The Energy Systems Technology Evaluation Program, or ESTEP, answers the call for renewable energy made by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, providing student veterans with internships in Navy organizations using advanced technologies.
“Finding reliable, alternative sources of energy is an essential component of naval strategy moving forward,” said Dr. Richard Carlin, director of the Sea Warfare and Weapons Department at ONR.
“ESTEP uniquely places student veterans interested in engineering and technology into working internships, where they gain hands-on skills and experiences as they advance energy research for the Navy and Marine Corps.”
Examples of such work include evaluation of smart grid and solar energy use at Camp Pendleton; development of cyber-secured energy management systems; enhancing wind-resistant rooftop photovoltaic panels; and more.
The hardware weighs less than two pounds and serves as a means of locating NASA’s flight imagery recorders that capture valuable image data of decelerators during deployment and deceleration. It’s a small box with a GPS receiver, satellite communications modem, batteries, and a dual band antenna.
Missions to Mars are expected to grow in the future “. . . so NASA needs new technology to slow these big landers from hypersonic entry speed to subsonic ground approach speeds,” said Rex Hall, Electronics Technician, ARL Project Lead Engineer; Flight Imagery Recorder Locator (FIRLo). He said using atmospheric drag is a solution that would save the rocket engines and conserve fuel for landing.
In NASA experiments, large decelerators will be deployed at supersonic speeds and slow the vehicle to safer speeds for the crew and cargo. Hall said that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, based in Pasadena, Calif., is leading full scale stratospheric testing of these technologies.
“The parachute decelerators will slow the vehicle from Mach 2 to subsonic speeds,” he said.
The Fire Scout system has proven itself in numerous and diverse operational deployments.
It has done this by supporting troops on the ground in Afghanistan, completing weapons Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) testing with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), continuing deployments on Guided Missile Frigates (FFG) class ships, and now preparing to welcome a new air vehicle to its ranks.
This week the newest Fire Scout variant, MQ-8C Fire Scout, will take to the skies for the first time.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout.(Photo provided by the U.S. Navy)
Our MQ-8C is an RDC effort in response to an urgent request to provide maritime based Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) at extended ranges from host ships in less than 24 months.
First flight is set to occur this month, 18 months after the contract award to prime integrator, Northrop- Grumman.
Leveraging off the existing MQ-8 Fire Scout infrastructure, the C variant provides the Navy with double the endurance and triple the payload capability of its predecessor, allowing for 15+ hours of flight time and over 2,600 lbs. of payload. This increase in capability will allow us the opportunity to put additional weight, perhaps sensors, on the aircraft.
Even our sea-worthy maps are going digital these days.
For more than 150 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has been charting America’s coastal and inland waters for the seafaring type. Starting in April of 2014, NOAA will stop printing paper nautical charts due to their low demand, federal budget constraints, and the increase of digital and electronic charting use. Sailors, boaters, and fisherman can use private, on demand printing, and versions of electronic charting systems.
NOAA’s electronic navigational charts are available for FREE from the coast survey website, www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov. They are updated weekly. Additionally, NOAA provides free digital charts in PDF format.
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Owned by the U.S. Navy, the MZ-3A is stationed at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md. (PAX) and is operated under the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Scientific Development Squadron ONE (VXS-1). (Photo: U.S. Navy)
In addition, the MZ-3A will conduct mapping operations within the DCA-Special Flight Restrictions Area (DCA-SFRA) and at times will traverse the region to the north to Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK) in Maryland and to the southwest near Culpepper, Va., (CJR) before ending operations Oct. 5 and departing to the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J.
Step onto an elevator beside Martin Drake, U.S. Central Command’s chief science and technology advisor, and one might be surprised to hear him deliver to perfect strangers an unclassified tutorial he calls “Science and Technology 101.”
Army Pfc. David Diaz ollects a DNA sample for biometrics from an Afghan man at a security checkpoint in Afghanistan’s Khost province. Central Command’s Science and Technology Division has been a major advocate of the technologies used for biometric identification and battlefield forensics to support deployed warfighters. (photo provided by U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Trumbull)
The impromptu briefing completed, Drake is known to cajole his unsuspecting “students” into raising their right hands so he can deputize them as “honorary deputy science advisors for U.S. Central Command.”
“I tell them, ‘It takes a village to be the best and to be able to understand where technology is going,’” said Drake, who runs Centcom’s dozen-member Science and Technology Division. “We can’t do this by ourselves, and we need their help.”
The elevator encounters are just one example of the team’s unrelenting quest to identify better ways to support warfighters in the command’s demanding and complex area of operations.
The office members, an eclectic mix of active-duty forces, military retirees and civilian employees, scour the Internet, professional journals and technology expositions to seek out new and emerging technology-related capabilities.
That boils down to taking gaps and requirements as identified by U.S. forces and partner nations in the theater, converting them into technical requirements, then going out to the science and technology community for solutions.
There’s a lot of talk these days about government cost and affordability. This fact is ever-present to military leaders. However, in spite of the uncertain economic times ahead, the U.S. Navy is making waves (that never gets old) when it comes to a bargain that’s both affordable and efficient for our fighting force. Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, director, Undersea Warfare, OPNAV N97, discusses the Ohio-class replacement program.
This class of submarine was designed in the 70′s and 80s, and was designed with planned service life of 30 years. That’s pretty impressive. According to RADM Breckenridge, America makes the best submarines in the world. The new class of submarine demonstrates that more than ever.
Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.
It may not look like it at first, but the military is really all about science.
For as much it’s all about the duty, honor, strength, patriotism and warfighter capabilities that make America’s military the indomitable force they are, the core is a scientific one.
One with no small history of accomplishment, either.
Rear Adm. John White. (Photo provided the U.S. Navy)
From the first computer system to the GPS. From UAVs to artificial intelligence. From new body armor to satellites in space. The military has been a trailblazer of sorts, leading the way in scientific and technological achievements. Because for as much as we want the strongest, most well-equipped fighting force, we also want a well-informed, scientifically sound one as well.
And for men like Rear Admiral John White, that makes all the difference.
Recently I sat down with the Navy’s ultimate scientist, Rear Admiral John W. White. Admiral White is the U.S. Navy’s Oceanographer and Navigator. He’s also the director of space and maritime domain awareness. So what does that mean, exactly?
“It’s a couple of different jobs, really,” he explains. “I am the senior oceanography officer in the Navy. That means that I’m responsible for all the policy and budget or resources that get used to characterize the atmosphere, the ocean environment, and even to map stars and keep track of timing for the Navy for navigational purposes.”
Basically, he says, he’s doing all of that so-called scientific work and applying it to Navy missions. No small feat, either. But it doesn’t stop there. (more…)