Tech

July 3, 2012

Army ‘upcycles,’ reuses old gear for new technologies

Tags:
by Kimberly Bell
Fort Belvoir, Va.

The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate recently completed a project for the Rapid Equipping Force on reusing discarded Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station imaging sensors for inexpensive, ground-based persistent surveillance systems.

Upcycling is not only “en vogue,” it is also the right thing to do as Army researchers are championing reuse of drawn-down or demilitarized items to save time, money and the environment.

The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate at Fort Belvoir, Va., recently completed a project for the Rapid Equipping Force on reusing discarded Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station imaging sensors for inexpensive, ground-based persistent surveillance systems.

The M153 Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station is known as CROWS. The CROWS system gives Soldiers the ability to remotely target and fire a weapon mounted atop a vehicle. The Soldier stays safely inside the vehicle. The technology behind the system has the potential to be recycled if the CROWS is disabled.

Soldiers in a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle with Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station, or CROWS system, atop finish a route clearance patrol with the 57th Sappers (Airborne), 27th Engineering Battalion, and pull into the Combat Outpost Nerkh in Wardak province, Afghanistan, June 9, 2012. The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate recently completed a project for the Rapid Equipping Force on reusing discarded CROWS imaging sensors for inexpensive, ground-based persistent surveillance systems.

Army engineers experimented with commercial, off-the-shelf computer hardware and developed new software control functionality needed to operate the sensors separately from the existing old CROWS electronics units.

The software, integrated by Allison Thackston and Sean Jellish, electronics engineers at CERDEC NVESD, allows for an operator to change sensor parameters and control the sensors on a pan/tilt unit, enabling the use of sensors within a new mission area.

For this project, called CROWS ISR, Bob Mayer, a mechanical engineer at CERDEC NVESD used a commercially available hardware processor board to host new software, mounted the sensors on a tripod and added a GPS.

CERDEC received hardware and software components to complete system integration with new packaging and successfully demonstrated the “upcycled” technology.

Mike Jennings, Special Products and Prototyping Division director at NVESD calls item reuse, like CROWS ISR, “innovative reset.” He believes that with the draw-down, an opportunity to recycle excess items coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan for current and future needs is burgeoning.

Reusing technologies can save the taxpayers a significant amount of money, he said. For instance, using these demilitarized items saves two-thirds the cost of a new commercial equivalent to a new and improved CROWS-ISR sensor system.

The collaborative effort could be the model for upcycling many of the Department of Defense’s demilitarized items, saving time, money and environment.

The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate recently completed a project for the Rapid Equipping Force on reusing discarded Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station imaging sensors for inexpensive, ground-based persistent surveillance systems.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NASA photograph by Chris Rink

NASA flies stormy Kansas Skies this summer for science

NASA photograph by Chris Rink Richard Ferrare, a senior research scientist from the Atmospheric Sciences Division at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., monitors the data input from the Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Exper...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

DC-8 reaches milestone

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas NASA’s DC-8 makes a low approach to Edwards Air Force Base. NASA’s DC-8 Flying Laboratory recently reached its third decade of delivering groundbreaking science. As a way to celebrate...
 
 
NASA photograph by Tom Tschida

NASA Armstrong leads team to test effects of volcanic ash on aircraft engines

NASA photograph by Tom Tschida Volcanic ash is sprayed into one of the F117 engines of a C-17 during the final phase of the Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research (VIPR) project July 9 at Edwards. The VIPR team, comprised of NA...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA, partners test unmanned aircraft systems

NASA photograph NASA’s Ikhana is being used to test a system that will allow uncrewed aircraft to fly routine operations within the National Airspace System. NASA, working with government and industry partners, is testing...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA-developed air traffic management tool flies into use

NASA photograph NASA Future Flight Central is a national Air Traffic Control/Air Traffic Management (ATC/ATM) simulation facility. The two-story facility offers a 360-degree full-scale, real-time simulation of an airport, where...
 
 
NASA photograph

Robotics teams prepare to compete for $1.5 million in NASA Challenge

NASA photograph The Los Angeles team Survey’s robot is seen as it conducts a demonstration of the level two challenge during the 2014 NASA Centennial Challenges Sample Return Robot Challenge, Thursday, June 12, 2014, at t...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>