MAY 15, 2015, WASHINGTON (NNS) – The Defense Department’s Office of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics hosted the first-ever “DoD Lab Day” in the Pentagon courtyard, May 14.
DoD Lab Day was designed to increase understanding of the complexity and diversity of the DoD lab enterprise. It provided insight into more than 100 Navy, Marine, Air Force, Army and Medical innovations that are advancing the capabilities of our Nation’s Force of the Future.
“All these things and many more allow our warfighters to have the cutting-edge capabilities they really need,” said Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall. “…and laboratory innovation is at the forefront of that.”
Kendall said the department has thousands of scientists working at DoD labs in 22 states, producing things such as the Internet, the Global Positioning System, car and truck back-up sensors, Ebola virus disease containment, a mobile capability for destroying chemical material stockpiles, night-vision goggles, emergency-room best practices, and more.
The Navy showcased its new Griffin Missile System, the first semi-active laser weapons system deployed on ships. The system allows the missile to engage moving targets with pinpoint accuracy. According to Cmdr. Marc Williams it was developed in about eight months to address a particular threat: navies with swarming fleets of smaller boats that can provide problems for larger Navy vessels. The laser technology aids accuracy on targets more than two miles away.
Also, on display for the Navy is its newly-tested MAGIC CARPET flight control, which offers augmented control modes intended to simplify carrier landings.
“We had 100 percent reduction of our deviations on touchdown, because there’s less workload, and because it’s very predictable and intuitive,” said Naval Air Systems Command engineer Buddy Denham, describing the initial testing.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work believes that as a nation we must continue to innovate to protect our country.
“You represent the best of about 38,000 scientists and engineers in more than 60 DoD labs across the country,” he added, noting that the scientists “work hard every day to ensure that we retain our technological superiority, to prepare us for an uncertain future and accelerate capabilities that we need to get into the hands of our warfighters.”
As part of ensuring the future, local high school students were invited to attend. It was a chance to get students excited about science and technology, so they will consider future careers in the field.
DoD Lab Day is slated to be a yearly event.