Defense

February 11, 2013

Army partners with industry for vehicle efficiencies

The Army is partnering with the automotive industry and others in an effort to jump-start the development of more energy-saving and high-performance vehicles, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, during a visit to the 2013 Washington Auto Show in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Feb. 5, 2013. Hammack also visited industry innovators and exhibits at the auto show, which featured “green car” technology from a number of U.S. and foreign auto makers. Here, Lt. Col. Shannon Jackson, from Rapid Equipping Force, discusses the features of an Army tactical motorcycle and the lightweight tactical all-terrain vehicle behind it.

The Army has partnered with the automotive industry and others in an effort to jump-start the development of more energy-saving and high-performance vehicles.

Most of these efforts are still in the research and development stages, but “our initial analyses (for future adaptation) are very promising,” said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.

Hammack was referring to research and development, or R&D, efforts between the Army and Detroit in the area of improved battery and tire technologies; the use of lighter structural materials; increased engine efficiencies; and more efficient drive and braking systems.

Her comments came at a media roundtable at the 2013 Washington Auto Show in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Feb. 5. Hammack also visited industry innovators and exhibits at the auto show, which featured “green car” technology from a number of U.S. and foreign auto makers.

While much of the technology is at least three to five years away from being rolled out to the field, Hammack said the Army already has an excellent vehicle track record.

The Army, one of largest users of ground vehicles in the world, is now using fuel-efficient technologies “as never before,” she said.

The Army already has achieved a 28.5 percent reduction in petroleum consumption of all its vehicles in just the last two years and is driving for a 30 percent total reduction within the next two years, she added.

This was made possible by investing in hybrid, electric and natural gas vehicles and also by reducing the number and size of vehicles to align them with mission requirements, she said.

For example, “in the past, we used (less fuel-efficient) Humvees to carry Soldiers to training ranges,” Hammack said. “Now we’re using light vehicles with better fuel efficiencies” to do the same job.

The Army’s collaborative efforts with Detroit come together at the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, in Warren, Mich. TARDEC’s laboratories are run by scientists and engineers who research everything from fuel and lubricants to propulsion systems and robotics. Besides vehicles, research also extends to unmanned battlefield robots.

One example of the work being done, she said, are tests in Hawaii to determine the feasibility of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, powered by solar/water instead of petroleum. Hawaii currently imports all its fuel, she added, making the testing locale particularly relevant.

Besides the auto industry, the Army is reaching out to utility companies as well. Plans are being made to test electric vehicles, which when not in use can return power to the grid, she said, adding that it’s possible the savings could even add up to the lease cost for the vehicle.

The Army is also partnering with the Department of Energy, or DOE, which has done a lot of research into applications that would be relevant for vehicles.

“By increasing our cooperation on advanced vehicle technologies, the DOE and the U.S. Army can accelerate the development and deployment of cutting-edge technologies that will decrease our dependence on oil,” said Steven Chu, the outgoing Secretary of Energy, in remarks last year. “Through this alliance, we can strengthen our military, our national security and our economy. Our work together can help create a clean energy economy that will create jobs and make America more competitive.”

Besides collaborating with Detroit and others, the Army is listening to ideas from its Soldiers in the field. “Soldiers often have great ideas,” Hammack said. “I’d encourage them to bring their ideas to us.”

The Army is using mobile laboratories as incubators for ideas, she said. These labs are brought to different installations and even to remote outposts in Afghanistan, where Soldiers are encouraged to brainstorm and develop solutions that in turn are taken to scientists and researchers.

Ironically, all of the ideas for saving money and making vehicle systems perform better could be placed on hold if sequestration kicks in, she said, adding that programs are already being affected by the ongoing continuing resolution which “restricts our abilities to implement some of our programs.”

On a positive note, Hammack said he Army is planning to conduct a Green Warrior Convoy, which will travel from TARDEC in Michigan to Washington, D.C., with planned stops at colleges, schools, communities and military installations to showcase the Army’s science and technology opportunities and development.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines August 1, 2014

News: Military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds - An independent panel appointed by the Pentagon and Congress said July 31 that President Obama’s strategy for sizing the armed services is too weak for today’s global threats. Defense industry funds flow to contenders for key House chairmanships - Four of the top...
 
 

News Briefs August 1, 2014

China allows foreign reporters at news conference Foreign reporters are being allowed to attend China’s Defense Ministry briefings for the first time, marking a small milestone in the increasingly confident Chinese military’s efforts to project a more transparent image. Restrictions still apply and there is no sign of an improvement in the generally paltry amount...
 
 
Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton

Rapid Equipping Force, PEO Soldier test targeting device at White Sands Missile Range

Army photograph by John Andrew Hamilton SFC Justin Rotti, a combat developer from the Training and Doctrine Command Fire Cell, Fires Center of Excellence, uses a developmental hand held precision targeting device during a test ...
 

 

NASA awards modification for geophysics, geodynamics, space geodesy support contract

NASA has awarded a modification to Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies Inc. of Greenbelt, Md. to continuing working the the Geophysics, Geodynamics and Space Geodesy Support Services contract. The maximum ordering value of the GGSG contract will increase to $76.8 million. The previous amount was $49.5 million. The increase in the maximum ordering value of the contract...
 
 
boeing-japan

Boeing, All Nippon Airways finalize order for 40 wide-body airplanes

  Boeing and All Nippon Airways July 31 finalized an order for 40 widebody airplanes – 20 777-9Xs, 14 787-9 Dreamliners and six 777-300ERs (Extended Range) – as part of the airline’s strategic long-haul fleet ren...
 
 

Excalibur Ib enters full rate production, receives $52 million award

TUCSON, Ariz., July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon’s Excalibur Ib precision guided projectile has entered full rate production. U.S. Army approval of FRP completes Excalibur Ib’s low rate initial production phase. †Additionally, the U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon $52 million for continued Excalibur Ib production. “The full rate production decision is the culmination ...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>