would benefit from being carefully coordinated with similar work underway in other parts of the Army and other services.
The limiting of equipment maintenance and downtime for unexpected failures is a critical Army need. There are two paths to achieving the desired results: (1) the embedding of sensors to detect impending failures so that action can be taken before the next mission, or (2) the conduct of statistical analysis based on mission usage to determine when to take maintenance action. The current programs are based on the embedded-sensor approach; however, many sensors are less reliable than the equipment that they are attempting to measure, and “low-hanging fruit” from the statistical method is available. Therefore, the research efforts on prognostics and diagnostics should investigate both methods.
Electric power vehicles will be more commonplace in the future Army. Therefore, VTD should have programs or develop influence and awareness of high energy density for electrical motors, batteries, power conditioning, and control of electric drive trains.
VTD efforts to encourage personnel to participate in conferences, publications, committees in the technical community, and other professional interactions are commendable. Contact with other funding agencies, investigators, and professional societies are essential for VTD to maximize the results of its efforts. Opportunities exist for VTD to increase the awareness of and leverage activities of other agencies and offices; VTD should continue its emphasis in this area. Metrics for success with respect to such opportunities need to be constantly examined in terms of strategic technical goals, objectives, and expectations. VTD presented some very positive results from this activity; for example, the drive train activity includes collaborations with universities in the production of papers, analyses, and experiments. The facilities and intellectual resources of NASA should continue to be utilized as Army representatives in those activities leverage NASA work and capabilities.
The organizational research model of the CTAs is commendable. This model allows the best personnel of industry, academia, and ARL to collaborate on research areas of great interest to the Army. The Robotics CTA is continuing to do state-of-the-art work. The testing and demonstration areas at Fort Indiantown Gap are capable of ensuring that the results of the CTA meet Army needs; however, the current quality of robotic test design needs to be upgraded.