Thrust Areas in Defense

Air and Ground Vehicle Systems Health Management

The readiness of our military depends on the reliability of our air and ground forces. We work with the Department of Defense to develop, test, and field technologies for managing the health of aircraft and ground vehicles. For example, we develop field kits for the U.S. Army to detect cracking in the Stryker vehicle and are developing similar methods for HMMWVs. We are also working with metallic and composite vehicles for the Air Force and Marine Corps.

Development of Advanced Material Systems and Repairs

The Department of Defense has primarily used metals in the past but is transitioning to more advanced alloys and composite materials to achieve agility and tailored performance. We have developed new materials and processing techniques to assist in this transition. For example, we have designed and tested multifunctional panels for electronic enclosures. We have also developed flexible body armor and bonded composite repairs for structural components.

Structural Monitoring of Advanced Materials and Weapon Systems

Military systems including weapons and body armor are constantly being improved to better serve our soldiers. We have helped to develop new technologies forevaluating weapon and personnel protection systems that utilize new types of materials. For example, we have developed a method to monitor filament wound missile casings for use in longer range, higher precision attack missiles. We have also evaluated how various types of ceramic armors perform under ballistic loading.

Life Prediction for Prognostics in Defense Platforms

In order to plan military operations, the readiness of defense assets must be predicted by combining information from sensor data with advanced life models for materials and components. We have developed methods for predicting if/when a variety of components fail including gas turbine engines and stiffened aircraft panels.

Intelligent Sensors for Diagnostics and Situational Awareness

Sensors that measure key variables in military systems are an enabling technology for situational awareness and control. For example, we have developed miniature sensors that wirelessly transmit data drom rotating components and have fielded video surveillance sensors for naval ships.

Modeling & Simulation for Complex, Interoperating Systems

The military is continuously combating new threats. To achieve optimum performance, advanced models and simulations are used to predict how technologies and tactics will perform with humans in the loop. For example, we have developed power system and network models for ships and simulations that describe terrorist and insurgent actions in multi-nation models.


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