concept development. It has a talented technical pool, supporting primarily internal research of technologies of interest to the Army. For example, the laboratory’s Materials Division works on new, sophisticated materials for future infrared systems and has extensive capability in automatic target detection, acoustics, and so on. The parallel organization in the Army that supports external funding is the Army Research Office, with an emphasis on basic research.
RDECs. The Army has several RDECs with a wealth of scientific and engineering talent that can be called on by the homeland security community. These centers can support buying decisions with technical evaluations, can do component and system evaluation to support Qualified Product Lists, and can help develop technology demonstrations. Currently, the Communication and Electronic Command RDEC is supporting the New York City Transit Authority in a demonstration project.
The Army, as well as other components of the DOD, has significant testing ranges as well as a system for testing equipment to ensure that it meets users’ needs. The testing includes operation or performance testing as well as maintenance and logistics support testing.
Critical to any successful system for use by either the military or emergency responders is a logistics and maintenance concept. Usually developed during the systems development step/phase, the maintenance and logistics concept supports the sustainability of an item of equipment for many years, ensuring that the equipment can be serviced, repaired as necessary, replaced, and disposed of at the end of its life cycle. The Army has many years of experience in this area, usually resident in its logistical and commodities centers.