U.S. Army engineers and industry partners converged on Sterling Heights, MI, July 7 and 8, to discuss solutions for powering the Army's future force. The two-day Power and Energy (P&E) Innovation Workshop was sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association Michigan Chapter and U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Guests from government, industry and academia attended the workshop to address the Army's evolving P&E needs and provide potential suggestions.
"Our objective is to explore P&E across all spectrums, from Soldier to ground vehicle to aerial vehicle to installation," explained TARDEC Senior Research Engineer Dr. Peter Schihl. "There have been many symposiums and workshops on this, and we're trying to not reinvent the wheel. We're trying to take all that information from the outside, bring different people in and be creative."
Breakout technical sessions were geared toward improving P&E capabilities. Discussions focused on energy storage, alternative fuels, advanced propulsion, grid-based technologies and the possible use of nuclear and solar technologies as power sources. Guests were urged to be innovative and explore solutions that could meet the Army's near and future-term requirements. Collaboration, creativity and ingenuity were encouraged.
Dr. Paul Rogers, TARDEC's Executive Director of Research, opened the event stating P&E capabilities are of paramount concern to the Army. Increases in fuel use, the volatility of petroleum costs and the logistical challenge of refueling the Army's ground vehicle fleet have made the development of alternative energy essential. The addition of electronics, enhanced materials and other capabilities have also increased vehicle energy requirements exponentially over the years. In order to ensure vehicles can perform effectively, Rogers stated it is essential to develop and integrate new methods for powering systems.
The round tables' results will be compiled into a 25-page white paper identifying current P&E needs and recommending near, mid- and long-term solutions. A results briefing will be presented at the Ground Vehicle Systems and Technology Symposium (GVSETS), scheduled for Aug. 18-20, in Troy, MI. For more information about GVSETS, or to register, please go to: http://www.ndia-mich.org/gvsets.php. According to GVSETS organizers, registration is filling up fast, so don't delay, register today.