By Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board, Laboratory Assessments Board, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, National Research Council
This quantity is the most recent in a chain of biennial checks of the medical and technical caliber of the military examine Laboratory (ARL). the present record summarizes findings for the 2007-2008 interval, in which ninety five volunteer specialists in fields of technological know-how and engineering participated within the following actions: vacationing ARL each year, receiving formal displays of technical paintings, interpreting amenities, conducting technical discussions with ARL employees, and reviewing ARL technical fabrics. the final caliber of ARL's technical employees and their paintings is still striking, in addition to the relevance in their paintings to military wishes. ARL keeps to show a transparent, passionate hindrance for the tip person of its technology--the soldier within the box. whereas directorates have huge program-support missions, there's massive customer-support paintings around the directorates, which universally reveal mindfulness of the significance of transitioning know-how to aid instant and near-term military wishes. ARL employees additionally proceed to extend their involvement with the broader clinical and engineering neighborhood. This involvement contains tracking appropriate advancements in different places, accomplishing major collaborative paintings (including the Collaborative expertise Alliances), and sharing paintings via peer experiences. in most cases, ARL is operating rather well inside of a suitable examine and improvement area of interest and has been demonstrating major accomplishments.
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Extra info for 2007-2008 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory
Many of these challenges may be overcome by cross-divisional efforts within ARL. Such collaborations may help, for example, in the use of weather data for the routing of UAVs, for which simple but static algorithms that do not account for weather movements, vehicle dynamics, and formation flying are liable to be inflexible and unverifiable. An understanding of the state of the art in route planning, for both military and commercial aviation, is essential, as is an understanding of how to create more robust, adaptable, and dynamic algorithms.
The HRED Acting Director has been applying a new analytical planning framework, referred to as the Mission and Means Framework (MMF), to plan and coordinate various projects. This approach, although new and unproven, may have merit in that it provides a strong mission-oriented context for various projects; there is concern, however, that it may stifle creative think26 HUMAN RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING DIRECTORATE 27 ing and breakthrough innovations by HRED scientists who wish to study more fundamental problems that do not easily fit into a particular defined mission.
While serious attempts to use emerging computing devices are laudable, as in the establishment of the Asymmetric Computing Laboratory, there is the danger that more efficient alternative algorithmic approaches may be overlooked. Evidence of this is the recent Stanford vehicle that won the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s autonomous vehicle grand challenge by using simple machine learning techniques rather than complex and very computing-intensive, specialized image processing. Crosscutting Issues of Relevance to the Directorate Almost all of the crosscutting issues discussed above are of direct relevance to CISD activities or have aspects that could benefit strongly from CISD involvement.