Super Materials, Super Vision, and Space Robots: World Class Research in our Nation’s Defense Labs

Today, two premier Department of Defense (DOD) research labs, in collaboration with the Pentagon Channel, will debut a science-focused TV series called “Armed with Science,” shining a light on the importance of science and technology to national defense and the innovative work being done in DOD laboratories to help address the complex challenges facing the military. The pilot episode, airing on the Pentagon Channel today at 1:00pm and 5:00pm EST, will explore the cutting-edge research taking place at the Naval Research Laboratory and the Army Research Laboratory based in Washington, DC, and Adelphi, MD respectively.

The Nation’s defense laboratories are critical to DOD's diverse missions and to keeping our country on the leading edge of innovation. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) works closely with DOD labs to develop policies and programs that can strengthen the Department’s in-house R&D capabilities and speed the development of new technologies. Adequately supporting the labs’ research budgets and infrastructure needs and helping to inspire, attract, and retain a world-class  science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce in this domain is essential protecting America’s national security and keeping our country on the leading edge of innovation.

At the Army Research Lab, for example, scientists are working to study and develop “super materials” that operate in extreme environments to protect soldiers against threats. These materials, which scientists and engineers are designing at the atomic scale, will help make up game-changing electronics, munitions, and armor for the military of the future.

And at the Naval Research Lab’s Space Robotics Laboratory, scientists are developing robotic technology that can help repair, reposition, or update satellites that are beyond human reach, some 20,000 miles more distant than the Hubble Space Telescope—many of which are critical for Navy and Marine Corps operations.

The pilot will also provide an inside look at “super vision”—enemy detection systems made easier and faster with infrared radiated light that gives soldiers the capability to see when there is zero visibility. With the help of the Army’s super computers, Army scientists and researchers have been able to create the capability of thermally-detecting very cold objects and fast-moving targets.

The Pentagon Channel will show encore airings of the pilot episode on March 13 at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:30, 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. It will also be available online on the DOD YouTube channel.

Reed Skaggs is Assistant Director for Defense Programs at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy

Dr. John Ohab is a Public Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

Joyce P. Brayboy is a Public Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

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