Feb. 1, 2013 —
Some Recent Sensor-Related Army Critical Technology Events, James A. Ratches, Richard Chait, and John W. Lyons examined current Critical Technology Events (CTEs) that are new or ongoing in US Army Science and Technology (S&T) community. CTEs are ideas, concepts, models and analyses, including key technical and managerial decisions, which have had a major impact on the development of a specific weapons system. The five on-going projects within the Army S&T portfolio selected for inclusion in the report are the Global Positioning System (GPS)-guided munitions, Excalibur; the persistent surveillance platform, Global Hawk; Unattended Transient Acoustic/Artillery MASINT System (UTAMS); the thermal imaging night sight technology; and 5V Li-ion batteries for battlefield power sources. The authors identified 42 CTEs in the development of the Army sensors; 24 of the 42 reported were uniquely contributed by the in-house Army laboratories; 57 percent of all the CTEs originated in the Army S&T laboratories. Further, the authors draw the following conclusions: that Army laboratories make significant technical and enabling contributions to Army platforms and capabilities; Army S&T laboratories are uniquely suited to represent, defend, and guide the satisfaction of Army requirements; Army laboratories have the people, infrastructure, and determination to satisfy evolving and established needs; and the Army S&T community is the singular force in collaboration with industry and academia that ensures Army needs are optimally met in an effective, efficient, and affordable manner. The report attempts to show that the S&T resources and processes in place continue to generate CTEs in the sensor and power area for the next generation of Army systems. It concludes that it is critical to the Army’s mission to foster and nurture the Army’s in-house S&T tech base.