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.

 

An Expeditionary 3-D Printing Laboratory for the Battlefield

EXMAN

How a squad of creative Marines teamed up with scientists from SPAWAR to create a rolling laboratory that can 3-D print just about anything that warfighters might need on the battlefield.

Military Branch: 
Navy
Science Type: 
Engineering, Physical Science, Technology

Just Keep Flying

Flying a fighter jet just got a whole lot safer, thanks to a new collision-avoidance system developed by Air Force researchers. The system, known as Auto GCAS, compares a plane’s flightpath to a sophisticated 3-D terrain map; if it detects that a jet is on a collision-course, it takes control a split-second before impact to nudge the aircraft onto a safe trajectory. Convincing airmen to surrender control in moments of crisis wasn’t easy, but since being rolled out on late-model F-16s in 2014, the system has already saved seven lives.

Military Branch: 
Air Force
Science Type: 
Applied Science, Engineering, Earth and Space, Physics, 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, Mathematics, Technology

Our Angry Inner Fish

Researchers at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center are using fish as a model to understand if exposure to common environmental pollutants can trigger extreme aggression in susceptible people.

Military Branch: 
Army
Science Type: 
Life Science, Functional Biology
The railgun, which shoots on electric rails at speeds of up to Mach 6

RAILGUN: THE GUN FOR THE FUTURE, AT TERMINAL RANGE

A team of engineers at the Naval Surface War Center Dahlgren Division, in Virginia, has been working on the electromagnetically charged railgun for more than a decade. The combination of extremely fast speeds with electromagnetic power generation make the railgun a potentially revolutionary tool for the warfighter: faster, safer, less expensive, optimized for integration, and of course, lethal. The engineers believe the railgun will be the disruptive technology that will change the face of naval warfare as we know it.

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