2007-2008 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory by Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board,

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By Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board, Laboratory Assessments Board, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, National Research Council

This quantity is the newest in a sequence of biennial checks of the medical and technical caliber of the military learn Laboratory (ARL). the present file summarizes findings for the 2007-2008 interval, in which ninety five volunteer specialists in fields of technology and engineering participated within the following actions: traveling ARL every year, receiving formal displays of technical paintings, interpreting amenities, carrying out technical discussions with ARL employees, and reviewing ARL technical fabrics.

the general caliber of ARL's technical employees and their paintings is still extraordinary, in addition to the relevance in their paintings to military wishes. ARL maintains to express a transparent, passionate obstacle for the tip consumer of its technology--the soldier within the box. whereas directorates have huge program-support missions, there's significant customer-support paintings around the directorates, which universally show mindfulness of the significance of transitioning know-how to help instant and near-term military wishes. ARL employees additionally proceed to extend their involvement with the broader clinical and engineering group.

This involvement comprises tracking appropriate advancements in different places, carrying out major collaborative paintings (including the Collaborative know-how Alliances), and sharing paintings via peer studies. regularly, ARL is operating rather well inside a suitable study and improvement area of interest and has been demonstrating major accomplishments.

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HRED is initiating a multiyear program—the Tactical Human Integration with Networked Knowledge (THINK) Army Technology Objective—scheduled to start in FY 2009 and to extend through FY 2012, to analyze the contributors to performance problems and identify methods for overcoming these problems. This work will bring together experts in cognitive science, social network science, and computer science to work collaboratively to develop and evaluate methods to train and improve information sharing, decision making, and collaboration in networked operations.

However, research in auditory communication performance may not exploit the full capabilities of this facility. From a medical standpoint, loss of hearing is a major issue in the Army. In this context, it is good to know that this facility has a medical audiologist on the staff, particularly given the strong interaction between the ability to segregate sound sources and hearing loss. However, collaboration with other groups concerned about noise-induced hearing loss should be given some priority.

A paradoxical observation apropos of the highly successful engineering of the Blue Radio, discussed earlier, is that this design effort used state-of-the-art, but largely discrete, components to build a prototype that is clearly acceptable for demonstration purposes but is not at the state of the art in terms of implementation as a single chip that would be needed for a deployable system. There is a real need for the Army to take control of the technology, but the problem is a lack of in-house very large scale integrated chip design experience.

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