly mobile operations. Advances in mobile wireless communications will significantly increase the capacity, reliability, and survivability of the Armys battlefield information distribution systems (see Figure V4).
Figure V-4. Mobile Wireless Communications.
e. Intelligent Systems
Enable the development of advanced systems able to sense, analyze, learn, adapt, and function effectively in changing or hostile environments until completing assigned missions or functions.
Intelligent systems offer exciting new possibilities for conducting many types of military operations, ranging from reconnaissance and surveillance activities to a variety of specialized combat operations. Intelligent systems typically consist of a dynamic network of agents interconnected via spatial and communications links that operate in uncertain and dynamically changing environments using decentralized or distributed input and under localized goals that may change over time. The agents may be people, information sources, or automated systems such as robots, software, and computing modules (see Figure V5).
Figure V-5. Intelligent Digital Battlefield Architecture.
Intelligent systems must be capable of gathering relevant, available information about their environment, analyzing its significance in terms of assigned missions/functions, and defining the most appropriate course of action consistent with programmed decision logic. Achieving these objectives requires integration of significant scientific and technological advances in many diverse fields: electronics, physics, mathematics, materials science, biology, computer science, cognitive and neural sciences, control theory and mechanisms, and electrical and systems engineering. Critical areas of research being pursued include the design of multiagent systems, representation of hierarchical perception systems, advanced models for learning and adaptation, development of effective frameworks for representing and reasoning with uncertainty, and new computational paradigms for accommodating imprecision in human centered systems. The numerous potential military applications of intelligent systems include unmanned vehicles (air and ground), smart weapons, realtime C2 systems for future battlefields, and CB defense systems.
f. Compact Power Sources
Identify and exploit new concepts in portable power, especially in fueled systems, to increase the energy density and lower the cost of subkilowatt power sources.
The energy density of typical fuels exceeds that of batteries by 10100 times. Lightweight energy converters, using air as the oxidizer, are the key to exploiting the high energy content of such fuels. Converter technologies under study include fuel cells, microturbines, thermophotovoltaic systems, and alkali metal thermaltoelectric converters.
Small, lightweight energy converters may be used in a variety of configurations. Hydrogen/air fuel cells can now be made small enough (50watt fuel cell stack is a cube 6 centimeters (cm) on a side, see Figure V6) to be put into battery cases and used as longlived, refuelable, direct replacements for batteries. Microturbines hold the promise of providing up to 20 times the energy storage of a battery system of similar weight. Alternatively, for applications requiring airindependent operation, it may be desirable to use the small converters as lightweight, portable battery chargers. Many applications may be best supported with hybrid systems consisting of high discharge rate, low energy density, rechargeable batteries that can provide high peak powers and that are kept recharged by small (a few watts) fueled battery chargers running at low power on a nearly continuous basis. The hybrid systems should be able to provide the ease of distribution of battery power combined with the high energy density of fuels in longlived systems with low lifecycle costs.
Figure V-6. Compact Power Sources
Strategic Research Objective Goals
In managing the Armys basic research program, special attention
is being given to these SROs to help ensure that their potential can be realized through
subsequent technology and system development efforts. Identification of additional areas
and objectives will be sought in continuing reviews of basic research activities.
Representative specific research goals associated with the SROs described above are
provided in Table V6.
Table V6. Representative Specific Army Basic Research
2010 Army XXI
2025 Army After Next
enzymatic breakdown of chemical threat agents at molecular level
Define role of biomolecular recognition based interactions in superstructure formation
Novel optical processing materials
mimicking active site mechanism of catalysis
Predictive rules and methods for biomimetic hierarchical nanomaterials fabrication
catalytic system developed for chemical agent decontamination
Manipulation of macromolecular properties to achieve optimal performance
Novel process for ceramic composite manufacture
Broadband optical limiting
High bandwidth communication
|Hybrid CB sensors
IR low observables
Terabit, teraflop computers
Atom interferometer gyroscope
|Demonstrate up to
60decibel (dB) vibration reduction using shaped actuators and adaptive control
Achieve MEMS wireless communications in a rotorcraft flight structure
Demonstrate new impact energy absorbing active materials
lowcost, selftuning structural vibration damping treatment with integrated
power sources and signal processing capability
Demonstrate addressable optical fiber sensor arrays to measure temperature and strain for damage detection in composite structures
Achieve high force/high displacement actuators fabricated from improved active materials
smart, conformal, load bearing multifunctional antenna structures for rotorcraft and land
Realize active material based rotor blade control for stealthy, longrange, and highly maneuverable rotorcraft
Achieve high precision controlled pointing and tracking techniques for accurate weapon systems for rotorcraft and land vehicles
Mobile Wireless Communications
Multimedia services over wireless networks
Aerial relay to maintain connectivity
High RF power efficient systems design
antennas for vehicles
Multifunction antennas for communications
Video for mobile wireless networks
Seamless, ubiquitous communications
Smart antennas for portable transceivers
Extremely low probability of intercept signals
Personal communication devices
Intelligent Systems (IS)
fundamental roles played by hierarchical organization, compositionality, and learning in
Define/characterize simulated battlefield environments for testing IS methodologies
Demonstrate intelligence augmentation of human centered systems, with emphasis on cognitive issues
framework for integrating high and low level aspects of intelligent systems
Exploit framework in devising nextgeneration control algorithms and designing prototype systems (e.g., that have integrated vision/control systems)
Define/characterize integration of intelligent systems into larger network of systems (e.g., C3I)
understanding of learning styles in the human brain relevant to the design of intelligent
Demonstrate useful performance characteristics of fully autonomous intelligent systems
Demonstrate advanced sensor/control capabilities of fully autonomous intelligent systems
Compact Power Sources
compact direct methanol fuel cells via low crossover membranes and methanol tolerant
catalysts (performance = hydrogen)
Demonstrate liquidfueled microturbine generator with efficient power electronics (u10 W/ cm3)
Demonstrate quiet liquidfueled thermophotovoltaic power sources (250 W/kg)
300W compact fuel cell that operates on logistics fuels at moderate temperatures
Demo liquidfueled microturbine generator with efficient power electronics (u100 W/ cm3)
Demo high efficiency (u25%) logistic fueled alkali metal thermalelectric converter (AMTEC) power system
highly reliable fielded power systems made possible by better materials design and
improved manufacturing processes
Use biotechnology to produce useful quantities of fuel from renewable resources
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