ARL VISION: The nation’s premier laboratory for land forces.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) – the Army’s corporate research laboratory – traces its lineage back to the Watertown Arsenal, established in 1820 as the Army’s first scientific research facility. As the Army Materiel Command’s (AMC) single corporate laboratory and the Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command’s (RDECOM) fundamental research laboratory, ARL concentrates on scientific discovery, innovation, and transition of technological developments. The S&T program is building on this proud legacy by driving the discoveries and innovations which will be critical to realizing new capabilities for the Army of 2030 and beyond.
The overarching goal of the ARL Technical Strategy is to provide the vision, key technical focus areas, and principal transition pathways which are essential in assuring the continued strategic land power dominance of the United States Army. This technical strategy is focused on exploring, better understanding, maturing, and exploiting S&T developments leading to Power Projection Superiority, Information Supremacy, Lethality and Protection Superiority, and Soldier Performance Augmentation – the technological cornerstones that will ensure the future Army’s dominance of its operational environment.
ARL’s Technical Strategy highlights a coordinated and synchronized S&T campaign framework guiding the essential S&T efforts that will provide the future Army with the capabilities to conduct prompt, sustained, and synchronized operations with a force customized to the mission and poised to prosecute both combat and noncombat missions in all functional domains – air, ground, maritime, space, and cyberspace. Central to this construct are eight S&T campaigns focused on:
- Extramural Basic Research
- Computational Sciences
- Materials Research
- Information Sciences
- Sciences-for-Lethality and Protection
- Human Sciences
- Assessment and Analysis
ARL-Orlando’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate, Advanced Training and Simulation Division falls under the Human Sciences Campaign.
Human Sciences is focused on gaining a greater understanding of individual physical, perceptual, and cognitive performance through Human-Physical Interface, Human-Human Interface, and Human-Technology Interface.
MISSION: To discover, innovate, and transition S&T capabilities to (1) understand and improve individual and small unit performance across the full range of military operations; (2) empower leaders with enhanced cognitive capabilities to make sound decisions quickly; and (3) enable expeditionary forces to use knowledge of societal and cultural issues and social cognitive networks to shape the operational environment.
VISION: The Army of 2030 maximizes the effectiveness of Soldiers physically, perceptually, and cognitively. Small units are capable of operating effectively and efficiently in social-cultural contexts around the globe. The desired end state is to leverage the full range of S&T enablers to poise forces to succeed in distributed operations and increasingly complex environments.
Strongly supported by these foundational pillars and key enablers, the Human Sciences Campaign is flexible and agile with an eye towards addressing S&T challenges for Army critical applications. The areas of emphasis include Human-Physical Interface; Human-Human Interface; and Human-Technology Interface.
Human-Physical Interface fundamental research focuses on better understanding the relationship between the brain and the body, and interactions with the physical environment. Fundamental understanding gained in genetics and genomics; molecular biology; and human biochemistry and their impacts on brain structure-function coupling are expected to be essential in augmenting warfighter performance. Physical-cognitive interactions – especially in the operational environment – are expected to influence warfighter behavior; learning and decision making; and multisensory perception.
Human-Human Interface fundamental research is focused on better understanding one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many interactions. The focus of this area is on providing and evaluating effective personnel training, leader development, and team building through fundamental understanding and enhancement of motivation, physical resilience, cognitive resilience, and trust. Understanding and exploitation of the fundamental aspects of social networks dynamics; organizational structure optimization; and ethics, values, trust, social-cultural, economic, and geopolitical effects are expected to be critical in influencing group dynamics and performance.
Human-Technology Interface fundamental research is focused on understanding how humans interact with materiel and information. Fundamental research areas of interest include ergonomics and biomechanics to increase Soldier performance while simultaneously minimizing injury probability; physical augmentation to improve physical load management; wearable and implantable systems and devices for protection and for medical applications; and brain-computer interactions dedicated to understanding and enhancing cognitive performance and protection against cognitive harm.