As a relatively new member of the DSIAC team, I have been struck by a prominent theme throughout the organization— its focus on being a catalyst for collaboration, to foster a cooperative network in the defense systems community. The articles in this summer issue demonstrate DSIAC’s unique value in being the DoD’s hub for defense system information and analysis.
It is in the vein of collaboration that DSIAC is proud to present the feature article on ultrashort pulse laser (USPL) research, representing a truly collaborative research effort. Like many DoD research topics, USPL research faces limited funding and resources. So scientists and engineers across different DoD and academic laboratories have formed a community to jointly enhance research efforts. USPLs offer a unique benefit compared to traditional speed-of-light laser technologies due to USPLs’ short pulses and the ability to achieve high energy with low loss over a distance. The article, which is jointly authored by researchers with the Air Force, Army, and Navy, includes references to research contributions from numerous U.S. universities that participate in the collaborative USPL research efforts. This article demonstrates how joining forces to share information among various organizations from the DoD and academia can greatly enrich scientific research.
Continuing with the theme of collaboration and speed-of-light technologies is our article on high-power microwave (HPM) directed energy weapons (DEWs). This article educates the reader on HPM DEWs as an alternative to laser-based DEWs. The fundamental principles of HPM DEWs, along with references to various Joint DoD applications, are described. One such application is in the field of non-lethal weapons (NLWs), which nicely complements our article on developing and fielding NLWs.
The NLW article once again exhibits the power of collaboration, a primary DSIAC focus. The article describes the Joint (DoD-wide), Army, and Marine programs aimed at developing and fielding NLWs. The fundamentals of NLWs are explained, followed by a survey of the current and future NLW programs. These programs include technologies such as the aforementioned DEWs, as well as acoustics, electricity, flashbangs, kinetics, and more. As with USPL research, NLW developers must work with limited resources; so joint programs are imperative to enhancing NLW technologies.
Relative to collaboration, DSIAC maintains ongoing partnerships with universities to provide an extended network of experts for the defense system community. One such academic partner is the Georgia Tech Research Institute, which has provided an article on modeling long-range radars. Long-range radar systems must be precise. Unfortunately, there are instances where data are degraded when converting the measurements to the systems that need the data. This article discusses one modeling methodology to address the problem. DoD technologists can learn much from this academic research being conducted to enable greater radar precision.
Finally, our article on estimating endgame effectiveness of air-to-air missiles highlights DSIAC’s continued interest in promoting an awareness and sharing of tools for the benefit of the greater DoD. This article presents the methodology behind widely used DoD vulnerability and lethality models (many of which are distributed by DSIAC) to show how air-to-air missiles are evaluated. Significant advancements in computational capabilities have given way to comparable advancements in tools for evaluating air-to-air missiles. As these tools continue to evolve, it is essential that the defense community maintain an understanding of the available tools described.
In summary, this journal issue captures DSIAC’s core value of collaboration within the defense community. The five articles demonstrate the nature of collaboration encouraged by DSIAC as well as the breadth of DSIAC’s network of experts. All of this is done while communicating quality technical information, thus continuing to promote a culture of increased education and awareness.