Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Ground Systems

Manned and unmanned terrestrial systems, including vehicles, robotics and supporting technologies

Showing 2 results for Ground + Manufacturing RSS
01/01/1991

In addition to supporting advanced materials development since its early years, DARPA has at times been called upon to identify technologies for specific near-term applications. One of these tasks occurred for Operation Desert Storm (1991-1992) when ground forces experienced a critical need for more effective armor. The DARPA solution in this case, particularly for roof protection for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs) against artillery, was to ask the Lanxide Corporation to modify its cermet (ceramic/metallic) process and to work with a partner Foster Miller to produce appliqué armor.

From 1984 to 1986, DARPA supported the materials research and engineering that led to these cermet materials. With DARPA funding, 75 LAVs were up-armored with the tough composite materials. In the early 1990s, M-9 Armored Combat Earthermoves (ACE) also employed this lightweight armor. Variations of these cermet materials have been used for cockpit armor by the U.S. Air Force in C-130, C-141, and C-14 aircraft in Bosnia.

The Lanxide material has also been employed as high-power-density heat sinks for the F/A-18 and F-16 radars, turbine tip shrouds, commercial satellite heat sinks, very stiff parts for semiconductor lithography machines, and as vehicle brake components. All of the military and civil uses of Lanxide evolved directly from DARPA’s program. The military uses were under DARPA support, and then transitioned to U.S. Army and Air Force programs.

Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) is a portfolio of programs that address revolutionary approaches to the design, verification and manufacturing of complex defense systems and vehicles. The portfolio consists of three primary programs: META, Instant Foundry Adaptive through Bits (iFAB) and Fast Adaptable Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG).

Following the announcement of a winner of the first FANG Challenge in April 2013, the winning design was built and tested. The test data has verified the new design paradigm, and as a result, DARPA is pursuing an opportunity for an early transition of the program to industry in 2014.