Armed With Science

Lab Day Highlights DOD Technology Innovations

April 30, 2019 | BY David Vergun

The Defense Department's research and development laboratories design new tools for cyber defense, evaluate new concepts for autonomous vehicles and advance military-critical technology in areas such as advanced computing, "big data" analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, directed energy, hypersonics and biotechnology.

Some of this innovative work was on display last week during the third biennial DOD Lab Day at the Pentagon. Lab Day is a chance for DOD to showcase the work being done by its scientists and engineers to benefit warfighters.

Service member speaking to a man.
Training Talk
Air Force Lt. Col. Ross Uhler, with the Air Force Research Laboratory, discusses the Secure Live Virtual Constructive, Advanced Training Environment program during the third biennial Department of Defense Lab Day at the Pentagon, April 25, 2019. The SLATE program is aimed at developing a cost effective, realistic and secure approach to satisfying major documented training gaps.
Photo By: Video still by Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jose Najera
VIRIN: 190425-D-KT024-2102C

DOD's science, technology, engineering and mathematics personnel are given the latitude and the responsibility to try to answer challenges. Their work leads to technologies that make warfighters a more lethal and protected force.

The labs are the foundation for research to support the nation's defense. Private industry has built upon knowledge discovered by DOD and developed tools and conveniences for everyday use.

An illustration of an X-60A GOLauncher1 hypersonic flight research vehicle launch.
Virtual Training
Donald Simones, a subject matter expert in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing, flies a virtual F-16 Fighting Falcon in a Deployable Tactical Trainer during a Secure Live Virtual Constructive Advanced Training Environment Phase III capstone demonstration at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 30, 2018. The live aircraft, such as the one shown on the screen, were able to see and interact with the virtual players like Simones during the demonstration. SLATE was one of the programs on display during the Defense Department’s third biennial Lab Day.
Photo By: William Graver, Air Force
VIRIN: 180930-F-WN358-1001C

DOD's STEM workforce is made up of people who love solving problems, which makes them an ideal fit for the DOD labs, because they have some of the most challenging problems out there.

A pilot climbs into a fighter jet cockpit.
Pod Attachment
The Secure Live Virtual Constructive Advanced Training Environment LVC pod is attached to an F-16 Fighting Falcon with the 64th Aggressor Squadron during an electromagnetic interference/compatibility test at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in June 2018. SLATE was one of the programs on display during the Defense Department’s third biennial Lab Day.
Photo By: William Graver, Air Force
VIRIN: 180930-F-WN358-1003C
Rocket zooms high in the sky.
X-60A Launch
An artist's sketch of an Air Force X-60A launch.
Photo By: Air Force illustration
VIRIN: 181003-F-F3456-1001C

Video by Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jose Najera, DOD