U.S. Army Recognizes Top Ten Greatest Inventions of 2004
(Source: US Army; issued June 1, 2005)
The commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command as well as the Army's Vice Chief of Staff, and other senior Army science and technology leaders will recognize the U.S. Army's "Top Ten Greatest Inventions of 2004" in an awards ceremony June 8, 11:45 a.m. at the Hilton McLean Tyson's Corner. Military units in Southwest Asia are currently using all 10 inventions.

The Army-wide awards program is dedicated to recognizing the best technology solutions for soldiers.

“Nominations for the program were submitted from across the Army laboratory community,” said Gen. Benjamin. S. Griffin, commander, AMC.

The Army -- from active-duty divisions to the Training and Doctrine Command -- chose the ten winning programs for their impact on Army capabilities (breath of use and magnitude of improvement over existing systems), inventiveness, and potential benefit outside the Army.

There will be displays with mock-ups and examples of the inventions at the ceremony. The Army will recognize the following inventions:


--Armor Survivability Kit for the HMMWV (U.S. Army Research Laboratory)
In late 2003, ARL began producing prototype kits for HMMWVs using rolled homogenous armor steel and ballistic glass to provide the HMMWV with maximum balanced protection against small arms projectiles and fragments from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The effort was transitioned to the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, who further developed the solution for production by the Army industrial base.


--Improvised Explosive Device Countermeasure Equipment (U.S. Army Research Laboratory)
The IED Countermeasure Equipment (ICE) is a radio-controlled IED countermeasure, completely composed of commercial-off-the-shelf technology. The Department of the Army IED Task Force identified ICE as a preventative solution to IED casualties and vetted the system through its confirmation process.


--UTAMS (Unattended Transient Acoustic MASINT Sensor) Mortar, Rocket, Explosion Locator (U.S. Army Research Laboratory)
UTAMS is an acoustic localization system based on classic sound ranging principles with advanced and unique signal processing techniques that can detect and isolate transient events such as mortar or rocket firings, munitions impacts, and other explosive events.


--M107 .50 Cal Long Range Sniper Rifle (U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center)
The M107 is a .50 caliber long range sniper rifle effective against various materiel and personnel targets such as parked aircraft; command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence sites; and lightly armored vehicles. The M107 has a longer stand off range and increased terminal effect when opposing snipers armed with smaller caliber weapons.


--Lightweight Handheld Mortar Ballistic Computer (U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center)
The Lightweight Handheld Mortar Ballistic Computer System provides, for the first time, a handheld fire control system with GPS and digital communication capability for all fielded mortar weapon systems. The system calculates ballistic solutions and provides fire support coordination measures with functionality. The software component allows the weapon platform to receive, decode, encode, and send digital messages via the combat net radio to other weapon systems or command and control systems on the digital network.


--Upgraded Aviation Force Battle Command Brigade and Below / Blue Force Tracking (Upgraded Aviation FBCB2 / BFT) (U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center)
AMRDEC’s Upgraded Aviation FBCB2 / BFT is a paradigm-shattering communication and tracking system that provides global, real-time, situational awareness and command and control to/from air and ground platforms in a compact militarized package. Consisting of a Miltope Laptop Computer, satellite antenna and Global Positioning System receiver, BFT displays the air or ground platform’s location on the computer’s terrain-map display along with the respective location of other air and ground platforms.


--Lightweight Counter Mortar RADAR (U.S. Army Communications Electronic Research Development and Engineering Center)
LCMR was designed to automatically locate mortar weapons over 360 degrees and to be sufficiently lightweight to support insertion by Airborne troops. LCMR is specified to detect and track mortar rounds that are out of range for most mortar weapons and locate the firing weapon with a target location error sufficient to neutralize the shooter with either combat air support or counterfire.


--Chitosan Hemostatic Dressing (U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research)
Chitosan is a biodegradable, nontoxic, complex carbohydrate derived from chitin, a naturally occurring substance. In an initial test of prototype laboratory-constructed dressings, this dressing significantly increased survival rates and reduced both blood loss and resuscitation fluid requirements following Grade V liver injuries in swine. The dressing is a freeze-dried chitosan-based dressing designed to optimize the mucoadhesive surface density and structural integrity of chitosan at the site of injury.


--Electronic Information Carrier (U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center)
The Electronic Information Carrier is a wireless data storage device the size of a dog-tag that is capable of storing up to 4 gigabytes of data. The real power of the Wireless Electronic Information Center (WEIC) is its ability to securely and wirelessly read and write data within a range of 10 meters of medical devices such as the Battlefield Medical Information System-Telemedicine and the Composite HealthCare System II-T. It also has a universal physical interface which ensures its compatibility with commercial and government off-the-shelf products.


--Army Combat Uniform (U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center)
Developed in collaboration with PEO Soldier, this new combat uniform increases performance capabilities through the application of new camouflage technologies; incorporation of functional fabric finishes, and design engineering for increased operational effectiveness while reducing sustainment costs. Scientists fused terrain environments into a single visual camouflage design by analyzing terrain types and then incorporating the results into an acceptable digitized pattern. The Army Combat Uniform (ACU) includes coat, trousers, moisture wicking t-shirt, rigger-style belt, improved moisture wicking anti-blister socks, and no shine tan combat boots. The Chief of Staff of the Army approved the ACU to replace the Battle Dress Uniform and the Desert Camouflage Uniform.

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