ORLANDO, Fla. — The Army named 10 winners to its greatest inventions competition as scientists and researchers gathered for the start of the Army Science Conference here Nov. 29.
The winning entries are:
1. Burn Fluid Resuscitation Support System. This system is a computer application for assisting medical providers with resuscitating severe burn victims. The team lead is Dr. Jose Salinas, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The system reduces fluid requirements across all phases of resuscitation, as well as lowering infusion volumes normalized to body weight and burn size. Finally the system sends expertise to the deployed environment by allowing non-burn providers to resuscitate burn victims without an expert bedside.
2. Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System. From the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center and Team Lead Tony Bui at Fort Monmouth, N.J., this is the first field deployable portable battery charging system. The Army fielded the system January-August 2009. It incorporates solar power as alternative energy source in harsh environments and has the potential to greatly reduce fuel consumption. Officials said the portable power solution is lightweight, highly modular design and allows quick, simple, no-tools set up, operation, and breakdown.
3. Landmine Blast Field Event Reconstruction. This system reconstructs an underbody blast field event using data gathered from theater. Developed at the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center at Warren, Mich. Under Team Lead Madan Vunnam, the system integrates all key elements of a blast phenomenon: soil, air, charge, vehicle, and occupant, and creates a model that allows the Army to bridge the gap between live fire test and actual field events. Officials said the next step is to use human models and field cases to analyze catastrophic injuries and protect against them.
4. MRAP Overhead Wire Mitigation Kit. Soldiers driving the MRAP vehicle were frequently knocking out voltage lines, putting crews and equipment at risk in addition to aggravating locals and damaging infrastructure. Researchers at the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center at Warren, Mich. took an idea from Soldiers in the field and applied science. The Army fielded the kit in Iraq in June 2009 under Team Lead Michael Rose. The invention guides low-hanging wires safely up and over MRAP vehicles. It clears wire as low as 8-feet at 35 mph. Officials said the kit adapts easily to newly integrated vehicles and requires no modification and can be installed without special tools.
5. Wolfhound Handheld Threat Warning System. Developed by a team from the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center Team Lead John Lynch at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the system provides operators with a portable, rugged, low-power direction finding system that is user-friendly, accurate, and supports stand alone and cooperative use. Basically, the Wolfhound is a handheld radio frequency threat and direction finding system. Officials said the Wolfhounds supports fixed site, man-pack, and vehicle mounted operations and is the only known handheld device of its kind. The Army fielded 92 of the systems in 2009.
6. M320 40 mm Grenade Launcher. This weapon is a direct replacement for M203 Grenade Launcher. It attaches directly under rifle barrel, or may be used as stand alone weapon. The M320 has a laser range finder and IR illuminator and designator for easily acquiring targets. It also features a double action trigger mechanism increasing safety and reliability compared with M203. Officials said the operator could easily change out the weapon’s function. Researchers were led by Frank Torres, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. at the U.S. Army Armament Research and Development Center. The Army fielded the weapon in June 2009.
7. Counter RCIED Electronic Warfare Duke V3. The Duke counters all current and emerging threats with one program load and may be reprogrammed as the threat evolves. The Duke performs the Controlled Improvised Explosive Device mission with minimal interference to Blue Force Tracker and other crew systems. The team, led by Ramon Llanos, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is from the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center. This is the first crew system to encompass all C-RCIED subsystems into one encompassing program. The Army fielded 12,500 units in 2009.
8. Upgrade from Unmanned Aerial System for AH64D Apache Helicopter. Team Lead is Col. Thomas H. Bryant, Fort Eustis, Va. from the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. Improvements include design enhancements, new software, reduced electro-magnetic interference, and exploitation of Vortex technology and encryption. The upgrades increase an aircrew’s situational awareness and change the way the Army fights with Apaches. The system receives and provides intelligence to and from ground forces.
9. Objective Weapon Elevation Kit. Safely elevates the M2 to engage targets while keeping Soldiers protected. This invention raises the entire assembly by 5.25″ and elevation angle from 67 to 80 degrees. It can be used on any existing tactical vehicle, including MRAPs. Officials said the kit is very popular with both conventional and nonconventional units. Researchers are led by Sanjay Parimi, from the Armament Research and Development Center, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. The Army fielded 700 kits January to August 2009.
10. 40mm Pivoting Coupling. This is currently a standard issue item for combat and training and gives Soldiers the ability to re-link single rounds, partial, or full belts in the field. This means unspent or new ammunition can be attached seamlessly while eliminating the need to stop firing and reload. This provides continuous firepower for the MK19 weapon system. The team was led by Eric Goon, from the Armament Research and Development Center, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.
Each team took the stage at an Orlando convention center as Army leaders recognized the need for new and innovative technological ideas.
Soldiers, who served as evaluators for the competition, are key to the program’s success, officials said.
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