Helping the Army Win

West Point collaborates across the Army Commands, Department of Defense, and other Federal Government Agencies to create new knowledge and advance research in different disciplines. Many of these projects have immediate applicability, while some of the, are truly groundbreaking initiatives. You are encouraged to review the following projects and reach out to the primary point if contact is you want further information. 

Data Science Support for CCDC Armaments Center

Cadets, Statisticians, and Data Scientists at West Point have been working diligently with CCDC Armaments Center to support the Extended Range Cannon Artillery project, a critical component of the Army’s Long Range Precision Fires line of effort. One of the challenges of the project is determining the overall reliability of success. Cadets and faculty, working alongside engineers at Picatinny, built out a Bayesian Reliability diagram that allows real-time updating of overall success probability. Click here to listen to a cadet who worked on this project!

Passive Optical Projectile Observation of Friendly Fires (POP-OFF)

The Passive Optical Projectile Observation of Friendly Fires (POP-OFF) project explores passively tracking and predicting the impact point of artillery rounds. The system uses thermal imaging cameras to observe the heat signature of a fired artillery round. Observing the flight of the round and using kinematics, combined with feedback from other meteorological sensors an impact point is predicted. In some systems, such as a mortar team, this would allow the team to correct the firing solution and fire a second round before the first landed on target. POP-OFF is supported by the Photonics Research Center, Cyber Research Center, and the Joint Program Executive Office – Armaments & Ammunition. Click here to watch a demonstration of POP-OFF. 

West Point’s support for CCDC Soldier Center and 75th Innovation Command

A look into some of the research and support West Point cadets and faculty are providing to Army Futures Command. Focus on Hacking for Defense, wearable sensors for COVID-19 management, quantifying soldier performance, and more!

Click here to learn more about how West Point provides support for the CCDC Soldier Center and 75th Innovation Command.

Keeping Peace With A Different Drum: A Note on Military Music

Using research methodologies to examine and synthesize expansive ideas, this paper will present a comprehensive understanding of music in relation to the military world. The overall purpose is to look at military bands to see if there is a justification for the use of military music in defense of the nation. 

Soldier Power Augmentation Readiness Kit

As technological advances continue to grow and the Army issues equipment that demands greater power, the weight carried by the soldier for any mission continues to increase. Each equipment item requires a power source, typically a battery, which are borne by the soldier for the duration of their mission.  Currently, power needs for a 72-hour mission requires 8-9 conformable batteries, totaling up to 23 additional pounds.  If batteries can be quickly recharged, this could extend power life and reduce the number is batteries required to support a mission.  
The Solider Power Readiness Kit (SPARK) Team is working with the Combat Capabilities Development Command, Soldier Center to design a system will safely transfer power from a power source to a conformable battery by taking advantage of opportunistic charging and recharging during vehicle transport.  This system will connect a soldier to a vehicle power source safely, quickly, and effectively, and eliminate the need to carry bulky charging ports and to remove their batteries from their kit.

West Point Drone Swarm Project

The West Point Drone Swarm is a multi-year, multi-disciplinary capstone project focused on deploying a swarm of autonomous unmanned aerial systems in support of various missions.  This year’s effort is sponsored by the JPEO for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense as well as CCDC Chemical Biological Center.  The mission of the cadet team is to develop, build, and test a drone swarm capable of detecting and locating a chemical plume on the battlefield and providing that information to the maneuver commander.  Previous sponsors have included the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Invisible Force: The Future of Information Warfare

In an increasingly connected world, individuals now have the power to instantaneously broadcast images and perspectives of world events in a manner that has traditionally been reserved for trusted media sources. The erosion of the gatekeeper’s authority has enabled diverse perspectives to flourish, but also comes with a cost. This fact has created a situation in which the value of information is based on its ability to go viral as opposed to its truth and accuracy. How does the military engage in an era where information can be both true and false simultaneously, dependent upon the audience’s perspective? Click here to watch the graphic novel trailer. 

To learn more about the Army Cyber Institute’s Threatcasting and Information Warfare, please visit https://cyber.army.mil/Work-Areas/Threatcasting/

 

All-Army CyberStakes

All-Army CyberStakes is the Department of Defense’s premier individual, cybersecurity skills competition.  It is run annually in an online, “Jeopardy”-style Capture-the-Flag and tests a diverse array of skills including forensics, cryptography, binary exploitation, reverse engineering, and web security.  The most recent iteration, AACS4, had more than 2,000 participants including Cadets, DoD civilians, and UK Ministry of Defence members. Watch this video for a better understanding of how you can participate in AACS5  and please feel free to visit https://acictf.com/ for more information. 

Jack Voltaic

Although digital connectivity has made our infrastructure more efficient, it has also made it more vulnerable to attack. As a result, infrastructure resilience is more critical today than ever before. Cyberattacks rarely affect a single target; their effects, both anticipated and unanticipated, ripple across interconnected infrastructure sectors. The Army Cyber Institute at West Point developed the Jack Voltaic cyber research project as a means to understand the cyber and physical interdependencies that exist between critical infrastructure sectors, help cities identity possible gaps in cyber incident response, and encourage a “whole-of-community” approach to build solutions for the future. Click here to learn more about ACI’s Jack Voltaic project or click here to watch a video that discusses Jack Voltaic 3.0.

Squad with Autonomous Teammates – Challenge

Squad with Autonomous Teammates – Challenge (SWAT-C) seeks to augment an infantry squad with autonomous ground and air robots to develop tactics, techniques, and procedures to achieve overmatch against a peer adversary. Funded by the Office of Naval Research, this multi-year research effort collaborates across Army Futures Command to include Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Labs, Ground Vehicle Systems Center, Soldier Center, and the Armament Center. The Rapid Equipping Force provides material support and training. To spur innovation and leverage the Army-Navy rivalry, the challenge takes place twice per year in a series of force on force, capture-the-flag tactical scenarios against the U.S. Naval Academy. Click here to watch a video about SWAT-C.

War & Literature

The pace and scope of changing technological and social trends can obscure the enduring truth that war remains a human endeavor. The discipline of English Literature examines this truth through the literary and artistic expressions provoked by war, promoting a deeper knowledge of others, of oneself, and of war’s nature. Click here to learn more about the War & Literature projects. 

Ethics & War

Human endeavor that war is, ethical questions remain relevant; given war’s perils, they are particularly crucial; and given war’s evolving character, they demand innovative and recurring consideration. The philosophical discipline of Ethics explores these questions, bolstering our stewardship of the military profession and the leaders it requires. Click here to learn more about the Ethics & War projects. 

West Point Simulation Center

The West Point Simulation Center is the United States Military Academy’s proponent for the application of modeling and simulations technologies to training, education and research. Delivering solutions for the Corp of Cadets, tenant units, the preparatory school and academic divisions throughout the year. The catalyst for innovation in the application of future technologies, the West Point Simulation Center provides analysis, design and development for use by all divisions of the Academy.

Aerosol Particle Tracking and Visualization

A collaborative research study between the West Point Photonics Research Center and the West Point Music Research Center. Using techniques such as schlieren imagery, thermal imaging, and condensation particle counting to describe the character of airflow during musical activity.

Click here to learn more about Aerosol Particle Concentration And Airflow Imaging During Vocalization And Wind Instrument Playing.

Wearable Physiological Sensors: Factors Affecting Adoption & Compliance

Wearable physiological sensors can allow Army leaders to monitor the status and well-being of soldiers.  This project investigated factors that might impact the adoption of such technology and soldier compliance, including: device comfort and usability; task interference; and security and privacy concerns regarding the data.  The research team consisted of a USMA faculty member affiliated with Army Cyber Institute, Dr. Aryn Pyke, and two Cadets, Sydney Whitham and Trey Martin (now 2LTs), who were Engineering Psychology Majors from the Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership.  Data were collected from 226 future Army Officers who had used wearable sensors. Click here to learn more about wearable physiological sensors.