Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) to expand the capabilities of SLAD’s assessment tools. A timely new program to develop a metric to predict mild traumatic brain injury represents a change from SLAD’s past focus on materiel. These two programs, combined with many others focused on assessing behind-armor, blunt trauma, and injury due to under-body blast, demonstrate the SLAD commitment to ensuring soldier survivability.
Collaborations in all SLAD program areas continue to improve, and the contribution to quality of work and dissemination of results was evident. Collaborations in SLAD’s core competency areas are moving toward excellence, and their continued expansion is encouraged.
The collaborative efforts between SLAD and HRED build on the expertise of each organization to rapidly develop a new anthropomorphic test device (WIAMan) for assessing injury from underbody blast (UBB). The program is well designed and has already provided excellent insights. One challenge is to ensure that the characteristics of the device make it applicable to females as well as males. Collaborations with academic partners for the same UBB injury assessment program area identified a work-around for critical issues involving limited distribution of live-fire test data. SLAD researchers have partnered with academia to get better data by using cadavers instead of anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs). By comparing the relative response between ATDs and cadavers, SLAD now has good data obtained under controlled conditions against which to benchmark WIAMan. This is an excellent example of the use of collaboration with organizations rich in experience in synergistic technology areas, leveraging SLAD expertise to expand their capabilities.
The program to develop a multispectral method for evaluation of an electro-optical/infrared sensor is another example of good collaborations with various government agencies. For example, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) is responsible for the battlefield integration of the selected sensor, and SLAD provides field measurements and multispectral sensor results. It was found that no single wavelength would provide sufficient detection of all possible threats, and so a multispectral method was developed. Collaborations seem well aimed to take advantage of other groups’ expertise to reduce the size of the multispectral sensor and to collect additional data for developing empirical models. This program demonstrates a good mix of empirical work and analysis.
SLAD has partnered with the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate (CISD) to expand the capabilities of its S4 simulation tool to include the Wireless Emulation Laboratory model developed by CISD to emulate a mobile, ad hoc network. This collaboration could enable S4 to include real-time modeling of mobile network systems. This program is still quite young, and few results are available, but SLAD has the beginnings of a sound project plan and is partnering and collaborating with other services (Naval Research Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory, and Air Force Office of Scientific Research).
In several programs, innovation resulted in significant contributions to the advancement of methodology and the development of standards.
Historically, operational data have displayed a wide variability that is believed to result from variability of the experience of the data collectors. Live-fire experiments were designed to provide results that would coincide with operational information, thereby providing a controlled experimental basis for more consistent interpretation of operational data. By reinterpreting the operational data based on live-fire results, a more accurate estimate of vulnerability was obtained. These efforts demonstrate the excellent use of analysis to inform interpretation of empirical data, which can then be used to inform