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2009-2010 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory
content of such cross-organizational endeavors. ARLTAB panels would continue to focus on one directorate in each review. Representatives from collaborating directorates might be invited to such cross-organizational briefings, and they might contribute to interactive discussions, but they would not normally be presenting the briefing itself. In addition, ARLTAB encourages ARL to continue to take advantage of the opportunity to use the Board to carry out additional reviews of specific cross-organizational programs as they are being developed and executed. Such reviews would encourage the gap analysis required to address properly the issue of what additional opportunities should be pursued by ARL.
Deficiencies in the Research Process
In most of the projects reviewed, the research problems and objectives were clearly and adequately defined; investigators showed their awareness of related research in the extramural community and had formed productive collaborations where available. The language-translation work in the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate (CISD) evinced a well-planned movement from speech recognition, to text translation, to the current focus on parsing large volumes of documents. The CISD program in network analysis proceeds according to a clear articulation of project goals and plans. Additional strengths of this program include the support of three new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects on source selection, a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, and expanded interactions with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), Collaborative technology Alliance (CTA) participants, and end users.
In the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate (SEDD), as a general rule changes are guided by a clearly stated long-term vision for each of the major SEDD mission areas. For example, the vision for the area of extreme energy and power describes an objective to provide the individual soldier with access to two or three augmented energy sources on the mesoscale and microscale, and the vision for the area of heterogeneous electronics highlights intelligent systems built from multiple technologies integrated into clothing, vehicle surfaces, and other stuctures in the warfighter’s environment.
The emerging neuroscience group in the Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) has clearly set goals as part of its management of in-house programs and CTA collaborations. In the Survivability and Lethality Analysis Directorate (SLAD), the development of the methodology for achieving an understanding of underbody blast effects is well thought out and combines appropriate physics and necessary codes for assessing damage to vehicles. There is a good understanding of the limitations of the various elements that are interconnected to form the overall methodology. SLAD’s Target Interaction Lethality/Vulnerability (TILV) programs demonstrate collaboration efforts with the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate (WMRD) as well as the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). There was also collaboration in international data-collection efforts using facilities such as the test ranges at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; facilities at Adelphi, Maryland; and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, as well as ARL’s computational facilities.
The Vehicle Technology Directorate (VTD) has developed a capability concepts approach that allows VTD to connect research projects to specified objectives and to prioritize research and research areas so that work impacting several capability concepts can be moved forward, and research that does not apply to any capability concept might be redirected or stopped. At VTD, some high-quality technical work contributes significantly to the work of the overall technical community. For example, the compressor-tip-injection stall control work that couples experimental data and computational fluid mechanics is state of the art and will enable the industrial design community to improve gas turbine fuel economy and reduce compressor stall. In a similar manner, the windage work in high-speed gear systems is state of the art and promises to improve gearbox efficiency across a wide range of vehicles. The 3,000 to 10,000