Chapter VII. Technology Transfer
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)


4. Army Efforts with Other Federal Agencies

The Army cooperates with many other federal agencies to accomplish missions of mutual interest, obtain access to unique capabilities not available within the Army, and provide other agencies access to unique Army capabilities. Major efforts with DoE and NASA allow the Army to leverage capabilities closely related to Army needs, which are supported by research budgets much larger than the Army's. Some efforts with DoE and NASA described below are large (millions of dollars per year) and are negotiated at the Under Secretary level, but many smaller efforts with these and other agencies are negotiated at the Laboratory level.

a. Activities with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

In 1965, the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) and NASA signed an agreement for joint participation in aeronautical technology related to Army aviation. The original agreement issued to what is now the Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) an open-ended permit to use NASA's 7- by 10-foot Subsonic Wind tunnel located at NASA Ames Research Center. The original agreement has been expanded over the years to include the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Vehicle Technology Center at NASA Langley and Lewis Research Centers (LaRC and LeRC, respectively) and two Joint Research Program Offices at LaRC. The agreement has evolved over the years to include elements of Army Research Laboratory, AMCOM, and Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) as illustrated in Figure VII-7.

Figure VII-7. Army/NASA Joint Aeronautical Research Locations

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This cooperative arrangement allows Army engineers direct access to NASA's world-class research facilities. For example, the Army has access to facilities at the Ames Research Center alone worth more than $1 billion, with an annual operating cost of more than $60 million, but the Army directly incurs less than one percent of the annual cost.

Army scientific and engineering personnel may be assigned within the NASA organization but they work on programs of Army interest as negotiated by the Army director with their NASA Division or Branch Chiefs. This ensures that Army resources are focused on Army priorities and permits both the Army and NASA to accomplish more with less.

Since the agreement's inception, the Army and NASA have participated in joint research and development to their mutual benefit. Cooperative and integrated research efforts, shared resources, and close physical proximity have fostered the development of technologies in aeromechanics, human-machine integration, structures and materials, and propulsion. These joint efforts allow the Army and NASA to focus the national R&D effort in ground vehicle and rotorcraft technologies which allows the Army to spin off aviation technologies to its other missions such as ground vehicles, bridges, and missiles. Thirty years of Army/NASA cooperation has provided an opportunity for the Army to leverage NASA resources and programs and also to contribute to advancement of an integrated civil and military technology base.

This agreement, which makes dual-use technology development a reality, has become known simply as the Army/NASA Joint Agreement.

b. Activities with the Department of Energy

Army technical leaders maintain close ties with counterparts in the Department of Energy (DoE), both formally and informally, in order to leverage their multi-billion dollar annual RDTE investment. The Army taps DoE assets through both Army-funded reimbursable programs ("work for others" in DoE terminology), and through jointly funded programs (where strong mutual interest justifies DoE funding as well). Rapid evolution of the DoE Labs' missions will require restructuring of our cooperative efforts. New leverage opportunities will appear as capabilities once fully committed to DoE-funded projects become accessible to the Army, but others will disappear as capabilities once they are converted from defense to civilian applications, redirected, or closed out.

A cooperative effort at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) developed advanced robotics technology of interest to both parties, and also transferred Army-developed technology to DoE's environmental and waste management program. A very large number of Army-funded programs exploit unique capabilities at each of the National Labs. Some typical areas of endeavor at ORNL include: Materials for Reduced Weight and Advanced Armor (composites, ceramics, carbon/carbon boding, intermetallics, modeling of crack propagation, and advanced processing concepts); Advanced Instrumentation (sensors for robotics applications and detection of incoming threats, detection of chemical/biological agents using laser technology, and advanced automation); Environmental Assessment and Remediation (topography, bioremediation, chemical process technology, characterization of fuels and byproducts); and Electrical Power Systems (ultra-light small engine-generators as well as power systems for electric guns). Discussions are under way which may lead to research on environmentally friendly replacements for depleted uranium (DU) in penetrators and other applications. A similar long list of examples could be compiled for each of the large multi-program National Labs.

c. Cooperation with Drug and Law Enforcement Agencies (DLEAs)

In a memorandum dated 31 December 1990, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA)(RDA) designated his Deputy for Combat Service Support to represent the Office of the ASA(RDA) with all non-DoD agencies, as well as with all DoD offices, agencies, and departments involved in counterdrug activities. The Assistant Secretary's memorandum also established the Army Counterdrug RDA Office.

The Army currently provides management oversight on 17 counterdrug programs. These programs encompass a variety of different technology areas, from non-intrusive inspection to a number of automation systems. The emphasis is on the transfer of dual use technologies from DoD to DLEAs and utilizing DoD expertise to assist the DLEAs.

One of the programs under the Army's purview is the Transcription/Translation Support System (T2S2). The T2S2 is an audio collection and recording system which supports Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Title III wire tap operations. T2S2 is a key backbone communications system that accelerates the prosecution of drug traffickers. The system provides near real-time collection, recording, and forwarding of digitized voice intercepts from Title III Wiretap Collection and Recording Sites located in New York City, Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles. The voice intercepts are forwarded to a Remote Processing Transcription/Translation Support Center located in Draper, UT, via dedicated long haul communications carriers. The system provides for the transfer of translated and transcripted text files from the Transcription/Translation Support Center back to the originating collection and recording sites. The transcripts are then used in court for the prosecution of drug traffickers. Initial Operating Capability occurred in the first quarter of FY96.

Diminishing resources and an escalating threat from drug traffickers resulted in the development of the Army's Counterdrug Technology Information Network (CTIN). CTIN builds on the premise that information and knowledge of available technologies can help bridge the gap between threat and resources. CTIN also capitalizes on technology as a force multiplier and allows the counterdrug community to achieve economies of scale via cooperative acquisitions. CTIN contains descriptions and points of contact for several hundred systems and techniques that may be of help in countering the illegal narcotics threat.

CTIN has two parts. The first part is a World Wide Web site that may be viewed by anyone. The Web site gives a description of CTIN, titles of systems described in CTIN, and instructions on how to apply for excess U.S. government equipment.

The second and main part of CTIN is an easy to use bulletin-board-like system (BBS) that is hidden from the general public. Using the BBS, you can read the wealth of information that is there and ask and answer questions with other users. The BBS can be accessed via modem or through the internet, using either a Mac or Windows PC. It requires that you be approved as a user by the U.S. Army Counterdrug RDA Office.

The CTIN supports the DoD and the Department of Justice (DoJ) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to identify existing DoD equipment, ongoing technology development programs that can be shared, and new military technology projects which solve problems common to the military and law enforcement communities. As part of that MOU, a Joint Program Steering Group (JPSG) was formed at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The DoD/DoJ relationship is based on common interest derived from emphasis on a traditional military mission called Operations Other Than War (OOTW). In general, law enforcement applications require technology and systems which will be affordable, safe to use on or around people with varying medical conditions, acceptable to the public, and consistent with the Constitutional rights of all involved. Some of the specific areas of interest include Concealed Weapons Detection; Less Than Lethal Technology; Tracking, Tagging, and Status Monitoring; Interactive Simulation and Training; Explosives Detection, Neutralization, and Disposal; Small Mobile Sensor Technology; Urban Mapping and Three Dimensional Scene Generation; Advanced Sensor Integration; Safe Gun Technology; Information Technology; Biomedical; Portable Power; Anti-Sniper; and Advanced Body Armor.

d. Cooperation with Other Agencies

Over a dozen years of joint research on robotics with the Department of Commerce's (DoC's) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have led to major success in the application of flexible computer architectures to DoD unmanned ground vehicle testbeds for hazardous military missions such as reconnaissance. This experience has allowed the Army and NIST to collaborate on civil programs, such as the Department of Transportation's Intelligent Vehicle Highway System. Such successful joint activities have led to an active effort to find additional areas for potential cooperation with NIST, including dual-use opportunities and opportunities for one party to take advantage of unique capabilities of the other.

As part of the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), joint research is being conducted with EPA and DoE on a multitude of environmental topics. For example, a National Environmental Technology Test Site Program, managed jointly by the Army, Navy, and Air Force, has been developed to demonstrate, evaluate, and transfer innovative cleanup technologies from R&D to full-scale use. Another example is the partnering between the Army, other Services, DoE, and EPA for the development and fielding of a Site Characterization and Analysis Penetrometer System (SCAPS), a system used for site characterization in the DoD's cleanup program. Each organization has a defined area of responsibility, thereby maximizing use of limited funds for addressing common DoD cleanup problems. A joint program under SERDP has also been initiated with EPA and DoE in development of a groundwater modeling system for contaminated site cleanup.

The Army, as lead agency for DoD, is working with EPA on biodiversity research through a Biodiversity Research Consortium. Results of this cooperative effort will allow DoD to optimize its biodiversity research, thereby enhancing its capability to manage biodiversity on DoD sites in a bioregional and national context.

The Army cooperates on a smaller scale with a number of other U.S. Government agencies to accomplish a mutual goal or share a unique capability. These agencies include the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the Food and Drug Administration; and the U.S. Geological Survey.