January 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. soldiers assigned to the Regimental Engineer Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, launch the RQ-7 Shadow, an American unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), in Rose Barracks, Germany, in May 2020. The service relies heavily on UAVs to provide surveillance and reconnaissance support for warfighters and, as such, needs future power capabilities for longer UAV flights.  U.S. Army photo by Maj. John Ambelang

Mounting threats from adversaries and the need to support multidomain operations require unmanned aerial vehicles that can run longer, repower quickly and fly farther. For the U.S. Army to rely on advanced unmanned aerial vehicles in the future, associated motors and fuels—and for smaller vehicles, battery recharging capabilities—must evolve. Researchers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s (CCDC’s) Army Research Laboratory (ARL) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, are examining the possibilities of hybrid propulsion systems that harness multiple fuels.

August 7, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Ripsaw M5 robotic combat vehicle developed by a team made up ofTextron, Howe & Howe, and FLIR Systems, is one of two robotic systems being developed for the Army's manned-unmanned teaming concept.  The other is the a light robotic vehicle being developed by QinetiQ and Pratt and Miller. The service is conducting a series of experiments to test the concept using surrogate vehicles while the robotic systems are in development. Photo courtesy of Textron

Manned-unmanned teaming technologies being assessed in a weeks-long experiment are receiving mostly positive reviews from Army officials and non-commissioned officers.

The Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team and Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center are conducting soldier operational experiments at Ft. Carson, Colorado, from June 15 through August 14. The goal is to observe, collect and analyze feedback from soldiers to assess the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat formations.

July 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Army soldier patrols an urban area in this artist’s concept showing aerial and ground unmanned vehicles supporting his mission as a team. The Army Research Laboratory has established a real-world testbed at Graces Quarters, Maryland, in which autonomous vehicles can be put through their paces in woods, fields, marshes and urban areas to explore similar scenarios.  ARL image

Robots trying out to become part of the U.S. Army’s battlefield force now have their own real-world testbed built atop what used to be a nerve gas testing site. The Army Research Laboratory has built the Robotics Research Collaboration Campus, or R2C2, in Graces Quarters at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Formerly a superfund site, the area now is sprouting buildings amid mixed wooded and grassy terrain typical of what the Army may find on future battlefields.

April 22, 2020

Chantilly, Virginia-based Perspecta Inc. announced April 22 that the Army awarded a $14.5 million contract to the company's applied research arm, Perspecta Labs, to develop autonomous defensive cyber operation solutions. Under the five-year contract, Perspecta Labs will support the autonomous defensive cyber operations program of the Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC), Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (C5ISR) at the Army's Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate. 

March 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Army sergeant communicates via radio on maneuvers in Germany. Army researchers are looking to incorporate new technologies into the service’s communications network to be able to maintain information supremacy in future combat operations.  U.S. Army photo

Long-extant technologies will team with advances only dreamed of in laboratories if planners have their way in building the Army network of the future. The service is revamping its approach to networking in light of changes to the warfighting picture, and its scientists are working on a multitude of complementary technologies and capabilities that will be needed to empower future Army networks.

December 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Roboticists at the Army Research Lab are pulling together components for robots to be able to take verbal instruction from soldiers and then complete a series of complex tasks. Here, the robot acts as a forward observer, detects a possible enemy position and relays the information to the soldier, who plans their next move.  CCDC ARL

Scientists at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland, are preparing robots that can talk with soldiers, navigate in a “socially compliant” manner and learn from demonstration. The effort to enable robots to take verbal instruction, complete a series of complex tasks and maneuver in the same environments as soldiers is all part of the Army’s long-term endeavor to create fully skilled battlefield operators that work with warfighters, say Ethan Stump and John Rogers, roboticists at the Army Research Lab (ARL).