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U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan required large quantities of diesel fuel for electric power generation, a liability that proved costly in both dollars and lives of American combat troops. The same dependency in a future conflict could prove even more costly. One promising source of available power for deployed units is the power that is already available in an area of operations commonly referred to as host nation power. Unfortunately, electrical interconnection with host nation grid power poses serious technical and political risks. In many parts of the world, it is not reliable, resilient, or cyber secure. Specifically, their grid capacity, stability and power quality are rarely adequate for host population needs and direct connection with the host nation grid presents a significant cybersecurity risk. Fortunately emerging technologies may offer promising options to enable safe and efficient interconnection with host nation power in austere environments.
The key technical challenge is “Given advances in power technologies, is sharing power with a host nation technically feasible?” The Engineering Research and Development Center within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to explore how to satisfy battlefield energy and power needs utilizing existing or upgraded host nation power infrastructure.
LONG TERM GOAL
Develop flexible technologies that initially provide standalone battlefield energy self-sufficiency but can easily transition into enabling a power sharing arrangement with a host nation.
Deployed military units need a way to utilize host nation utility power as part of their overall electric power generation portfolio without sacrificing power availability, quality, or security.
US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering Research and Development Center, Tactical Microgrid Standards Consortium (TSMC) Project Manager, Thomas A. Bozada (Thomas.A.Bozada@usace.army.mil)
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, Operational Energy Innovation Team, Director of Innovation, RuthAnne Darling (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For the battle wounded, blood is the “elixir of life” and loss of it, or hemorrhage, contributes to the majority of preventable deaths. Transfusions with adequate amounts of blood are one of the best ways to improve mortality rates. However, blood storage and transport demand specific temperatures for individual blood components that are then warmed to a temperature appropriate for transfusion.
In a balanced transfusion, whole blood is made up of 3 components:
1. Cold storage platelets (plts) which must be stored at +1°C to +6°C
2. Packed red blood cells (pRBC) which must be stored at +1°C to +6°C
3. Fresh frozen plasma (FFP) typically stored at less than -30°C and must remain frozen
In and around conflict zones, medical teams lack blood storage technology that lasts longer than five days, uses minimal electricity, and are man portable. While current conflict scenarios offer territorial security for regular resupply, future conflicts may not have this luxury and more resilient blood storage capabilities will minimize operational risk in access denied environments.
Forward deployed medical teams need to store adequate volumes of chilled blood components without access to an energy grid in order to decrease the number of battle wounded deaths.
Considerations with regards to current standards, practices, and scenarios.
In the course of post-9/11 military campaigns, the U.S. military has grown accustomed to operational environments in which electromagnetic concerns were largely restricted to counter-improvised explosive device matters. A tactical-level unit's electromagnetic signature was of practically no concern otherwise. During this same period, the number of "chatty" technologies a typical unit employs has grown steadily. These include signals from radios, battle tracking systems, navigation technologies, personal devices, and many others.
As the U.S. refocuses to meet more technologically advanced threats, tactical-level operators face a compounded challenge: their electromagnetic signature is larger and more identifiable than ever; they have come to rely on the emitting technologies; and adversaries have increasingly sophisticated means to track and target these signatures (including kinetic means.) As an example of this, since 2014, Russia has used electronic warfare to detect electromagnetic emissions from the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) would ultimately like the broader ability to maneuver freely in an operational environment.
Determine how to obscure the electromagnetic signature of a U.S. military unit.
The Air Force Space Command controls and operates the Space and Missile System Center (SMC), which is in charge of acquiring and developing military space systems. It is controlled and operated by the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC). The Tools, Applications, and Processing (TAP) Lab provides capabilities and utility of remote sensing data. In January 2016, the AFSPC’s SMC and the 460th Space Wing established the Overhead Persistent Infrared Battlespace Awareness Center (OBAC). OBAC’s mission is to rapidly deliver real-time capabilities to its operational users, including OBAC operators.
The TAP Lab plans to leverage private sector technologies that can help them reach mission critical objectives. More specifically, the TAP Lab would like to examine how private companies introduce new products and capabilities quickly, and which commercial solutions they can use that satisfy necessary criteria.y. The TAP Lab is currently managing and assessing more than ten applications and algorithms in the Secure-Software Development Life Cycle (S-SDLC). It is expected that several more applications will need to get to the OBAC once they pass Technical Readiness Levels (TRL) requirements at the TAP Lab. This will cause a bottleneck effect, or a lack of capacity to rapidly develop and deliver these applications given the current workload.
Currently, TAP Lab’s Development and Operations (DevOps) environment is manually intensive for OBAC operators to accurately assess how current or potential future capabilities measure up against current commercial solutions. Although OBAC operators are actively using various research and development methods, TAP Lab lacks a secure, transparent, and agile process to quickly deploy these new capabilities to operational users.
The Tools, Applications, and Processing (TAP) Lab needs a seamless and transparent procedure in the secure-software development life cycle (S-SDLC) in order to keep pace with changes to private sector technologies.
The Tools, Applications, and Processing (TAP) Lab needs an automated process to help the Overhead Persistent Infrared Battlespace Awareness Center (OBAC) operators assess current and potential future applications for new capabilities.
The District of Columbia National Guard (DCNG) is one of 54 National Guard units in the United States and its territories. In recent years, the DCNG has not met its annual recruiting goals. Recruiters from the DCNG currently employ antiquated recruiting approaches by relying on referrals, cold calling, and in person engagements such as career fairs. Current methods do not offer effective recruiting approaches on mobile or on the internet.
An added dimension to this challenge is that the percentage of young people who are eligible for military service is decreasing and of that eligible population, all uniformed services are competing for attention. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard are competing with the 54 National Guard units for talent. In most communities, the National Guard has the lowest “brand recognition” and is often only considered by young people who know someone already in the National Guard.
The DC Air National Guard would like to explore how to cost-effectively and, more importantly, time-effectively recruit young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to join military service, and in particular, to select the National Guard over the active duty.
In order to meet recruiting goals, DC National Guard recruiters must learn and adopt modern advertising and lead development techniques as part of a more effective and more efficient enterprise-level recruiting effort.
The U.S. Marine Corps employs a variety of small-unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) to support ground operations. The current fleet includes fixed-wing models like the RQ-11B Raven, the RQ-12A Wasp, and the RQ-20A Puma as well as commercial platforms used for experimentation such as the PS1 Instant Eye, Prox Dynamics PD-100, DJI Phantom, and the Datron Sky Ranger. The Marine Corps hopes to use SUAS to enable rapid target engagement, support force protection, increase ground troops’ situational awareness, as well as provide new electronic warfare and command, control, communications, and computer (C4) capabilities. However, the current fleet has only been able to meet partial force protection and situational awareness needs.
The Marine Corps’ unmet needs remain critical. For example, because the current fleet of SUAS does not offer persistent C4 capabilities ground units can lose easily connectivity when operating in urban or jungle terrain. This inhibits communication between units and potentially endangers them. Ground troops would be able to decide and act faster using SUAS C4 capabilities. In order to fulfill the capability gaps in the current fleet of SUAS, and starting with C4 capabilities, the USMC Fires and Maneuver Integration Division and RAND Corporation would like to test the technical feasibility of various payload applications. If solved, persistent C4 capabilities would further enable rapid target engagement.
The Fires and Maneuver Integration Division needs to provide ground units small-unmanned aerial systems with enhanced command, control, communication, and computers capabilities in order to think, move, and act faster, particularly in low-connectivity environments.
Since 2014, Operation Inherent Resolve (the Coalition to defeat ISIS) has liberated vast amounts of ISIS-held land to local populations. As of October 2017, the U.S. military assessed 786 civilians had been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since 2014. For the United States, the Combined Air Operations Center in Qatar manages the intelligence behind the Air Force’s fight against ISIS. Before planning an air strike, civilian activity is taken into consideration in three separate instances: (1) collect evidence that the target is military in nature, (2) assess potential civilian impact, and (3) determine a civilian pattern of life analysis from drone footage (and other available military intelligence) during mission planning. CHALLENGE
Design a way for intelligence analysts to integrate publicly or commercial available data into the decision cycle for dynamic air strikes in order to more accurately assess patterns of civilian life to prevent civilian casualties.
The Air Force is currently experiencing a shortage of pilots. Industrial age training methods are unable to keep pace with increasing demands to boost pilot production without the luxury of the required number of instructor pilots. As a result, instructor pilots often fly with inadequately prepared students. This lack of preparation drives an inefficient use of instructor’s time as well as aircraft and flight time availability. Previously, large enough reserves of aircraft and plentiful manpower has enabled the Air Force to produce more pilots on demand. However, aging aircraft fleets and dwindling instructor manning have limited production capabilities.
In the initial phase, pilot training students receive three focused weeks of academic instruction at eight hours a day. For the following four months, they balance studying and approximately 100 hours of flight time. Before they start the five months of primary training, there is no expectation that students grasp basic flight operations or spend extensive time studying training materials. Instructors have realized that a lack of general knowledge regarding topics such as basic flight principles, radio call protocols, and foundations of aviation can disadvantage students entering a training program. Easy to access and effective resources for training would better equip students to succeed prior to and during their formal training courses. In the past, students consulted unofficial sources because official sources or study guides were unavailable to students before starting, but training materials have recently been revised and are more easily accessed. Students must be prepared for their flight hours and check rides, which are specific flights to evaluate student progress.
Pilot training students need an effective way to engage with pilot training materials before and during their training in order to ensure a better pass rate on training evaluations.
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