From laser weapons to improved battlefield medical care, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) this week showcased a host of technologies at Modern Day Marine—an expo featuring advances for an increasingly complex military landscape.
Held Sept. 22-24 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, the event displayed research and equipment that could support Marines on the battlefield.
Three departments from ONR—Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department; Warfighter Performance Department; and TechSolutions—highlighted science and technology work supporting the Marine Corps’ increased emphasis on laser weapons, training technology and cyber capabilities.
Prominent among ONR’s display was the Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-the-Move program, commonly referred to as GBAD. GBAD is a laser weapon system powerful enough to shoot down enemy unmanned aerial vehicles and small enough to fit in the back of a Humvee or Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. The technology will help keep Marines on the ground from being tracked and targeted by adversaries.
In addition, there were several other highlighted technologies to help Marines achieve mission success in volatile and unstable environments:
—Cyber Augmented Reality Glasses: A head-mounted display that provides warfighters a stream of relevant mission data in their field of view, to help complete critical tasks simultaneously. The glasses were sponsored by TechSolutions, which rapidly fields technology in response to direct requests from Sailors and Marines.
—Supervised Autonomous Fires Technology (SAF-T): Technology for the next generation of remote weapon systems, allowing for safe and effective weaponization of unmanned systems.
—Autonomous Critical Care System (ACCS): A medical care device that provides autonomous control of ventilation, fluid resuscitation, administration of drugs, sedation and analgesia, and maintenance of core body temperature through constant physiologic monitoring.
—High-Performance Alloys for Weapons Applications: A super alloy designed to withstand the high-temperature, high-pressure, erosive environments found inside machine gun barrels.
—Enhanced Expeditionary Engagement Capability: Using an Android-style device, warfighters can pre-program a target’s GPS coordinates into a mortar round before firing, allowing it to hit the target more efficiently.