WEST BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Employees from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division's (NSWCCD) Combatant Craft Division (CCD) displayed the results of developing technologies and partnerships at the second biennial Department of Defense (DOD) Lab Day in the Pentagon center courtyard, May 18.
Lab Day showcased innovations from 63 Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and medical laboratories and engineering centers across the country, featuring more than 80 exhibits.
"It's our goal to hold this event every two years to bring in the labs and show what our govern-ment scientists and engineers are doing every day to make a difference in the fight," said Dale A. Ormond, principal director of research in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering), to begin the event. "The displays here demonstrate what our defense labs do to solve problems today and design solutions for tomorrow."
Ormond introduced Mary J. Miller, acting assistant secretary of defense for research and engi-neering, who talked about her own history as a "lab rat" in the DOD laboratory community working on night vision for the Army early in her career and the diversity of the technologies on display and entities represented at Lab Day. She then discussed some of these in more detail, like the Soldier Weapon Exoskeleton on display by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, advanced ordnance technologies from the Air Force and the unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) and Stiletto Maritime Demonstration Program on display at CCD's booth.
"These labs provide a flexible in-house capability to quickly adjust to the warfighter's needs. They provide science and technology and engineering expertise to the entire Department of De-fense that allows our nation to maintain a technological edge over potential adversaries," Miller said. "Through these efforts, the department has continued to be the engine of innovation that allows our military to overcome current and future challenges to our security."
DOD Lab Day was sponsored by Rep. Jim Langevin of Rhode Island , a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and open to members of Congress, STEM-participating high schools, Pentagon employees, the media and special guests. Carderock's participation in the event highlighted current and future efforts for a range of purpose-built and re-purposed manned and unmanned combatant craft contributing to future warfighting needs for the Navy and Marine Corps, according to Scott Petersen, Combatant Craft Systems Design Branch head.
"Today we're showcasing two programs - unmanned vehicle programs and our Stiletto program. It's some of the most exciting work we're doing," Petersen said. "It's emergent, it's relevant, and it's being looked at a lot to change how we do business in the Navy. We're postured, we're developing technologies, we're getting smarter, and we're here to showcase these capabilities we have."
The Stiletto maritime demonstration platform is an experimental all-carbon-fiber craft that was originally built to explore the scalability of non-mechanical dynamic lift and high-speed performance for military operations. The ship has since become a test platform that can give industry, academic and government organizations a realistic environment in which they can demonstrate emerging capabilities and technologies without paying for operating costs. Petersen told visitors more about how CCD and the Navy use Stiletto, including as a command-and-control platform for UUVs, and why UUVs will figure heavily into the Navy's future.
"Like a drone you use to remove human involvement, there are all kinds of reasons to unman a boat: you can rescue a person from a minefield without endangering others or allow a Sailor to run a harbor security mission from an air conditioned room via remote control," Petersen said. "Then you have fully autonomous UUVs. Perhaps for that, you could set a boat by an oil rig and set it to respond when a vehicle gets too close. We're improving things like obstacle avoidance to make these vehicles more robust and capable, because there are many missions where you want the man out of the environment and back on shore."
John Phillips, mechanical engineer at CCD's Systems Integration Branch (Code 832) and
Dennis Danko, program manager for the Stiletto program (Code 833), also represented Card-erock at Lab Day.
Technologies on display by other Navy entities at Lab Day included low-cost ultra-wideband phased array antennas, transparent biometric armor and the electromagnetic railgun. Also at the event, Miller discussed the importance of STEM outreach, an endeavor Carderock is heavily involved in, and James MacStravic, performing the duties of the undersecretary of defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, recognized the DOD Service Scientists of the Year and the DOD STEM Advocates of the Year on stage in the courtyard.
CCD, in Little Creek, Virginia, is the Navy and DOD's center for excellence for manned and unmanned boats and combatant craft total systems engineering, providing craft technology and design, craft systems integration, science and technology, research and development, acquisition support and life-cycle engineering. CCD aims to maximize warfighter performance, minimize total ownership costs and smartly manage risk. CCD maintains expertise in naval architecture, hull, mechanical, electrical and electronics systems design and engineering, survivability, transportability, human systems integration, test and evaluation, logistics and life-cycle management. CCD supports more than 10,000 boats, craft, and life rafts worldwide.
For more information on CCD, visit http://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NSWC-Carderock/Who-We-Are/Norfolk-Virginia/.
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, a part of Naval Sea Systems Command, leads the Navy in hull, mechanical and electrical engineering. Headquartered in West Bethesda, Maryland, Carderock Division employs approximately 2,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel and includes detachments in Norfolk, Virginia (Little Creek); Port Canaveral, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; Bangor, Washington; Ketchikan, Alaska; and Bayview, Idaho.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock, visit www.navy.mil/local/nswcc/.