ARL Sweeps Toward Weapon Modeling
Developers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) have
created a modeling and simulation tool that enables military
analysts to choose or build weapons that will best overpower
future threats. Called the Smart Weapon End-to-End Perfor-
mance Model (SWEEPM), it gives personnel the features to
analyze how weapons will fare against moving targets in com-
plex battlefield scenarios. With this capability, Army leaders can
identify optimal future technology investments early, including
whether the best approach is modification or replacement.
SWEEPM is a set of files and software that covers all
impacts associated with firing a round and delivery of that
round, according to an ARL official. The tool can model
the overall effectiveness of all types of munitions through
the entire target engagement. It employs both a basic and
complex model. The latter has a modified point mass model
that includes a GPS navigation feature and control forces
for terminal guidance. Since its completion, SWEEPM has
transitioned to the Army Armament Research, Development
and Engineering Center’s System Engineering Directorate.
Engineers there are reviewing it for formal adoption.
Plans are underway to incorporate the tool in an analysis of
a conceptually guided artillery round developed by the ARL. In
that, control forces will be necessary to hit moving targets.
New Forecasting Tools for Stormy Waters
The U.S. command responsible for providing weather data
to U.S. forces is working with a newly developed weather
prediction model designed to provide a more accurate
weather forecast from one-to-five days out. The Navy’s Fleet
Numerical and Meteorology and Oceanography Center offi-
cially turned on the new system June 6.
The Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction
System-Tropical Cyclone (COAMPS-TC) was developed
by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), in part to sup-
port the U.S. Defense Department’s Joint Typhoon Weather
Center. The new model will provide an accurate estimate of
a storm’s intensity and possible duration, which are impor-
tant factors for military operations, humanitarian assis-
tance, vulnerable assets protection and installations.
Part of the research that made the new model possible
involved the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to make observa-
tions both inside and outside a storm and from a higher alti-
tude compared with manned aircraft. The NRL is collaborating
with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
and several universities to develop additional models to make
even more accurate forecasts about tropical cyclones.
Army Fields Smaller Satellite Terminal
The U.S. Army is deploying the Secure Internet Protocol
Router/Nonsecure Internet Protocol Router Access Point 1. 2
meter Lite—referred to as SNAP Lite—to meet requirements
for a small form factor terminal that supports capabilities
of a company command post. The smaller ground satellite
terminal provides high-capacity, beyond-line-of-sight com-
munications to the newly digitized posts.
An expeditionary signal battalion (ESB) is the first unit
to receive the satellite communications solution. It will
take possession of the SNAP Lites and receive two weeks
of training. Such battalions provide communication con-
nectivity to disadvantaged users, often in austere environ-
ments. The Army is using modernization efforts to increase
ESB transport capability.
Development of the capability resulted from work in
several Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) cycles. In
For an old Bomber
The venerable B- 52 is receiving a communications upgrade
to continue its operation in the digital battlespace.
The B- 52 Stratofortress bomber is receiving a new communica- tions package known as the Combat Network Communications Technology System. Currently, mission information must be uploaded to a B- 52 before flight, but the new system will send
and receive information via satellite links, enabling in-flight mission
changes and re-targeting. In addition, pilots will be able to interact
better with other aircraft and with ground forces.
Other improvements include a state-of-the-art computing network
with workstations at each crew position and an integrated digital
interphone with increased capacity that will allow crew members
to talk to each other on headsets equipped with noise-canceling
The first aircraft to receive the upgrade will enter programmed depot
maintenance this summer and will complete the process in April 2014.
The overall cost of the effort is $76 million. The B-52H first was deliv-
ered to the U.S. Air Force in 1961-62, and aircraft have been kept aloft
through regular upgrades, including GPS integration in the late 1980s.