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.

 

From anthrax to VX agent, Army scientists provide a first line defense against some of the deadliest weapons the world has ever seen

A Wealth of Poisons: Toxins, Spores and Nerve Agents

The advent of mega-cities, advanced robotics and cyber threats are converging with existing dangers like diseases or lethal hybrid drug concoctions. ECBC researchers are tasked with developing solutions for a battlefield that hasn’t quite come into focus yet, but one that, when it does, could pose an immediate national security threat.

Military Branch: 
Army
Science Type: 
Formal Science, Cellular Biology, Chemistry, Technology

Cooking up an Answer to Corrosion

The U.S. Air Force pays $5.7 billion a year to tackle rust-related repairs and maintenance, while the United States spends around $552 billion a year battling corrosion. It’s thought that as much as 20 percent of that total can be blamed on tiny microorganisms that digest metals, paints, and plastics, or that excrete harmful acids. Air Force researchers have developed a huge oven that can slowly cook entire aircraft, broiling away the microbes, molds, and mildews that cause material degradation. Now scientists are working to adapt the system to treat biodiesel tanks and other infrastructure, in a bid to eliminate harmful microbes from the Air Force’s fuel supply chain.

Science Type: 
Applied Science, Engineering, Chemistry

Cyber Warrior

Red teams test the U.S. military and defense establishment’s cyber infrastructure as an enemy would to find loopholes, weaknesses and areas for improvement. This is the story of Jason Jurand, the leader of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic’s Red Team.

Military Branch: 
Navy
Science Type: 
Technology
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

Drone Warriors

How researchers at the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division developed portable jamming systems that can stop enemy unmanned aerial vehicles from penetrating U.S. defenses.

Military Branch: 
Navy
Science Type: 
Engineering, Earth and Space, Physics, Technology