TARDEC awarded grants to pursue sensor-enhanced armor

  • 04-Mar-2010 06:30 EST

Spintronic sensor technology has been used by the U.S. Army in production of low-output antennas, but TARDEC scientists Dr. Thomas Meitzler and Dr. Elena Bankowski (pictured) began exploring a few years ago the theory that a synchronized series of sensors or antennas would amplify the power enough for use in radar and microwave radiation generation and detection. (Photo by Carrie Deming)

Scientists at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive, Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) have been awarded military funding to develop technology that could enable “smart-armor” vehicles that tell occupants when damage has occurred. TARDEC Research Scientist Dr. Thomas Meitzler and Computer Engineer Dr. Elena Bankowski were awarded a 2010 Pilot Independent Lab In-House Research Grant and a 2010 Innovation Grant from the Army to pursue basic R&D of an experimental spin-torque nano-oscillator—a spintronic sensor—that will detect radar and changes in microwave radiation waves when vehicle armor is penetrated and damaged. When embedded in vehicle armor, the sensor—a quantum mechanically driven, solid-state device—would help warfighters analyze the condition of the plates. TARDEC will collaborate with the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) and Army Research Lab on basic spintronic sensor R&D.

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The technology uses multiple foils with multiple messages and an LED light source. Each specific message is burned onto the holographic film through a photographic process.

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