Lab Narratives

These in-depth stories were developed to raise awareness about the importance of Defense laboratories, engineering centers, and warfare centers as unique catalysts for innovation as well as showcase the critical work they perform. By sharing stories about the people and institutions behind science and technology, DoD STEM aims to increase interest in STEM careers.

 

The DoD labs are the foundation for research to support our nation’s defense. Since the earliest days in our history, private industry has built upon knowledge discovered by DoD and developed tools and conveniences for everyday use.

DoD STEM scientists and engineers are people who love problems – a good fit because the DoD labs have some of the most challenging problems out there. DoD STEM scientists and engineers are given the latitude and the responsibility to try to answer them.

 

How Army Researchers Will Conquer the Helicopter Pilot’s Greatest Enemy

Drawing A Line In The Sand

Army pilots say that simply maneuvering a helicopter to land in the superfine dust of Iraq or Afghanistan is more dangerous than any threat of combatant fire. For them, sand is the greatest enemy. Scientists and engineers at the U.S. Army Research Lab at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland are developing new coatings for engine components that will enable pilots to operate in any kind of environmental condition, making it possible to carry on in any hazards like dust, volcanic ash, debris, and smoke.

Military Branch: 
Army
Science Type: 
Engineering, Physical Science, Technology
How Army researchers developed an eletro-optical microsatellite that will give warfighters a real-time tactical edge

Modern Warfare Looks to The Skies

In many remote areas where soldiers operate, communication over large bodies of water or rugged terrain from the field to headquarters is nonexistent, raising uncertainty of a successful operation and increasing risk of loss of life and failure of the mission. U.S. Army researchers at the Huntsville, Alabama-based Space and Missile Defense Technical Center are developing the Kestrel Eye, an elecrooptical microsatellite to produce tactically useful 1.5-meter imagery for the ground warfighter.

Military Branch: 
Army
Science Type: 
Engineering, Earth and Space, Mathematics, Technology
Battling the Military’s Most Ancient Foe by Nurturing Gut Bacteria

Slaying the Traveler’s Demon

When soldiers deploy to different parts of the world, they must contend with many different threats and challenges. Combat comes to many people’s minds when they think of the hardships of deployment, but another major problem soldiers face is the unwanted encounter of getting sick from bacteria or other pathogens in food or water.

Military Branch: 
Army
Science Type: 
Functional Biology, Chemistry
Air Force Research Laboratory Developing The Worlds First Sweat-Based Biosensors

Sweating The Small Stuff

In today's ever-changing, fast-paced digital world, it is clear that every aspect of people’s lives are being transformed through emerging technologies that impact the way they work, learn and live. These technological advancements have helped individuals on a national and global scale to digitize, analyze, and simplify the way in which they operate and function on both a personal and professional level.

Military Branch: 
Air Force
Science Type: 
Engineering, Cellular Biology, Functional Biology, Technology

The Art of The Possible

A team of engineers in the Navy’s flagship research lab in Washington, D.C. keep breaking their own records as they take lessons from past prototypes to build new autonomous systems to expand the capabilities and options available to the warfighter. Their mission is to investigate the art of the possible, whether it’s powering a drone with a liquid hydrogen fuel cell and making it fly for as long possible, or creating a disposable motorless micro-UAV that can glide in a swarm and create a network of sensors.

Military Branch: 
Navy
Science Type: 
Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry, Technology