The Path Forward


The need for rapid advances in the effectiveness and affordability of lightweight protection materials and systems is compelling and will continue for the foreseeable future. The experience with body armor and vehicle armor in Iraq and Afghanistan has shown that the weight penalty of today’s materials exacts a significant toll on U.S. forces, both in human terms and in increased costs for equipment, maintenance, and fuel. Escalating threats have greatly accentuated the need for continued rapid development of lightweight armor.

The ideal situation is to have new materials available to meet these challenges. However, while new materials are the subject of research efforts, their introduction into military systems is very slow. As shown in Chapter 1 (Figure 1-3), the advances indicated by the areal density plot of lightweight protection materials have slowed in recent years. The inability to rapidly transition materials with the properties and behavior needed for armor systems is due not to a lack of excellent materials research, but rather to the approach by which protection materials research is accomplished.

As described in Chapter 2 (see also Figure 6-1), armor


FIGURE 6-1 Current paradigm for armor design. As mentioned in Chapter 2, a shoot-and-look approach is much more prevalent than a modeling approach.

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6 The Path Forward A NEW PARADIGM The ideal situation is to have new materials available to meet these challenges. However, while new materials are The need for rapid advances in the effectiveness and the subject of research efforts, their introduction into military affordability of lightweight protection materials and sys- systems is very slow. As shown in Chapter 1 (Figure 1-3), the tems is compelling and will continue for the foreseeable advances indicated by the areal density plot of lightweight future. The experience with body armor and vehicle armor protection materials have slowed in recent years. The in- in Iraq and Afghanistan has shown that the weight penalty ability to rapidly transition materials with the properties and of today’s materials exacts a significant toll on U.S. forces, behavior needed for armor systems is due not to a lack of both in human terms and in increased costs for equipment, excellent materials research, but rather to the approach by maintenance, and fuel. Escalating threats have greatly ac- which protection materials research is accomplished. centuated the need for continued rapid development of As described in Chapter 2 (see also Figure 6-1), armor lightweight armor. NEW THREAT Armor Concept Select from Materials Research (Geometry Available and Development Configuration) Materials Fail Pass Make & Shoot Ballistic Shoot or Evaluation Model Model Fail Modeling and Select from M&S Pass Simulation Available Evaluation Research and Models/Codes Development NEW ARMOR FIGURE 6-1 Current paradigm for armor design. As mentioned in Chapter 2, a shoot-and-look approach is much more prevalent than a modeling approach. 99

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100 OPPORTUNITIES IN PROTECTION MATERIALS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR FUTURE ARMY APPLICATIONS NEW THREAT Material .. Characteristics of Threat Material 2 Material 1 Armor Concept Select from Materials Research (Geometry Available and Development/ Configuration) Materials Design Fail Characterization Pass Make & Shoot Ballistic Shoot or Canonical Microstructure Evaluation Model Model Mechanisms Make & Shoot Model Fail Rapid Modeling and Iterations Select from M&S Pass Simulation Available Evaluation Research and Models/Codes Development Increased Fidelity Characteristics of Armor Performance NEW ARMOR FIGURE 6-2 New paradigm for armor development. The new design path for armor provides enhanced and closer coupling of the materials research and development community and the modeling and simulation community, resulting in significantly reduced time for development of new armor. This path connects the armor design process to the materials research and development community through canonical models to deal with the restricted information problem. The elements of armor system design are not themselves new, but the emphasis shifts from design-make-shoot-redesign to rapid simulation iterations, and from designing with off-the-shelf-materials to designing that explores mate - rials for their protective properties. The feedback loop between armor system design and material design contrasts with current practice, in which a one-way flow puts new materials on the shelf to be tried in the make-shoot-look process. this new paradigm, the current armor system design practice systems in operational use today are the product of years of is replaced by rapid iterations of modeling and simulation, heuristic-based advances. Development of the protection with ballistic evaluation used selectively to verify satisfac- materials used in these systems is coupled only loosely to tory designs. Strong coupling with the materials research and armor system design, with the coupling taking the form of development community is accomplished through canonical inferred desired properties. The current paradigm of material models that translate armor system requirements (which are and system development can be characterized as a design- often classified) into characterizations, microstructures, be- make-test-redesign-repeat … iterative loop. The time and haviors, and deformation mechanisms that an open research expense involved in such an approach limit the number of community can use. The principal objective of this new optimization iterations and slow the advance of new mate- paradigm is to enable the design of superior materials and to rial systems that could provide the needed protection with accelerate their implementation in armor systems. The new reduced areal density. paradigm will build on the multidisciplinary collaboration The current paradigm and the research programs and concepts and lessons from other applications documented in organizations that support it are not sufficient to accelerate Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME),1 advances in lightweight protection materials. New research which cites many advances and several examples of suc- initiatives, organizational structures, and implementation cessful implementation. It advocates pushing the large body approaches will be needed to increase the rate of progress. The committee concludes that the ability to design and optimize protection material systems can be accelerated and 1NRC. 2008. Integrated Computational Systems Engineering: A Trans - made more cost effective by operating in a new paradigm for formational Discipline for Improved Competitiveness and National Secu- rity. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. lightweight protection material development (Figure 6-2). In

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101 THE PATH FORWARD of existing computational materials science to the next step. and better requirements for achievable material be- Unfortunately, while the optimization of the materials, manu- havior and dynamic properties. facturing processes, and component design is well described • Simulation can model the consequences of specific in the ICME report, the path forward for protection materials process flows on the microstructure and hence the is far more complicated, since designs must deal with highly subsequent dynamic behavior and other important nonlinear and large deformations typically not encountered attributes (such as cost) before physically making in commercial products, where applied stresses are kept well the material. Benefit: higher yields, faster deliveries, below the elastic limit in the linear regime. lower costs. The new paradigm can be focused on the most promis- ing opportunities in lightweight protection materials, bring- Successful implementation of the new paradigm can, ing such current products as ceramic plates and polymer fiber by dint of the insights gained from modeling and simula- materials well beyond their present state of performance and tion, give armor system designers the freedom to work with opening the possibility for radically new armor system solu- novel as well as established materials to meet performance tions to be explored and optimized in tens of months rather requirements. It can identify more rapidly than in the past than tens of years. how newly envisioned and to-be-developed materials and The added features (indicated in red in Figure 6-2) of the systems could create new opportunities for the protection new paradigm compared to the current paradigm are these: afforded personnel, vehicles, ships, aircraft, and structures at lower weight and cost. The new approach would enable • Canonical models explicitly link armor system de- the reliable identification of materials that could be advanta- sign, which is typically done in a restricted setting, geous in protection applications, establish their merits and to protection materials research and design, which is limitations, drive research and development to exploit the typically done in an unclassified setting. A particular protective capacity of the new materials and systems, and, canonical model puts some aspect(s) of the dynamic most importantly, bring about their rapid insertion into the protection problem into a standard form to be used field. as the basis for material system experiments and To realize the vision of this new paradigm and achieve simulations. Each canonical model abstracts the key these benefits, advances are needed on multiple fronts, in- features of a threat and an armor configuration and cluding these: expresses them in unclassified terms of dynamic material properties and behaviors needed to meet • Better fundamental understanding of the mechanisms protection requirements. Such canonical models by which ballistic penetrators and blast loads interact would be defined by an individual or group with the with material systems at multiple scales, including appropriate expertise and an intimate knowledge of insights into (1) dynamic properties at large strains, both restricted and open research and development pressures, and high rates that go far beyond the usual activity. A particular canonical model provides both quasi-static measures and (2) the resulting material material developers and model developers with a behaviors that affect protection performance (see benchmark to use to evaluate potential improve - Chapter 3); ments. Benefit: controlled linkage between open and • Better computational approaches (physics-based restricted environments and a better match between models and codes for the evolution of failure) armor system needs and potential material solutions. coupled with new experimental approaches allowing • Design of the material or material system is based improved spatial and temporal measurement of dam- on an understanding of failure mechanisms invoked age evolution (see Chapters 3 and 4); by projectiles or blast loads and uses physics-based • The ability to design material compositions, crystal modeling and simulation of the material or mate- structures, microstructures, and composites over rial system’s behavior or performance within the length scales from the atomic to the mesoscale to dynamic. The design modeling and simulation of achieve behaviors that are important for protection the material take place prior to the longer iterations performance and innovative processes that can syn- that involve physical testing. The rapidity of model thesize and process these materials affordably (see iterations makes it possible to explore more alterna- Chapter 5); and tives and optimize the material to provide the desired • An organizational structure and method of dealing behavior. Benefit: faster development of higher- with security constraints that will facilitate interac- performance armor materials. tion and information sharing and enable successful • A feedback loop to the armor system design flow bet- basic and applied research to accelerate the devel- ter defines the required material behaviors. Benefit: opment of these improved lightweight protection faster iterations than today’s make-and-shoot process materials (detailed later in this chapter).

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102 OPPORTUNITIES IN PROTECTION MATERIALS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR FUTURE ARMY APPLICATIONS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROTECTION MATERIALS ballistic and blast events. This program should be established BY DESIGN under a director for protection materials by design, with particular emphasis on the following: The recommendations in this section point out a way forward that will address the challenges outlined above • Relating material performance to deformation and by bringing together the efforts of university researchers, failure mechanisms. Developing models and data for government labs, and industry to engage collaboratively in choosing materials based on their ability to inhibit a long-term program of use-inspired fundamental research. or avoid failure mechanisms as opposed to choosing them based on bulk properties as measured in quasi- Overarching Recommendation. Given the long-term im- static and dynamic tests. portance of lightweight protection materials to the Depart- • Developing superior armor materials by identifying ment of Defense (DoD) mission, DoD should establish a compositions, crystalline structures, and microstruc- defense initiative for protection materials by design (PMD), tures that counteract observed failure mechanisms with associated funding lines for basic and applied research. and by establishing processing routes to the synthesis Responsibility for this new initiative should be assigned to of these materials. one of the Services, with participation by other DoD com- • Reducing the cost of production of protection mate- ponents whose missions also require advances in protection rials by improving the processes and yields and by materials. The PMD initiative should include a combination enhancing the ability to manufacture small lots. of computational, experimental, and materials testing, char- acterization, and processing research conducted by govern- Element 2—Advanced Computational and Experimental ment, industry, and academia. The program director of the Methods initiative should be given the authority and resources to col- laborate with the national laboratories and other institutions The second element of the PMD initiative would be in the use of unique facilities and capabilities and to invest to advance and exploit the capabilities of the emerging in DoD infrastructure where needed. c omputational and experimental methods discussed in Chapter 4. The first objective is to predict the ballistic This overarching recommendation requires actions in and blast performance of candidate materials and materi - four important elements of the PMD initiative: als systems as a prelude to the armor design process. The second objective is to define requirements that will guide Element 1—Fundamental Understanding of Mechanisms the synthesis, processing, fabrication, and evaluation of of Deformation and Failure Due to Ballistic and Blast protection materials. The PMD initiative would develop Threats the next generation of The first element of the PMD initiative would be to de- • DoD advanced protection codes that incorporate velop better fundamental understanding of the mechanisms experimentally validated, high-fidelity, physics- of high-rate2 material deformation and failure in various based models of material deformation and failure, as protection materials, discussed in Chapter 3. As part of the well as the necessary high-performance computing new paradigm, armor development should be considered not infrastructure; from the viewpoint of conventional bulk material properties • Experimental facilities and capabilities to assess and but from the viewpoint of mechanisms. The deeper funda- certify the performance of new protection materials mental understanding could lead to the development of more and system designs, as well as provide insight into failure-resistant material compositions, crystal structures, fundamental material behaviors under relevant con- and microstructures and to protective materials with better ditions with unprecedented simultaneous high spatial performance. Moreover, by identifying the operative mecha- and temporal resolution; and nisms and quantifying their activity, mathematical damage • Collaborative infrastructure for encouraging direct models can be written that may allow computational armor communication and improved cooperation between design. Chapter 3 discusses failure mechanisms for the sev- modelers and experimenters, through both (1) the eral classes of materials. establishment of collaborative environments and (2) requirements in proposals when the specific research Recommendation 6-1. The Department of Defense should topic is well served by such collaboration. establish a program of sustained investment in basic and applied research that would facilitate a fundamental under- The high-priority opportunities identified in Chapter standing of the mechanisms of deformation and failure due to 4 will need sustained investment and program direction to advance computational and experimental capabilities. 2Ballisticvelocities typically range from several hundred to several The envisioned computational capabilities must be devel - thousand meters per second and can lead to strain rates of up to 105 s–1.

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103 THE PATH FORWARD oped in partnership with a strong experimental effort that • A sustained effort to develop a database of high- identifies the dynamic mechanisms of material behavior. strain-rate materials for armor. Material behavior These mechanisms must be understood and modeled for and dynamic properties must be measured and char- the activity to be successful, the material characteristics and acterized over the range of strains, strain rates, and properties must be known for the simulations to be carried stress states in the context of penetration and blast out, and the outcomes of the computational modeling must events. Develop a comprehensive database of materi- be validated. als that exhibit high-strain-rate behavior and consider them as materials of interest. The PMD director Recommendation 6-2. The Department of Defense should should designate a custodian for this database and establish a program of sustained investment in basic and ap- arrange for experimental results of the PMD program plied research in advanced computational and experimental to be provided to the database and shared with the methods under the director of the protection materials by research community. The database should include design (PMD) initiative, with particular emphasis on the ceramics, polymers, metals, glasses, and composite following: materials in use today and should be expanded as new materials are developed. • Dynamic mechanism characterization. Identify and —Opaque and transparent ceramics and ceramic characterize (1) the failure mechanisms underlying powders. The intrinsic properties of opaque and damage to a material caused by projectiles from transparent ceramics and ceramic powders are weapons and detonations and (2) the compositional not yet fully realized in armor systems. There is and microstructural features of each constituent of need for understanding at the atomic, nano-, and the material, as well as the material’s overall struc- micron levels of how powders and processing ture. An enhanced experimental infrastructure will can be designed and manipulated to maximize be needed to make progress in high-resolution (time the intrinsic benefits of dense ceramic armor and and space) experiments on material deformation and reduce production costs. failure characterization. —Polymeric, carbon, glass, and ceramic fibers. • Code validation and verification. Focus on mul- There is an opportunity to develop finer diameter tiscale, multiphysics material models, integrated and more ideally microstructured polymeric and simulation/experimental protocols, prediction with carbon fibers with potentially a two- to fivefold quantified uncertainties, and simulation-based quali- improvement in specific tensile strength over the fication to help advance the predictive science for current state of the art. Such improvements would protection systems. significantly reduce the weight of body armor. • Challenges and canonical models. Periodically pro- —Polymers. In addition to polymer fibers, ther- pose open challenges comprising design, simulation, moplastic and thermoset polymers are used as and experimental validation that will convincingly monolithic components and also serve as matrixes demonstrate the PMD. Each challenge problem must in various composites. Improved measurements of address the corresponding canonical model and must and models for the deformation mechanisms and result in quantifiable improvements in performance failure processes are needed for thermoplastic- within that framework. and thermoset-based protection materials. —Magnesium alloys. The very low density of magnesium provides potential for the develop- Element 3—Development of New Materials and Material ment of very lightweight alternatives to tradi- Systems tional metallic materials in protection material The third element of the PMD initiative is the develop- systems. The basic understanding of strengthening ment and production of new materials and material systems mechanisms in magnesium should be advanced, whose characteristics and performance can achieve the especially the development of ultra-fine-grained behavior validated in modeling and simulation of the new magnesium alloys through severe plastic deforma- armor system. The recommendations in this element target tion. Magnesium-based fibers are also worthy of the most promising opportunities identified in Chapter 5. exploration. • Adhesives and active brazing/soldering materi - Recommendation 6-3. The Department of Defense should als. Development of adhesives and active brazing/ establish a program of sustained investment in basic and ap- soldering materials and their processing methods plied research in advanced materials and processing, under to match the elastic impedance of current materials the director of the PMD initiative program, with particular while minimizing the thermal stresses will improve emphasis on the following: the ballistic and blast performance of panels made of bonded armor, including transparent armor.

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104 OPPORTUNITIES IN PROTECTION MATERIALS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR FUTURE ARMY APPLICATIONS Element 4—Organizational Approach • Test methods. Advances are needed in test methods for determining the high strain rates (103 to 106 s–1) The fourth element of the PMD initiative is an organi- and dynamic failure processes of (especially) fibers, zational construct for multidisciplinary collaboration among polymers, and ceramics. Results should be passed academic researchers, government laboratories, and indus- on to the designated database of materials with high- try, in both restricted-access and open settings. The PMD strain-rate behavior. initiative will need strong top-level leadership with insight • Material characterization. The characterization of, into both the open and restricted research environments and composition, crystalline structure, and microstruc- the authority to direct funding and set PMD priorities. The ture at appropriate length scales is a key task that program will require committed funding to ensure long-term will need more attention to take advantage of the success and should be subject to periodic external reviews improved experimental tools for quantifying initial to ensure that high standards of achievement are established and deformed microstructures. and maintained. To meet these requirements, the committee • Cost reduction. Advances are needed to reduce the considered several organizational alternatives, described in cost of producing protection materials by improving the sections below, and concluded that the notional DoD their processing and yield and by improving small-lot organizational approach depicted in Figure 6-3 includes the manufacturing capability. features necessary for success. • Processing science and intelligent manufacturing. Advances are needed in basic understanding of and Recommendation 6-4. In order to make the major advances ability to model the consequences of material pro- needed for the development of protection materials, the De- cessing for performance and other characteristics partment of Defense should appoint a PMD program director, of interest. Intelligent manufacturing sensing and with authority and resources to accomplish the following: control capabilities are needed that can maintain low variance and produce affordable protection materials, • Plan and execute the PMD initiative and coordinate even in relatively low volumes. PMD activities across the DoD; Program Review Board Director $ $ Visiting Researchers Open PMD Restricted DoD PMD Canonical Collaboration Collaboration Models Center Center Test Services and Models / Codes Universities Other Government Labs #... Industry #2 Industry #1 Industry FIGURE 6-3 PMD initiative organizational structure involving academic researchers, government laboratories, and industry.

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105 THE PATH FORWARD • Select an existing facility to be the DoD center for director would promote collaboration among model- PMD and fund a research director and the staff, ers and experimentalists. The center could facilitate e quipment, and programs needed by the PMD multidisciplinary information exchange and enforce initiative; appropriate boundaries for restricted information. It • Award a competitive contract for an open access would have both internal facilities and remote access PMD center whose mission would be to host and to facilities for experimentation and material charac- foster open collaboration in research and develop- terization. It would also maintain awareness of the ment of protection materials; open literature and global technology developments • Establish an external review board to conduct peri- and actively enhance them and would provide input odic reviews of programs in both centers; and to the program director and the staff of the classified • Provide liaison with the Department of Energy, the center at DoD. National Institute of Standards and Technology, and • An external review board, duly constituted to review other government laboratories on matters related to programs and advise the director in the planning and PMD. conduct of research in protection materials, both restricted and open. • Links to Department of Energy labs, the National CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR THE Institute of Standards and Technology labs, and other RECOMMENDED NEW ORGANIZATIONS government labs whose research and capabilities are relevant to protection materials research. DoD Center for the PMD Initiative The essential features of the recommended organization The proposed research and development program would are as follows: require the collaboration of scientists and engineers from DoD research laboratories, other national laboratories, uni- • A program director for the PMD initiative who is re- versities, independent research institutes, and commercial sponsible for planning and overseeing the execution companies in settings that can foster collaboration while of basic and applied research in both classified and maintaining boundaries for unclassified, proprietary, export unclassified settings. The director might be organiza- controlled, and classified information. tionally located within the lead service for protection Given the constraints of current classification guide- materials, the Department of the Army, but in any lines, research and development involving specific threats event would be responsible for coordinating research and vulnerabilities will require access to a facility where and development in lightweight protection materials restricted research and testing—that is, research that is either across the rest of DoD. classified or otherwise not available for public release—can • Selection by the above-mentioned program director be conducted. The committee believes designation of an ex- of an existing DoD organization to become the DoD isting DoD organization as the lead laboratory for the PMD center for the PMD initiative. This program director initiative would be the best way to meet this need. This open would appoint a research director for the center and collaboration center would need to have capabilities for the would organize funding for it. The center would be following: staffed and equipped for classified research in materi- als synthesis, processing, and testing, as well as com- • Materials characterization, putational facilities to enable materials design and • Model development and simulation against real armor design. The DoD center for the PMD initiative threats, would have both internal capabilities and access to • Armor system prototyping, and external capabilities as needed for advanced model- • Ballistic and blast testing and evaluation against real ing and simulation, protection materials synthesis, threats. processing, characterization, fabrication, ballistic and blast testing, and evaluation of protection mate- Such capabilities exist at the Army Research Laboratory rial systems. This organization would accommodate facility in Aberdeen, Maryland, and at other DoD facilities. visiting researchers who would be granted security To tap the sources of innovation in academia and in- clearances for the duration of their rotating assign- dustry, an environment for collaboration outside restricted ments. It would also provide testing services and governmental facilities would be needed. This open research evaluation results at both classified and unclassified community would have the following capabilities: levels to qualified external researchers. • An open PMD collaboration center, with a physical • Experimental facilities for dynamic measurements of experimentation center and virtual collaboration material behavior, including in situ visualization of links to distributed academic, government, and in- high-rate deformation and failure processes. dustry researchers. This organization and its research • Modeling and simulation capabilities.

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106 OPPORTUNITIES IN PROTECTION MATERIALS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR FUTURE ARMY APPLICATIONS • Materials design and processing design capabilities. research findings to practical application and acceler- • Collaboration between modelers and experimental- ates research progress by cross-fertilization of ideas. ists, supported by information sharing and virtual In supporting these team efforts, MURI comple- collaboration environments. ments other DoD programs that support university • An enclave where classified or restricted information research via single-investigator awards. Typically, could be exchanged among researchers with the ap- awards cover a period of 3 years; 2 additional years propriate clearances. are possible. This model is strong on multidiscipline • Physical meeting facilities. and multiuniversity collaboration but is not typically used for collaboration with industry.3 • Proximity or easy transportation access to the DoD PMD center. • University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). This appellation is given to university laboratories that The key to success would be to link these two research maintain critical competencies in technology and environments through formal organizational relationships, systems that support national defense. University personnel exchanges, funding and program direction, and Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs) are awarded as processes to translate classified information on threats noncompetitive DoD contracts through a provision of and materials into canonical models suitable for academic the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) of 1984, research topics. Procedures would be needed to adapt data as codified in 10U.S.C. 2304(c)(3)(B), which au- from the classified center for use by the open environment. thorized noncompetitive contracts with educational institutions where necessary for DoD to establish or maintain essential engineering, research, and devel- Open PMD Collaboration Center opmental capabilities. UARCs support DoD through Of the organizational elements, the newest and most a special strategic relationship, wherein they serve far-reaching area for investment would be the open PMD as trusted technical advisors free from commercial collaboration center. This center would be a vibrant intellec- conflicts of interest. The requirement for maintain- tual engine that attracts the best academic researchers across ing a UARC and its associated funding is driven multiple organizations to address well-defined problems in by the specific needs of sponsoring DoD RDT&E material design, high-strain-rate experimentation, analytical programs. These special needs are manifest in core and computational modeling across the length and time- competencies, specified by the sponsors, which scales, and materials processing for protection applications. define the scope of services to be provided by the It could foster precompetitive collaboration with industry for UARC. The current ARL Material Centers of Excel- both fundamental research and technology transfer. lence in Ceramics, Metals, Polymers and Composites The key features of the open center would include these: are not UARCs but have similar characteristics. The UARC model has to be broadened to provide the • Academic opportunity for interesting problems, type of open competition and academic opportunity envisioned for an open PMD collaboration center.4 funding, access to state-of-the-art facilities, up-to- date data, workshops, and publications. • Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA). CTAs • Canonical models that support unclassified research are collaborations between academia, Army labs or objectives stated in terms of material behaviors or centers, and private industry. Their goal is to rapidly other fundamental phenomena. transition new technologies to warfighters, thereby • Open competition for new research awards from enabling the Army’s Future Force. This partnership both the PMD initiative and other basic and applied is at the core of the CTA concept, wherein each part- research sponsors. ner brings a unique approach to research. Academia, • Multidiscipline and multiuniversity collaboration. for example, brings cutting-edge innovation; ARL • University-industry-government collaboration. researchers maintain the focus on solving complex • Means to host visiting researchers. Army technology problems; and the industrial part- ners are able to solve technology bottlenecks and to The committee considered several organizational al- leverage existing research results. In this way, multi- ternatives that might have the desired attributes of this new disciplinary research teams bring about the complex entity, including the following: technology needed to solve the Army’s complex problems. The program brings world-class research • Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative and development talent to bear on meeting Army (MURI). DoD currently uses MURI awards to support 3For more information, see http://www.wpafb.af.mil/library/factsheets/ university research that intersects two or more tradi- factsheet.asp?id=9327. tional science and engineering disciplines. Teaming 4For more information, see http://www.hawaii.edu/uhmfs/uarc/At - in multidisciplinary research helps to transition basic tach_003.UARCMgmt.pdf.

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107 THE PATH FORWARD needs for technology. The CTA model has most of • University-industry consortium models. Numerous the desired characteristics but has traditionally been examples of university research consortia, industry used when technology advances are driven more by research consortia, and membership organizations market forces than by government needs, which is fall into this category. The committee considered not the case in protection materials.5 the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research C enters (I/UCRCs), 8 i n particular the Ceramic, • Fraunhofer-like institute. Fraunhofer institutes origi- nated in Germany. Affiliated centers have been Composite and Optical Materials Center at Rutgers University,9 to be in this category. It also considered established in the United States to perform applied the National Textile Center,10 the Semiconductor Re- research under contract to government and industry search Consortium,11 and the National Warheads and for such customers as federal and state governments, Energetics Consortium12 as examples. Some of these multinational corporations, and small- to medium- sized companies. Each center is partnered with a consortia are federally funded and others operate on major research university. These partnerships serve industry funding. A common denominator in such as bridges between academic research and industrial consortia is a business case for industry participation. needs. Such bridges would fill some but not all the Assuming such a business case can be made, these government needs for the open PMD collaboration models, like the CTA model above, could meet most center.6 of the desired criteria. The model would need to be • Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) such as those tailored to focus on canonical models as the bridge to the government needs. s ponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Located at universities throughout the United States, ERCs are a group of interdisciplinary centers The committee concluded that none of these models that partner closely with industry. Each ERC provides would meet all the needs of an open PMD collaboration an environment in which academe and industry can center but that the various university and industry consortium collaborate in pursuing strategic advances in complex models have proven features that the Army could combine engineered systems and systems-level technologies to define the contract for such a center. that could spawn whole new industries or radically transform the processing technologies, product lines, Time Frame for Anticipated Advances or service delivery of current industries. Activ- ity within ERCs lies at the interface between the While it is always problematic to try to predict the fu- innovation-driven culture of engineering and the ture, it is apparent that some areas are ripe for rapid progress discovery-driven culture of science. The centers and discovery. The committee believes, for example, that provide the intellectual foundation for industry to increased funding of basic research on high-rate deforma- collaborate with faculty and students on producing tion of polymer fibers and ceramics could, within about 10 the knowledge base needed for steady advances in years (depending on the level of effort), achieve a level of technology, resolving long-range, generic challenges understanding that would rival the current understanding and rapidly transitioning results to the marketplace. of metals. Progress will be aided as national lab facilities The academic opportunity criterion could be well met for extremely fast data acquisition during high-rate events by incorporating ERC characteristics, but additional become available and as researchers design experiments to features would be needed to give the government a take advantage of such facilities. stronger role in guiding the research to meet govern- 8For more information, see http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/about.jsp. ment needs.7 9For more information, see http://www.ccmc.rutgers.edu. 10For more information, see http://www.ntcresearch.org/mission.htm. 5 For more information, see http://www.arl.army.mil/www/default. 11For more information, see http://www.src.org/about/. cfm?page=93. 12For more information, see http://www.nwec-dotc.org/. 6For more information, see http://www.fraunhofer.org/. 7For more information, see http://www.erc-assoc.org/index.htm.

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